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Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 565

I was told the strength of the cans is a result of the carbonated drink inside. They are too soft to transport plain water.

First of all, the most difference you could possibly see between a carbonated vs. non-carbonated beverage is that the carbonated drink can might be a bit more resistant to denting. But a lack of pressure won't make the can spontaneously implode or anything like that, any more than it does an empty can.

But more to the point, I have seen non-carbonated iced tea sold in standard soda cans. Perhaps they add a bit of pressure to the headspace in that case, but either way, it's clearly not a problem.

Comment Re:Good For Them (Score 1) 317

"Miss Edie, as long as there are chicken layin' and truck drivin' and my feet walkin', you can be sure that l will bring you the finest of the fine, the largest of the large and the whitest of the white. ln other words, that thin-shelled ovum of the domestic fowl will never be safe as long as there are chicken layin' and l'm alive because l am your eggman and there ain't a better one in town!"

- The Eggman

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Aside from the very valid points others have raised...

Of course you can lose some weight in the short term by gaming energy balance. And the reason said experiment has been done "again and again and time again" is because in the long term, you will need to consistently cut more and/or burn more to keep losing the same amount of weight, and in 95% or more of cases you will be unable to keep that up, and eventually will gain that weight back and likely more.

The person who suffers giganticism will also lose weight with such a strategy. But no one would suggest that restricting intake or increasing expenditure will *cure* giganticism, or that too much expenditure *caused* it...we recognize that it is a hormonal problem that cause a person to grow abnormally. Even though thermodynamics apply as surely as it does with obesity (and indeed you can stunt developmental growth through starvation), they is not the primary or even really a particularly relevant factor.

Now that doesn't mean that obesity isn't caused by simple caloric excess, but it does prove that thermodynamics do not make it necessarily so. In fact, the only way one would be justified in claiming such a thing was if you could (a) prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no similar biological disruption involved in common obesity, or (b) show clinical results where simply trying to create negative energy balance via caloric restriction and increased exertion (aka standard diet and exercise advice) reliably reverses obesity over the long term. There is far too much evidence otherwise to claim (a), and the only way you can justify (b) is through the the standard rationalization practiced by the medical community today..."it's not true that our standard prescription of diet/exercise is 95+% ineffective, it's 100% effective but there's a 95+% non-compliance rate." Of course it's a tautology, the only indicator of 'compliance' is success...and you easily could substitute 'prayer' for 'diet/exercise' and it would be just as true. (You didn't lose weight, obviously you're not praying hard enough, fatty!)

So does the fact that you can temporarily shed some weight by effectively starving yourself via diet or exertion justify your initial claim that simple control of caloric balance (whatever that even means in the real world) is the "precisely one thing...nothing else" that a fatty needs to know to be a former fatty? It may be the conventional wisdom, but, to use the vernacular, it's fucking retarded.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Most sodas aren't made with sugar, they're made with Corn SYRUP, which is fructose only. Real table sugar is made up of multiple sugar forms and is easier to digest, and better for your body than pure fructose. The 'corn syrup' you cite is 'high fructose corn syrup', not 'ALL fructose corn syrup'. Specifically it is HFCS-55, which 55% fructose/45% glucose and small amounts of other sugars. It is 'high-fructose' compared to ordinary corn syrup which is virtually 100% glucose or maltose (two bound glucose molecules).

'Real' table sugar is sucrose which is a glucose molecule bound to a fructose, I.e., 50-50 glucose to fructose. So far, there is precious little evidence of any significant difference in metabolic effects between sucrose and HFCS. The big thing with the advent of HFCS 35-40 years ago is that people have been consuming so much more total sugar overall since its introduction.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 630

Going from fatty to not fatty requires precisely one thing: reducing the amount of calories in versus the amount of calories out. Nothing else.

Going from a giant to a normal height person requires precisely one thing: reducing the amount of calories in versus the amount of calories out. Nothing else. After all, the only way that a person becomes a giant is through consuming more calories than they expend (if you don't agree, you are denying the laws of thermodynamics), so logically reversing the thermodynamic balance should reverse the condition. Right?

Or...just maybe, thermodynamics does not tell us anything useful about the causation of (or potential cures for) biological problems. That whole mindset is a result from one of science's greatest obstacles to arriving at the truth...that the first thing we learn about a given topic (in this case, the discovery of biological calorimetry around the turn of the 20th century) becomes a lens through which all further observations are interpreted, and it is not until those initial assumptions are challenged that it becomes clear that the initial observations did not imply nearly what was assumed. The relationship of cholesterol to heart disease is another example of this dynamic...the initial discovery of cholesterol and the first crude methods of measuring it, and then the discovery that atherosclerotic lesions were rich in cholesterol, led to assumptions that it was dietary cholesterol that was the main determinant of serum cholesterol and high total serum cholesterol was the primary cause of heart disease. Both of these assumptions were disproved nearly 40 years ago but yet that flawed initial science holds considerable sway over nutritional advice to this day.

Comment Re:danger vs taste (Score 5, Insightful) 630

The sweet taste also triggers insulin production, when causes hunger when the sugar that the tongue predicted doesn't show up in the stomach.

There is a quite a bit of contrary evidence to that hypothesis. For one thing, the onset of Type II Diabetes, the most glaring result of disturbed insulin response, is associated with decreased rather than increased first-phase insulin response, so if artificial sweeteners are increasing first-phase insulin response it is not clear why that would be a problem.

And if artificial sweeteners cause an overproduction of insulin in the face of no actual glucose, then consuming them in the absence of no accompanying carbohydrate should be expected to trigger hypoglycemia as insulin triggers body tissues to absorb blood glucose. Yet there is no evidence that this actually happens.

That said, if the choice is between artificial sweeteners and no artificial sweeteners, then the safer bet is not to consume them as they have no precedent in our food supply for most of human evolution. However, if the choice is between artificial sweeteners and the equivalent quantity of sugar (which also has no precedent in our food supply in the quantities consumed in modern diets and has far more well-established deleterious effects on metabolism), the risk of artificial sweeteners seems pretty low in comparison based on currently available evidence.

"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater