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Comment: Re:Since when (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49566371) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

but I know that I am one of the lucky few who gets to enjoy an adverse reaction to aspartame. From a purely anecdotal view,

It's not an anecdotal situation. Aspartame contains phenylalanine, which some people cannot process. This results in a condition known as phenylketonuria, or PKU. If you overload the phenylalanine hydroxylase metabolic pathway, you can suffer from mild forms of PKU even if you are not totally deficient in that enzyme.

The levels of aspartame normally consumed shouldn't be a problem except for PKUs, unless you switch to sugar-free koolaid and drink gallons of the stuff. If it's giving you problems in diet drinks, then you probably can't eat a bucketload of turkey without feeling it, either. Turkey meat is high in phenylalanine, too.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49566303) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Whoa - throw away all of the scientific data, there's an anecdote here involving an TV show about an uncontrolled experiment whose data we can't see and whose name you can't even remember!

This is slashdot. It's filled with anecdotal evidence. This is no worse than any of the "evidence" from people who tell their personal tales that you accept that supports your position. This one doesn't.

I find it humorous that you are ranting about me for "anecdotal evidence" when you just challenged someone to "prove me wrong right now in just a couple weeks" by using the same kind of evidence. I guess they can't prove you wrong because they can't do the rigorous scientific studies that you rely on for your information, either "right now" or "in just a couple weeks".

The human digestive system does not throw away energy from digestible substances.

Uhhh, yeah, it can. Maybe there's more to this than you know? Ok, the digestive system may not, but the excretory system can.

It's energy in vs. energy out.

It is this simplistic view of the system that leads to vitriolic statements about those "fat bastards" who just need "to eat less". For your reference, here is just one link to the hatemonger who tried to prove how easy it was to lose weight and failed. Not even her friends could meet her goals for them and she was riding them pretty hard.

Yes, some evidence is anecdotal. But if something doesn't work for someone that might mean that the science that says it is supposed to might be wrong or incomplete. I think there's enough variance in humans that no single answer will be correct. That's why drugs come with side-effect warnings -- different people will react to different things differently. ACE inhibitors make me cough. They don't make everyone cough. I can switch into ketosis in a couple of days while it takes some people a week or more.

It is lunacy to proclaim one answer fits all for all humankind.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49566177) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Boy you're a really clever one aren't you, catching onto secret calories in stevia that nobody else did?

Thank you, but I said nothing about calories. Did I? I don't see it anywhere. I commented that a sugar SUBSTITUTE actually has more sugar than substitute in it. I think that's fascinating. As someone who would buy stevia only to avoid the carbs, finding a mainline carb as the largest constituent of the sugar substitute was a bit, ummm, surprising.

So yes, the dextrose has calories - but it's far outmatched in terms of sweetness by the stevia therein, so you only need to use a very small amount (depending on the ratio of the blend).

In the US, the FDA content reporting laws say that the ingredients must be listed in order. That means "most first". (That's why it isn't Kraft "Cheese and Macaroni", because there's more macaroni than cheese.) By listing dextrose first that means there is more dextrose than stevia. It doesn't need to be there AT ALL if the stevia is so good a sweetener. They could use something else that wasn't a digestable carb instead.

It's like selling an "alcohol-free beer" that has had its alcohol replaced by ... alcohol. Or a "30% less sodium salt" that has fluffed-up salt instead of normal crystals, so each tsp has 30% less salt, and you use 30% more to get the same taste. Yes, the package was 30% lighter, and cost 30% more.

basically, what the stevia is blended with is mostly air.

No, it would seem that it is mostly dextrose, according to the FDA mandated labels. I don't believe they have to list air.

Hahaha, Food Babe? Are you joking?

No. I pointed you at her site because she had the pictures of the labels that I did not. I was talking about ingredients in Stevia products; she has the documentation. What's the problem?

Or her microwave rant,

Right. Ok. Whatever. I don't think I told you to believe everything she's ever said, did I?

Yeah, I think I'll stay over here in the real world and not get my information from a living joke, thanks.

I got my information from the federally mandated food content labels, which is about as "real world" as it needs to be. Sorry I upset you so much and confused you about the calorie issue, which you brought up, not me. And how most of stevia is air -- well, if you shake the box, I suppose so, but there's still more sugar in stevia than stevia. Do you see nothing at all odd about that? Is it ethical marketing to sell a sugar substitute that has more sugar than it needs? I don't think so, but I only live in the real world and not the world of xkcd.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49565231) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame
Just imagine how much cheaper everything would be if everyone was dixonpete and did only what dixonpete did and liked only the things dixonpete liked. The costs of stocking all those other items would go away and stores could concentrate on carrying only dixonpete-approved foods and clothes and stuff. Coffee plantations and soda makers would go out of business because nobody would drink coffee or soda anymore, but tea plantations and artificial peppermint flavor chemical plants would boom.

Yeah, just a "habit" that people like things other than water or peppermint tea.

I tried going caffeine free for a few weeks. I had to give it up because water and all the other caffeine-free drinks were just so pathetically boring or tasteless. The habit of caffeinated drinks wasn't hard to break, it was the habit of wanting something that tastes good was the killer.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49565197) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

(The purpose is simply to dilute the über-sweet Stevia powder so you can use reasonable amounts.)

Marketing Exec 1: Hey, we've got this great replacement for sugar called "stevia". It'll be a great seller because of all the people who don't want to use processed sugar or are on low carb diets!

Marketing Exec 2: Uhh, but it's so powerful that you only use a tiny bit. A one pound box would last for years. We can't make a profit on that.

Marketing Exec 1: Oh, yeah, I know, let's dilute it so that people have to put in more. Then a box will last only a month.

Marketing Exec 2: Great idea. What do we dilute it with that won't cut down the sweetness?

Marketing Exec 1: I know. Let's dilute it with sugar. It's FDA/EU approved, relatively cheap and is sweet, too.

Marketing Exec 2: But won't that be bad for the people who are buying our Stevia because they want no sugar or carbs?

Marketing Exec 1: Don't call it "sugar" and nobody will notice.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49564815) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Here, you can prove me wrong right now in just a couple weeks.

Using a TARDIS or properly-equipped Delorean?

You realize that this "experiment" has been done again and again and time again, right?

"Strict calorie count" is nearly impossible, and "standard formula" calorie burn is just as hard to get right. Yes, the "experiment" has been done over and over, and the metabolism of the subject plays a significant role in the results.

There was a rousing ITV, or BBC, I don't remember, documentary on a woman who was a rabid anti-fat activist, spreading the word about how all it takes is eating less and how all the fatties are just lazy bastards who don't want to succeed. She spent some time gaining 30 pounds (I think it was) eating crap, then went on a low calorie diet AND exercised more, and she still couldn't get the weight off. And HER metabolism was based on being a runner prior to the test.

She even talked a couple of her "friends" into joining her "support group" and trying to lose weight, and while they did, it was clear they didn't lose as much as she wanted them to and they, too, were lazy bastards who must have been cheating. All I know is if she was a "friend", I'd not need enemies.

So no, it's not just "eat less", especially if your body goes into starvation mode and starts conserving energy for better times.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49564715) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

So you look at one product that contains stevia and draws some general conclusion from that?!?

No, I took a look at ALL the boxes that claimed to BE stevia. Not just supposed to contain it, but are supposed to be Stevia itself. Yes, when I looked at all the "Stevia" products on the shelves and saw that they all contain sugar as the main ingredient, I made a rash judgement that they all contained more sugar than stevia.

Just buy a product that doesn't contain a sugar instead.

Good idea. Sadly, there wasn't one. And the link I provided shows other products that, while sugar is not the main ingredient instead of stevia, have sugar alcohols instead.

Seems like the standard uninformed and skewed bullshit so common of sites like that,

Well, the information there is what I observed on the shelves of my local stores. I have yet to see a "stevia" that doesn't have something else as the main ingredient, and that something else is either sugar itself or a sugar alcohol (which drives my blood sugar levels just as nuts as pure sugar.)

Comment: Re:Terms and Conditions. (Score 1) 296

by Obfuscant (#49564147) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Typically, these contracts are of the sort where Disney says if Verizon wants to carry the Disney channel, they must also carry all the ESPN channels @ a certain rate etc ...

I know. It's called "bundling". Verizon agreed to it.

I also don't see your analogy as being the same.

Analogies are typically NOT the same. That's why they are analogies and not identities. The concept is the same, however. If you support Verizon for breaking a contract they accepted when it was profitable for them, then you should also support them if they break another contract that was profitable when they agreed to it.

You're correct in that it's a contract dispute between Verizon and Disney, but w/o actually seeing the contract we don't actually know who's in the right. My guess is that Verizon found a loophole and Disney isn't happy about it.

My guess is that Verizon THINKS they found a loophole, OR that they THINK the public will support them breaking the contract and ESPN will back down, but I KNOW they think it will be more profitable for them to break the contract, including the legal costs. Just as it is more profitable for them to break contracts with their customers instead of honoring them.

These contracts have been in place for quite some time, so it would be amazing if a lawyer just now found a loophole and it wasn't a changing economic landscape that rebalanced the equation.

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49563317) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

We are not talking about the metabolism.

You are talking about release of insulin, which is a major player on the metabolic system.

The taste buds are prior to ingestion,

They are prior to swallowing, but they are in the mouth, and the tongue has a wonderful blood supply which happily absorbs things that the taste buds taste. Kinda hard to keep it from being absorbed.

it is part of the system that helps prevent us from ingesting bad stuff.

Like aspartame? Two amino acids?

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49563255) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

I'd be interested in Stevia,

I took a look at buying Stevia in the store awhile back. I am also a reader of contents labels, so I put it back on the shelf really fast. The first ingredient listed: dextrose. That may not shock you until you remember that the FDA requires ingredients to be listed in order from most to least. More dextrose in stevia than stevia. And who remembers from BioChem 327: dextrose is ... two glucoses.

More fun facts about stevia here.

Comment: Re:Terms and Conditions. (Score 1) 296

by Obfuscant (#49563133) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Translation: And force people to pay for stuff they don't want.

Neither ESPN nor Verizon can force you to pay for things you don't want. Verizon can force you to pay the rate they set for the packages they sell, but they can't force you to buy one. And ESPN has even less control over what you buy or don't buy.

Personally, I've *never* (ever) watched any of the ESPN channels and am annoyed at having to pay for them.

Ok. There are channels I never watch, too.

But keep in mind that this is a contract dispute between Verizon and ESPN. Verizon entered this contract with ESPN to be able to sell ESPN content and has made quite a bit of money by doing so. You appear to be on the side of Verizon, who is breaking the contract by not selling ESPN because it has found people who will buy other things but not ESPN. Now keep in mind that if you are a Verizon customer, you have a contract for service with them, too. Would you be as supportive of Verizon if they were breaking the terms of their contract with you? Say, you had a plan with 50Gbps down speeds and they decided you would only get 5?

Comment: Re:danger vs taste (Score 1) 567

by Obfuscant (#49562993) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

So until there is a study that shows that a given substance on the planet falls at the rate of 9.8 m/s^2 the logic would be faulty to say that a given substance falls at that speed?

Were the effects of gravity based on what the substance was, yes, it would be fallacious to claim that any specific substance felt a specific gravitational effect until it had been tested. Human metabolism depends heavily on the substances subject to it, and therefore testing a specific substance before claiming as a fact that it reacts a certain way is required.

As for this "before ingestion" reaction to aspartame, what, the body releases insulin by just looking at a diet drink? I don't think so. Once it hits the bloodstream, metabolism deals with it.

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