This week, I only have a couple articles for you because I have a lot to say about both of them. So, let’s get started.
NYTimes.com: Artificial Sweeteners May Disrupt Body’s Blood Sugar Controls
Well, shit. This is what certain people have been telling me for a long, long time: Diet Coke is the devil. I’m still trying to kick this habit (again), and I probably won’t ever give it up forever. I’ll always want one now and then. But by and large, it really is time to recognize the damage artificial sweeteners seem to do to our bodies. I will admit that I do feel hungrier on days that I’ve had Diet Coke … that desire for an afternoon snack is much, much more pronounced. But this study that shows that mice that consumed artifical sweeteners “developed marked intolerance to glucose,” that actually scares me. And then there’s the study they did on humans: “For 381 nondiabetic participants in the study, the researchers found a correlation between the reported use of any kind of artificial sweeteners and signs of glucose intolerance.” The danger with glucose intolerance is that it, as the article states, “may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, causing metabolic changes that can be a precursor to diabetes.”Wow. Well, there’s the only reason you need to stay away from artificial sweeteners! To find out that consuming artificial sweeteners — which are/were supposed to be better for us than real sugar —contributes to something that can cause diabetes is aggravating because I’m sure we all thought we were doing something better for ourselves than drinking real Coke. But this is definitely an eye-opener.
WashingtonPost.com: Women’s greatest threat isn’t misogyny, it’s counting calories
I’m not sure how I missed this article, which was published a couple of weeks ago, but I’m sure glad I found it. The author’s story of how she battled her own eating disorder is really touching, and her point that women spend more time thinking about how they look as opposed to, say, saving the world, is startingly accurate, in my opinion. I myself spend too much time thinking about my weight, calories, exercise, etc., when I could be working on my career or doing something good for others. But forget my trivial brain, Vanessa Garcia makes a much more compelling and important argument that not only are we spending too much brain power on counting calories, we’re actually losing women to this plight. As Garcia states in the article:
In a 2008 survey by SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 75 percent of women reported disordered eating patterns, 37 percent regularly skipped meals to lose weight, and 26 percent cut out entire food groups.
It saddens me that we would feel so strongly, or that society has made us feel this strongly, about our own appearance that we’ve developed these unhealthy attitudes about food and our bodies, so much so that it’s holding us back in our lives. As Garcia points out:
We can’t close gender gaps when we spend endless hours counting calories instead of cracking glass ceilings.
What did you think about these articles? Anything interesting that you read this week?