Swallowing Hype

By Dean L. Jones

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors for the 2015 NBA championship, and LeBron James looked broken hearted to his team’s defeat.  Ironically, his expression reminded me of how you sometimes look when your blood sugar crashes from consuming too much of a sugary-filled soda.  Quite coincidental since Mr. James and other prominent celebrities apply their respective name and face to endorse a variety of junk food and drink products.

One example is found in the latest ads developed for Coca-Cola’s Sprite soda and its ‘Obey Your Verse’ campaign that attempts to entice rap music fans by placing song lyrics on specialty cans.  This summer’s soda sales season offer consumers of the drink to read the lyrics to their favorite songs while swallowing Sprite’s product hype.  The celebrities include present and past famous rap artists Drake, Nas, Rakim and Notorious BIG.

Mockingly, the term soft drink is anything but soft, as sugary sodas increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.  For those who consume 1 to 2 sugary drinks a day or more run a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.

Even swallowing one can of a sugary beverage per day raises a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than not or rarely consuming sugary drinks.  Women who consume a can a day of sugary drink stand a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely swallow such drinks.

Food and beverage brand endorsements are obviously beneficial to personal cash flow, where LeBron James is not alone in the big star names being joined by Peyton Manning and Serena Williams who help sell the hype for Papa John’s and McDonald’s, respectively.  Peyton Manning endorses questionably unhealthy products from Gatorade, Wheaties, Nabisco and Pepsi.  Likewise, the great Serena Williams lends her face and name to Oreo, Gatorade, and Nabisco 100-Calorie Snack Pack campaigns.

One bit of information you will undoubtedly never get from these campaigns are how as soon as soda is swallowed, the pancreas is notified and rapidly begins to create insulin in response to the excessive processed sugar.  Insulin is a hormone the body uses to move sugar from food or drink into the bloodstream, where cells are then able to use sugar for energy.

Within 20-minutes of swallowing a single 20-ounce glass of soda, blood sugar levels spike and the liver responds to the insulin by turning sugar into fat for storage, and in 45-minutes caffeine from the drink is fully absorbed, causing eye pupils to dilate and the blood pressure to rise.  Over the next 15-minutes the body begins to experience a blood sugar crash.

Accordingly, do not fall victim to swallowing the celebrity endorsed sugary hype.  Continually strive to consistently live SugarAlert!

Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.