Old ad: Drink sugary drinks before meals to lose weight!

A group called "Sugar Information" ran ads in the late 60s and early 70s promoting soft drinks as a way to fill up and suppress your appetite. I suspect that people who followed this advice were disappointed -- the sugar crash from soft drinks is pretty widely believed to make you hungry, not full.

O RLY? I wonder if butter works like this too.


  1. Actually, for me the sugar crash from HFCS causes me to be hungry.  If I drink something with actual sugar in it instead, the crash either doesn’t happen or is much more mild.  I’ve totally cut HFCS from my diet now (as much as reasonably possible) and I find it much easier to just wait until meal time rather than snack all day since doing so, even if I’m drinking soda with real sugar or kool-aid with real sugar.

          1. There is nothing in the article you link to (written by a blogger, not a scientist) that contradicts the findings of the Princeton study. And the only people who seem to really have any objections to the Princeton study are the Corn Refiners Association.

        1. Thanks — just scanned this, but I’m looking forward to it. I avoid both sucrose and HFCS.

        2. Yes, the difference is that manufacturers use way more HFCS in their products than they do sugar, because it’s cheaper. That’s about it. Our bodies react the same way – immediately convert to glucose then insulin shuttles said glucose to our fat cells. And we wonder why America is morbidly obese.

      1. I disagree.  Sucrose isn’t a simple mixture of fructose and glucose, it’s a disaccharide that has to be hydrolyzed to break down into fructose and glucose.

  2. One of my cardinal rules on food is, first food, then junk.  Soda should be part of the dessert course. 

    1. However, sucrose isn’t such a great way of restoring your blood glucose levels, if that’s your goal, being as it’s 50% fructose. Taking all that fructose to control your appetite kind of defeats the point. You’d probably be better off with a complex carbohydrate snack, or at least a mixture of the two (since the sucrose certainly will metabolize faster).

    2. Unfortunately, sugar is half glucose and half fructose, and there is a lot of evedence that frutose is really bad for you. Mainly because of the way it’s metabolized in the liver. It also short circuits your body’s natural appetite controls, which is why table sugar is probably as bad for you as HFCS. There is a lot of evidence that links fructose to heart disease and all kinds of health problems–and many doctors are starting to believe that it’s even more unhealthy than fat. There was a really good NYT magazine article explaining all this a few months ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all

  3. Butter being 80% fat, it actually does have a very long lasting impact on satiety, has much higher energy density, does not provoke an energetic crash, nor an insulin response. If it’s from grass fed cows, it contains a lot of carotenoids and omega 3 fats. If it’s cultured, is rich in probiotics. Butter is a superior food. Sugar is not food. Butter kicks pretty much all forms of carbohydrates in the ass when it comes to nutritional value, as do most fats (those that are from animal provenance, or from minimally processed vegetable sources like extra virgin coconut or olive oil, NOT canola, corn, soy, cotton seed which are poisons.) The human body’s “factory settings” are to run on fat for fuel, not sugars. The shift to sugar based metabolism was one made for economic purposes (carbs are cheap fuel for the peasants made to wage their masters’ wars and work their fields) not nutritional ones, and is responsible for just about all modern diseases.

    1. “Sugar is not food. Butter kicks pretty much all forms of carbohydrates in the ass when it comes to nutritional value…”
      You’re just being silly now.

          1. Yup. You got it babe. Homer Simpson was on to something when he famously said: “Butter your bacon, boy.”

    2. I’m all for a more natural diet, but I’m going to call [citation needed] on several of your claims. You went from “smart nutrition tips” to “transparently pushing an agenda” around the time the word ‘poison’ came out.

      1. Which claims? Please be specific. As far as the “poisons” qualification, there’s plenty of evidence to support that the oils I mentioned are just that. You can look it up yourself, I’m not going to subsidize your laziness.

        1. It’s normally common courtesy to support your own position with facts and references instead of making the other person fact-check you. 

  4. We have the same ads now, just for milk.

    Given that it’s a liquid designed to turn calfs into cows (I’m talking about commercial cows milk of course here, not breastfeeding), I always find it amusing that it’s treated like an essential health-food for humans.

    It’s fatty water; and unless you have a pretty poor diet anyway won’t be adding much into the mix.

    1. Drinking through a straw can actually reduce your chances of tooth decay.  Of course that model appears unfamiliar with proper usage.

      1. Only if you don’t swirl the drink around in your mouth after sipping from the straw. The better way to reduce chances of tooth decay are not to drink soda in the first place.

  5. Frankly, this might just work with butter. Or any sort of healthy oil like olive oil or coconut oil. Most people don’t eat enough high quality fats, and It’s absolutely worth trying. 

    But with sugar? GTFO.

  6. This photograph has a sort of gritty realism I would not expect in something made to pitch sugary sodas so much as life insurance or union made clothing.

  7. Uncanny that this has a strong connection to a story I just read: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?_r=1&ref=general&src=me&pagewanted=all

    Basically, it talks about decision fatigue (and willpower). The idea is that decisions take energy, and after time, you develop fatigue in making those decisions or in fighting taking an action. It claims that those reserves are replenished by glucose.

    The connection to this story is that, perhaps, by getting a good dose of glucose, you will then replenish your psychological energy store enough to make your ‘willpower’ much more successful in resisting other temptations.

  8. “only 18 calories per teaspoon, and it’s all energy”

    As opposed to those non-energy calories you get in other foods?

  9. The add is actually correct.  Eating a proper meal after the sugary drink will provide the real energy food that your body needs so the drink won’t trigger the infamous “sugar crash”. 

    I remember reading about university studies over 30 years ago that showed when people had small, sweet snacks 10-30 minutes prior to mealtimes the majority tended to eat more healthier foods and less sweets.  Leading to better nutrition and a tendency towards weight loss for those otherwise overweight.

  10. The saddest part is the “Sugar Information, Inc.” is still alive and kicking. The name is different but their mission remains the same: “The Sugar Association continues with its mission of educating health professionals, media, government officials and the public about sugar’s goodness.”


  11. I just spent an entire day consuming nothing but HFCS, glucose, powdered electrolytes and water. Say what you want, but it’s the only way I could have cycled 100 miles, climbed 5000′, and survived. I have  the readout from a continuous blood glucose monitor to prove it. Anybody that’s too good for HFCS is too good for me. I occasionally live that photo.

    1. I’m sorry you’re insulin resistant. I probably could have done the same physical activity in a fasted state, since I live a Paleo lifestyle (although I wouldn’t have attempted that type of chronic cardio. A lion would not chase me for 100 miles, up 5000′). My body produces it’s own glucose when I don’t eat fruit or vegetables, through a process called gluconeogenesis. 

  12. As others have said, this ad may have been well ahead of the curve. The ridiculously-interesting article in the NYT this weekend (linked by Mantari Damacy) is all about how will power gets depleted over the course of a day. The were a host of extremely cool studies, but one of them was showing that will power increases once the brain is re-supplied with glucose.

    So indeed, eating a spoonful of sugar a half hour before a meal might lead you to have the willpower to stick to your diet during the meal.

  13. the principle is entirely correct: that consuming fast-release sugars will make you feel fuller. And this could lead to you eating less.

    But the problem is that it’s quite a complex relationship which might not be wholly obvious to everybody seeing the advert. This potential benefit is far outweighed by all the health implications of consuming high sugar soft drinks… The advert is not a little disingenuous!

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