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To be astonished at the stupidity of the Smart Swap campaign?

(235 Posts)
Farrowandbawlbauls Thu 02-Jan-14 15:21:38

Yes, we all need to eat better and move about more but I've just seen the advert for swapping sugar loaded fizzy drinks for sugar free ones.

Am I alone in thinking it's one of the most ill thought of things they've come up with yet?

The sweetners in sugar free drinks are dangerous. The sugar free stuff usually advertised is most of the time, worse than the full fat stuff.


I can see why they are doing this as it is a huge problem in this country, but I don't thing they've thought this through at all.

missymarmite Sat 18-Jan-14 13:39:58

Depends. If someone has health issues with sugar, are obese or diabetic, then it makes sense to avoid sugary drinks.

There is some anacdotal stories of people having awful reactions to sweeteners, but most scientific studies have shown that normal consumption of sweeteners has no demonstrable affect on the average person.

Personally as an overweight person myself, who doesn't actually drink masses of processed, sugary, sweetened or fizzy drinks anyhow, I feel the sugar is a much more immediate concern for me personally than a hypothetical reaction to sweeteners.

Solo Sat 18-Jan-14 11:14:36

They anger me too. I don't watch much TV, but I'm sure I saw (through the red mist) the ad showing encouragement to swap to sugar free alternatives.
My 7yo drinks water and tea mostly and occasionally full sugar cordial.

Farrowandbawl Sat 18-Jan-14 10:09:54

I wish I could add more to my thread but you've all pretty much said everything that has to be said.

I think there is something very sinister in it, especially when you take into account who's funding it, it's ill thought out, sends the wrong message and is inaccurate at best.

The adverts STILL give the rage every time I hear or see them.

formerbabe Sat 18-Jan-14 09:03:38

Dreadful IMO. We drink full fat milk in our house and I will not be changing that. Full fat milk is 4% fat I think, so technically a low fat product! Proper butter is preferable to spread IMO, as it is at least a more natural product.

My children only drink full fat milk and juices. I would much rather they drink proper juice than sugar free squash.

I personally feel campaigns like these are aimed at people who live on takeaways and fizzy drinks and who are from lower socio economic groups.

drivingmisspotty Sat 18-Jan-14 08:59:44

Everything in moderation, yes, I think that is OP's point really. Swapping butter for marg or coke for diet coke gives the idea you can have it all-no need to moderate your intake as there are these miracle 'diet' options. Unfortunately if it seems too good to be true, it probablyis. As previous posters have said, 'low fat' foods are often pumped full of sugar to compensate for lack of flavour and sugar is more dangerous than fat as spikes and crashes actually make us more hungry and more likely to snack on rubbish. And our bodies aren't really fooled by sweeteners. They know when they are being fobbed off and will seek sugar elsewhere.

But I do agree aspartame is not the devil, just a bit pointless in a balanced diet.

ShadowOfTheDay Sat 18-Jan-14 08:49:43

I agree - but those drugs are also "chemicals" we are stuffing ourselves with... and often contain the dreaded Aspartame too...

sometimes there is a bit too much hysteria... everything in moderation....

StealthPolarBear Sat 18-Jan-14 08:42:24

We're living longer because of medical improvements in drugs and procedures, because smoking rates have fallen, because deaths from industry have lessened. While our diets might leave a lot to be desired, fewer people are malnourished, and that has a knock on effect as a pregnant woman's health has a huge effect on the baby's health.
If you're considering life expectancy from birth then you also have to take into account the fall in infant mortality.

ShadowOfTheDay Sat 18-Jan-14 08:30:33

are we all living longer because we eat more crap or despite eating more crap?

Sunshine, fresh air, no snacks and half of every meal veg/fruit based is the way we go here... food as fuel not instant gratification...

StealthPolarBear Sat 18-Jan-14 08:13:47

true, and actually the link in the OP shows a can with "sugar free" written on it.
It may be that they've taken on this sort of feedback and started to change their ads?

HoratiaDrelincourt Sat 18-Jan-14 08:10:32

Well that's obviously better but many people will hear "sugar free" and go to the fizzy pop aisle.

StealthPolarBear Sat 18-Jan-14 07:59:05

Don't know if anyone has mentioned this but the ad I've just heard on the radio suggests swapping sugary drinks for sugar-free alternatives such as milk or water.
Now I know you'll argue milk is not sugar free, but it does not have added sugar and is a million times better than coke.

JohnnyBarthes Tue 14-Jan-14 23:13:54

Sugar is expensive in comparison to artificial sweeteners, that's all there is to it.

It wouldn't surprise me remotely if the outfits producing sugar and sweeteners aren't owned by the same corporations.

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 14-Jan-14 22:10:42

Coca Cola is far bigger than Tate & Lyle

coco44 Tue 14-Jan-14 21:23:28

I would have thought the sugar companies had more clout than such as Nutrisweet.

flatpackhamster Tue 14-Jan-14 13:23:52


Recent news story on aspartame.

European Food Safety Authority. Trouble is, you can give any number of links showing this but the "oh no the big business are paying off the regulatory bodies" argument just gets trotted out again.

I would be interested to see some studies that show the danger, rather than just anecdotal evidence.

I agree with you that it isn't dangerous. The people who claim it is dangerous can be found on websites all over the place, also claiming that a UFO landed in their back yard or that the government secretly sprays chemtrails or that we're all microchipped or some old flannel like that.

Apparently governments - who we all know are crap and incompetent and incapable of doing anything without messing it up - are also simultaneously amazingly clever at hiding things that only a handful of internet warriors can find out about.

Saying that aspartame isn't good for you isn't the same as saying it's dangerous.

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 14-Jan-14 07:19:47

sorry clicky link

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 14-Jan-14 07:19:34

Recent news story on aspartame.

European Food Safety Authority. Trouble is, you can give any number of links showing this but the "oh no the big business are paying off the regulatory bodies" argument just gets trotted out again.

I would be interested to see some studies that show the danger, rather than just anecdotal evidence.

CouthyMow Tue 14-Jan-14 01:33:17

So glad I'm not the only one who has to grit their teeth and explain yo their DC's that these adverts are a rather blunt instrument when it comes to teaching about Healthy eating. My DC's know about the neurotoxicity effects of artificial sweeteners, and we work on the adage that "A LITTLE bit of what you fancy is good for you" (in moderation).

We use butter in our cooking (or Stork when cooking for DS3). We use semi-skimmed milk for most things.

I'd far rather they had one sugary drink every now and again, brushed their teeth well, and ran around a bit to burn it off than fill themselves full of sweeteners that affect the central nervous system, especially DS1, as he has epilepsy like me.

I'm actually VERY intolerant to sweeteners, particularly aspartame and saccharine, the tiniest mouthful of food containing them, or sip of drink with them in, and I get a blinding headache and am vomiting, and I come up in hives!

Solo Tue 14-Jan-14 00:16:54

Don't believe everything you read.
So many big companies are in bed with the Governments of the world and money talks loudly...I certainly won't change my stance on it, will always make a point of not buying foodstuffs containing it and I will not be allowing my children to consume it.

coco44 Mon 13-Jan-14 23:53:39

the FSA and the American equivalent FDA

Solo Mon 13-Jan-14 23:51:34

Your evidence of this coco?

coco44 Mon 13-Jan-14 21:05:15

what do people imagine is the danger of aspartame?
It is one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives ever and its safety has been shown to be clear cut

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 10-Jan-14 13:36:47


happytalk13 Sun 05-Jan-14 14:46:45

Indeed, Farrow. I feel that it is entirely wrong to allow a Government initiative on public health be sponsored by companies that will have a vested interest in the information being handed out to the masses. But, that's how things go.

Solo Sun 05-Jan-14 13:21:22

Tw1nkle I agree! 100%

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