Relatively Healthy

By Dean L. Jones

Now and then people describe how they are doing by saying they are relatively healthy.  The general gist is that they are not in line for surgery or have a grave ailment.  Even though they may be taking high blood pressure medication, bordering diabetes, or nearing the obese mark with their weight, they consider themselves as relatively healthy.

I imagine that if a person compares themselves as not being dreadfully sick, then health is relative.  It seems so simple to say stop consuming so much processed foodstuff to eliminate the need to compare a worst case scenario in order to feel good about a current health condition.  Take drinking sodas for example, where its consumption has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, as well as to rising rates of obesity.  It would seem appropriate to see if a person’s relative health shifts into a much better health situation upon elimination.

It is not appropriate to believe diet sodas are a way out, as numerous reports show diet soda intake is directly related to abdominal obesity in adults.  I encourage everyone to seek out their own information because it is a vast array of reports on proper eating and it is difficult to know who is really reporting truth.

Recently, Coca-Cola teamed with nutrition experts who ended up suggesting that Coca-Cola be considered as a snack treat.  Using social media, these nutritional experts wrote online posts for American Heart Month, with each including a mini-can of Coke or soda as a snack idea.  Coca-Cola is not alone in this marketing trickery, where nutrition blogs and other sites including those of major newspapers share in joint venture to cast their respective products in a positive light.

Kellogg and General Mills offer continuing education classes for dietitians, funding studies that elevate the nutritional images of their sugary foodstuff products.  Essentially, big business operates to expose their products enough to make potential consumers think that when they decide to make a decision about something relatively close to their product in that they will be at the head of line of choice.

The bottom line is that we will all stay relatively healthy as long as we continue to consume things that are relatively healthy, where there is no debate that sugary sodas are not healthy snacks.   A Coca-Cola mini-can is 7.5 ounces and has 90 calories, all of it from high-fructose corn syrup.  It is of course nice to drink less if you are attempting to quit, but stopping altogether is best, particularly if relative health is not good enough.

A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39-grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of processed sugar.  This is mainly from high fructose corn syrup, which is the second ingredient in Coca-Cola, behind carbonated water, so live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.