donuts.
Creative Commons License photo credit: yumyumbubblegum

This is a guest post by David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison. A book in which David documents his personal journey from ignorant obesity to a well researched normal weight guy. Check out his highly informative blog at Raisin Hell.


Stephen has asked me to drop by Balanced Existence (BE) every now and then with a guest post. And I was very happy to agree. I guess the best place to start is with a short introduction. My book, Sweet Poison, is all about the science of exactly how bad sugar is for us.

In the book I documented my personal journey from ignorant fat guy to well researched normal (well normal weight anyway) guy. I’m not a biochemist or a doctor. In fact I have no medical training at all. I was just a heavily overweight lawyer with a desperate need to know why I could never lose weight no matter how hard I tried.

I had to train myself to read medical journals. I had to train myself to sort the wheat from the chaff. And I had to train myself to understand what they all said. The only training I had before I started was the kind that they give lawyers to help them build a case. I used that training to gather the evidence for and against the theory that sugar was the cause of many (if not most) of the chronic diseases we now face (including my obesity).

I took notes so I could remember how it all worked and those notes turned into a book for people who wanted to know why sugar was killing them. Sweet Poison was also a case study (of one). It not only documented what the science said, but it told the story of how I implemented that in my life.

Sugar makes you fat. There’s no doubt about it. There’s not a single research paper done in the last 15 years which would dispute that basic point. And there are over 3,000 that will confirm it. But for reasons which I explore in Sweet Poison and take further on my blog Raisin Hell you will struggle to find the single bright-line rule that matters most written anywhere. “Don’t eat sugar” should be printed in bold type in every nutrition guideline, but it’s not. Instead the message is the tired and pathetic “everything in moderation”.

I’ll keep dropping by Balanced Existence (BE) to share the latest research on sugar, but here’s a few facts to whet your appetite:

  • Sugar was once such a rare resource that nature decided we didn’t need an off-switch – in other words, we can keep eating sugar without feeling full.
  • In the space of 150 years, we have gone from eating no added sugar to more than a kilogram a week.
  • You would need to run 7km every day of your life just to not put on weight as a result of eating that much sugar.
  • Two decades ago 1 in 14 adult Australians were obese; that figure is now 1 in 5.
  • The ‘natural’ sugar in one glass of unsweetened fruit juice per day for a year is enough to add just over 2.5kg your waistline.
  • The more sugar we eat, the more we want. Food manufacturers exploit our sugar addiction by lacing it through ‘non-sweet’ products, such as bread, sauces, soups and cereals.


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