Today, I am in a restaurant on South Street for a business meeting. It is called Miles Table. There are 13 people eating at this restaurant, plus myself. Out of these 13 people, only one of them would be considered fat. A young man in his late 20’s. The reason that this caught my eye is that he ordered a Diet Coke in a can. One fat person in the entire restaurant is drinking a soda labelled, DIET. Every other person is drinking water or coffee.
As you may know already, soda makes you fat. Both from drinking diet soda, iced teas, and their non-diet versions. Now, not all people that are fat drink soda, and not all soda drinkers are fat. But for me, every person in my life that is overweight or morbidly obese is drinking soda or sweet beverages labelled DIET. Even my mother, overweight, drinks two diets of Snapple every day. The most overweight people that I know drink DIET sodas.
Drinking Diet Soda Will Still Make You Fat
There is something inside of us pulling every one of us towards sugary drinks. Why is it that when people know that the drinks are bad they feel better if it is labeled, DIET? We know that the body responds the same to processed sugars, that come from nature, which is done for artificial sweeteners made from chemicals.
This blog post could run down the effect of sugar but I am more interested in the labeling. Clearly, chemical sweeteners are making my friends and family fat but why are they falling for the DIET label? It has occurred to me that they don’t really want Diet Coke. They want the Classic Coke. They are just denying themselves the natural yet highly processed sugar drink. Does anybody like Diet Coke better than Classic Coke? Nobody. They are accepting of their weakness for soda or sugary iced tea and making the choice to not enjoy their beverages in order to drink more of them.
This is a quantity-over-quality argument. An argument like, “How much sorbet can I eat until it is as bad for me as a scoop of ice cream?” Well, look at our bellies, America. The same amount will make us fat. What occurs to me is that all the unhealthy people are not saving up those bad calories for the good ones. I wish that I could reach these people and offer them one delicious dessert of their choice made from natural sugars (see list of low-sugar fruits here) if they spent an entire week without a sugary drink.
Customers can see that this is true. They accept their addiction. Like my mother and some of my closest friends. The cause of this failure to see a problem with drinking diet soda is the effect of good marketing. I used to work in this field of food advertising and now find myself building products based on organic foods.
Oh great, another two attractive and thin men just walked in. They ordered Water. Proving my point.