All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Elementary Science of Junk Food

Generally speaking I have little interest in discussing food, but the new bevy of sin taxes on so-called junk food and soda caught my attention because the argument is being made that this will encourage people to make healthier eating choices which will supposedly help people lead healthier lives. This is simply not true. In other words it’s a lie and all that is required is a little refresher course in elementary school biology to illustrate the point. You would not think that most American would need such a refresher, but the simple fact is that we have forgotten and now ignore the most basic scientific facts to suit our own political points of view. There are those that believe that “junk” food and “processed” food is what makes people fat. This is not true. It is simply the amount of food that makes you fat or not fat. The basic biology of food consumption is that whatever you eat is transformed into starches, sugars, and proteins. If it cannot be transformed into one of those things it is excreted and with some small exceptions stored in your cells. If a person is overweight it simply means they eat too much. If they are too thin they don’t eat enough. Your body does not distinguish whether or not food is “healthy” or “junk.” It either digests food or it doesn’t. I don’t expect this little piece of writing will change anybody’s mind, but it is useful to know the truth about food.