What a great scaremongering article “The Case against Sugar” is (C&EN, Aug. 4, page 11). Let’s be a touch more logical.
So sugar has been bad for generations of people. Nevertheless, removing calories by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in soft drinks seems not to have made a difference. Doesn’t that point at the fattening effect coming from another soft-drink ingredient, such as phosphoric acid?
Just do two Google searches—“phosphate water holding capacity meat” and “phosphate hog fattening”—for a hint at the effective mechanism. First, the tissues swell a little with every phosphate-containing soft drink consumed, then the body fills the new interstitial spaces with fat cells. An obvious study would be a long-term comparison of weight gain after consuming soft drinks with only phosphate (colas) or only citrate (such as Sprite).
The closest I have found is a study of bone density that probably explains why hog fattening benefits from feeding calcium phosphate.
Wolfgang H. H. GuntherI am probably too skeptical about Mr. Gunther's theory, but perhaps he has not had enough space to fully explain it. Nevertheless, always a fun one to see in C&EN.
West Chester, Pa.