What Went Wrong With… The Sugar Tax & Artificial Sweeteners In Soft Drinks

A parody of a police lineup with soft drink bottles by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

Not content with removing the salt from our food, the nanny state have recently been in a sugar-removal frenzy. Thanks partly to Jamie Oliver‘s suggestion of a “sugar tax” back in 2015, this daft proposal, like most of Oliver’s ideas will soon come into fruition (his cunty-crusading sugar tax will be implemented in April this year). This in of itself is to be expected, after all, every year the money-grabbing government raise the tax on alcoholic products so a similar sugar tax was only a matter of time. Unlike alcohol however, instead of people deciding for themselves whether to consume sugary foodstuffs such as soft drinks and therefore paying a levy, drink-makers have elected to remove the sugar and replace it with artificial sweeteners thus bypassing the sugar tax altogether.

Strangely, soft drinks such as Tango, Fanta, and Sprite changed their ingredients a while back. Way before the sugar tax was even suggested, they began adding artificial sweeteners and personally, I stopped consuming them because there is no viable replacement for natural sugar. Once you start to add sham sweeteners, the drink begins to taste as revolting as its ingredients.

Brands such as Lucozade and 7Up recently changed their ingredients directly because of the upcoming sugar tax, and Irn Bru plans on following in their footsteps. It’s only Coca Cola and Pepsi that haven’t changed, at least for now. News stories about panic-buying Irn Bru before the change and consumers tweeting their dismay over the new taste of Lucozade only goes to show that people who aren’t easily-led can tell the difference when ingredients are changed. All this is reminiscent of the High-Fructose Corn Syrup debacle in the United States, where you have to wait for Passover or cross the border into Mexico to get soft drinks with real cane sugar!

Why we use extremes to dictate policy I’ll never know. Just because some numpty who drinks umpteen cans of Coke a day has rotten teeth or some shut-in who has to wash their arse with a rag on a stick because of junk-food, do these instances of overindulgence mean that everybody else has to be penalised? Well, according to our celeb-chef-sucking government, yes it does.

Normal folk like you and I, look at something that has a large amount of say, salt or sugar, note that it also tastes good, and decide to have it occasionally, you know, as a treat. Pricks on the other hand, like the taste of something, can plainly see the high level of salt and sugar it contains, but proceed to consume masses amounts of it without any regard for their health. In no time, they begin to see the health effects of their overconsumption, but that’s the reason for the effects; over-consumption.

Let’s not forget here, that natural cane or natural beet sugar is perfectly fine to eat, artificial sweeteners on the other hand (which have more in common with poison than sugar) are not. Just like periodic news stories about the dangers of salt and fat, we later realise that every single food group is okay in moderation. And surely that’s the key; moder-frigging-ation. If you eat 20 eggs in one sitting or 20 bananas in one go, you’ll feel a bit off. Does that mean we replace eggs and bananas with counterfeit versions so idiot consumers don’t overdose on natural food? Hell no! So why do this with sugar?

In a normal society we allow people to make decisions of what to consume, in what quantity, and when, but it seems that in our twisted contemporary society we let politicians, celebrities, and so-called experts force-feed us garbage on the pretence that it will make us healthy. In truth however, it’s all to do with profit, public perception, and possibly even population control. Take away natural foods and slowly move us toward artificial crap and it may “thin the heard” as it were, and I’m certain that this concept isn’t lost with the powers that be.

Artificial sweeteners include, but are not limited to; Aspartame, Acesulfame K, Saccharin, Sucralose, Steviol Glycosides, Sorbitol, and Xylitol. Just hearing these names makes me want to gip, it’s like GCSE Chemistry all over again. Go online and you’ll see that some of these sweeteners are linked with horrid side effects such as diarrhoea, headaches, depression, dizziness, various gastrointestinal problems, ironically weight gain, and even cancer. But forget all that, Jamie Oliver said we should pay a tax on sugar and so now we all need to consume chemical-crap so that the corporations can stay profitable.

Aside from the f’d-up side-effects, is it just me or does every single artificial sweetener have some sort of foul after-taste? If the manufacturer’s only concern is “sweetness” rather than an appealing taste, they may as well add cyanide to their soft drinks, because, you know, it’s pretty sweet-tasting.

So what would you prefer; ingredients you recognise or some crap you have to Google or go down into the “side effects” tab of WebMD to check out? I’d rather visit the dentist than make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, neurologist, or oncologist.

To be fair to Oliver, when he suggested a sugar tax, having less sugar didn’t mean adding “poisons” to our drinks but that’s how a reactionary government and capitalism works. The worst and cheapest solution to a problem is implemented and health, well-being, common sense, and rational thinking goes out of the window.

Not thinking anybody would notice, some of these manufacturers have slyly added their sugar replacements. Without any fanfare at all, 7Up clandestinely added stevia to its drink. Read 7Up’s current list of ingredients and it all looks fine until you get to the end: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Acids (Citric Acid, Malic Acid), Natural Lemon and Lime Flavouring, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Sweetener (Steviol Glycosides). That explains the new unappealing taste I guess.

And take a gander at Lucozade’s Frankenstein-esque ingredients: Carbonated Water, Glucose Syrup (13%), Acids (Citric Acid, Lactic Acid), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Caffeine, Sweeteners (Acesulfame-K, Aspartame), Antioxidant (Ascorbic Acid), Colours (Sunset Yellow, Ponceau 4R), Flavourings. It sounds as bad as it now tastes.

I read somewhere that Lucozade’s “taste testers” or “samplers” or whatever they want to call them, couldn’t tell the difference and some even preferred the new taste. Sure, that’s believable. Who did they use – tongue amputees?

And what’s the point in still selling the diet equivalent now that they all contain artificial sweeteners? If the “regular” and “diet” both contain shit-sugars, what’s the pissing point in having both? What’s a few calories between enemies?

Some people’s defence of this new tax and subsequent ingredient overhaul is that soft drinks are unhealthy and something must be done! But that’s a falsity. Judging all soft drinks by the worst is the reason we’re in this mess, I mean San Pellegrino Sparkling Limonata contains: Water, Lemon Juice from Concentrate (16%), Sugar, Carbon Dioxide, Natural Lemon Flavouring. That’s it! And it tastes great, like a soft drink supposed to, you know, refreshing and sweet with no forged sugar anywhere.

Of course San Pellegrino is described as “The perfect premium sparkling fruit drink for casual dining”. “Premium” drinks from now on, will mean just that, natural ingredients will cost extra. If you can’t afford to drink premium, natural ingredients, you’ll have to drink something that’s engineered in a fucking lab.

Update: Unfortunately, since writing this article, San Pellegrino have decided to add stevia to their drinks.

On a side note, it’s nice to see that alcohol, which receives a similar duty because of so-called health issues, is allowed to keep its original ingredients but soft drinks which are far less detrimental to your health are having their ingredients fiddled with on the assumption that consumers would prefer ghastly sugar-replacements over paying a small fee to consume real sugar. Every time the Chancellor Of The Exchequer whips out his red suitcase and alcohol prices go up, it’s left up to the consumer to choose whether they’ll continue to buy drinks which are more expensive, there’s never a reduction of alcohol in the drink itself. In addition, if we use the tax on alcohol as a model, can’t we see that there’s been no real change to the alcoholism rate, therefore why would a similar tax on sugar positively effect obesity?

Introducing more unnatural crap into our diet will most likely have a knock-on or snowball effect on people’s health and the NHS in a decade or so will have to foot the bill for some new, unforeseen epidemic. Instead of rotting teeth it’ll be stomach problems or tumours or some other shite. But by then it’ll be too late, we’ll have a nation of depressed, cancerous zombies who kept drinking these cunt-cocktails despite their tastebuds warning them of the contents. And when we have a nation of morose, headache sufferers what will be the solution? To bring the “classic” recipe back at some increased price. Give it a few decades and the people will be rejoicing; the government is helping us, they brought back natural cane sugar, whoopee! This will be another example of a “problem, reaction, solution product”, unneeded goods to distract the public whilst increasing corporations’ profits.

Surely the solution to over-eating sugar is to leave everything as it is and let all the tits with black teeth and Michelin-Man fat deposits deal with their own consequences of over-eating and over-drinking. Changing our eating habits because of a few gluttons is madness. What’s next, making everybody wear chastity belts because a few dicks can’t pull out? Or better yet, put a tax on sex. I bet some do-gooder is working on that right now, they won’t stop until they take away all the remaining pleasures from life, all because someone’s having too much of a good thing.

Attax On Your Health.

17 replies »

  1. Why are you hating on fat people in this article ? Big Pun was extremely fat and one of the greatest rappers of all time . Ill Bill currently weighs 337 lb. . Battle rapper Shotgun Suge weighs 385 .

    I have a lot of experience in drinking sodas , sports drinks and iced teas . Sure it’s taken a big toll on my teeth . My dentition is short , stubby and permanently stained . I have to wear a mouth guard at night to prevent my teeth from getting any more flattened .

    Why increase the stigma towards fat people by typifying them as having to wash themselves with a rag on a stick . Fat people face enough bigotry already . Heavyweight mixed martial artist Mark Hunt is fat . Yet he is one of the top fighters in the UFC . Symone Sanders is fat yet she is one of the brightest minds in American politics .

    • Firstly, like most of my articles, it’s comedy (the “rag on a stick” was a Simpsons reference).

      Secondly, why is it that people instantly say it’s bigotry toward overweight people but ignore so-called bigotry when the target is “skinny” people. You didn’t have an issue with my “scrawny, flat-arsed, flat-chested” comment against Azealia Banks or “wizened, wrinkly” comments against Howard Stern for example, so why take offence now? A commenter once said I was “fat shaming” Lena Dunham so I had to point out that an attractive plus-size woman and a slightly overweight, annoying, overrated, talentless hack are two different things.

      A sumo wrestler who intentionally gains weight and likes it is not the same as someone who has to be cut out of their house. In fact grouping these two people together is offensive. Big Punisher for example incorporated his weight into his stage name, he was proud about it so he’s not the same either. If I was to get mad at Big Pun it would be for being a wife beater rather than being overweight.

      When it comes to the moronic legislation against sugar, there’s three types of people: people who know what too much sugar will do to them so consume less, people who know what too much sugar will do to them but don’t care, and people who are oblivious to the effects of sugar and who complain when they gain weight and have rotting teeth. It’s this last group that I’m dissing.

      There’s overweight people who like their look, there’s underweight people who like their look, but there’s people on both ends of the spectrum who complain about how society and products have effected their physical appearance. It’s the people who complain about their condition, such as rotting teeth (who incidentally could be any weight) that are the problem, it’s because of them that everybody else has to suffer. People with no self control, which I said were the EXTREMES of society (hence not all overweight people but people who have gone too far and blame others) are the reason we now all have unnatural poisons in our drinks. These people are the same as alcoholics, people who overindulge have an effect on people who want to enjoy alcohol in moderation, if I wrote about that topic, I wouldn’t be “hating on drinkers”.

      Sure, I can get mad at the people who brought in these changes (the government and Jamie Oliver) and I did, regardless of what their collective weights are. But I can also get mad with the people for whom this fucked-up legislation is allegedly meant to help. Like it or not, that’s overweight people and people with bad teeth. Stigma or not, they directly or indirectly asked for this to happen.

  2. When push comes to shove you seem to be politically correct which is another example of Do-Gooders trying to fix a problem with top-down solutions. Government this, affirmative action that. You try to distance yourselves from them with the ” No True Scotsman” fallacy, but it doesn’t work because the Left is dominated by people who were considered fringe a generation ago.

    You either trust people to manage their own affairs or think you need self-appointed experts to tell them how to conduct their lives.

    • You don’t half talk some shite. If you don’t agree with this site why don’t you fuck off to Breitbart instead of pestering me year in and year out?

      I love the way you think the dreaded “Left” are out to take away your freedoms but you fail to acknowledge that it’s also the right who use so-called “top-down solutions”. If the right trust people to manage their own affairs why do right-wing parties have such a problem with drugs for instance? Drug laws are the government telling people what to do. The same applies to prostitution, which let’s face it, it’s the Christian Right that has the most problem with. And what about abortion? Is that not the right telling women how to “manage their own affairs”?

      If you have some kind of wonderful answer to this, such as “It’s the Neocons who do this” or “Christian conservatives are different to other… yada yada”, your amazing “No True Scotsman” fallacy would actually apply to you.

      You ignore the fact that notions such as authority and hierarchy are fundamentally right-wing concepts, otherwise you lot wouldn’t praise the military and police so fucking much would you? And what are the police and army but someone obeying an expert above them with greater status – someone at the “top” telling their inferiors what to think and do?

      If both anarchy and equality are aspects of the left, then being left-wing isn’t as straightforward as you mainstream imbeciles make it out to be. Actually freedom is a tenant of the left, if anybody tells you different, they’re usually a blinkered and ignorant conservative.

      But fuck all that shit, what pray tell does the left-right political spectrum have to do with this pissing article? It’s the Conservative party that are bringing in the sugar tax, you daft tit.

      While gobshites like you are trying to pin people and their opinions to the Nolan Chart, arseholes from the left and right are enacting nonsensical laws. Someone calls that out and a twat like you instead of agreeing with the point of view, begins to argue about the “left and right”?

      There’s a reason I blocked your shitty comments before, all you are is a pissy little agitator and instigator. You’re like a crap blog-based agent provocateur, distracting from the issue with some dumb fucking argument about political stances. Nobody asked you to come here, this article was intended for someone with a sweet tooth, not some moron with a sabre tooth.

  3. I find your articles so funny yet very informative…but it’s the replies I live for. They’re just too hilarious… Moron with a sabre tooth 😂 😂 😂 😂

  4. I think I’ve found out what’s going on you know. The English took over countries like India and imported sugar back to England. They loved it but since Brexit, the government not only want to stop immigration and cut down on the number of black and brown brothas and sistas, they’re also trying to get back to pre-colonial times when this was a country full of angry people who were sat with cups of hot water and tongs wondering what was missing……….

    • ” the government not only want to stop immigration and cut down on the number of black and brown brothas and sistas,”. Are you some kind of extra special dumb? The govt have FAILED to stop immigration and want as many “black and brown brothas and sistas” infesting our once great country in the name of “diversity”.

    • What is a “special dumb”? English doesn’t seem to be your strong point, and neither is recognising humour. Maybe if you listened to your teachers when they were explaining grammar you wouldn’t be offended by a joke under a topic about sugar. Sorry if you had to take your hood off to read this. Happy hating bitches.

  5. I read this again . You call fat people – a person like myself – “Michelin Men” , “gluttons” and “shut-ins” . Isn’t that similar to Bill Maher saying , “In Islamic countries all the women have to wear bee keeper suits … ” . It’s perpetuating a negative stereotype .

    In this video – which has over 100,000 views from my YouTube channel – I cheat dumbbell curl (with wrists turned in supine just like the great Peter Paul of the Barbarian Brothers) a 73 kilogram dumbbell . I did that steroid free (insulin , synthol , growth factor , human growth hormone free , as well) whilst living in poverty . I am still performance enhancing drug free today . Always have been . In the past other lifters have knocked my intake of sodas , juices and iced teas . I know there’s risk from the sugar and acidity and it causes weight gain . But drinking those beverages gives me pleasure . Would it be better for me to start injecting black tar heroin , smoke 10 cigarettes a day or drink as much vodka as Lemmy from Motor Head did in a day ? The steroid users I have talked to are in glass houses themselves . I’m not anti-steroid or anti-PED . They are grown adults and can do what they want with their bodies . I’ve known of obese people who have died of heart attacks . But I’ve also known of bodybuilders , powerlifters and strong man competitors who like the obese met the same tragic fate at around the same young age . I have reformed my ways . On my old YouTube channel (which is no longer up) I would regularly insult steroid users and unduly judge them on a personal level . And they would attack me back equally as vicious . I’m an grown adult now . I have found God and there’s no need to judge other people who lift weights . Hip hop criticism is warranted because it has greater social and economic implications .

    For instance I’ve repeatedly said that Biggie was and is highly overrated . I stand by that . Biggie weighed more than me . He weighed 175 kg. and I weigh 139 kg. . So I don’t always pick up for the fat guy . I am also critical of Action Bronson and Killer Mike . Both of those men weigh more than I do .

    Fat people deal with enough social stigma as it is . Thinner people often think that they’re lazy , low class , weak willed , stupid and ugly . Sounds like a form of bigotry to me . It’s something Milo Yiannopoulos would say . Rest in Paradise to Biggie and Lemmy (I didn’t think that Lemmy’s collecting of Nazi memorabilia was a tasteful thing to do) .

    • Nope, it’s not the same at all because Bill Maher has and never will be Muslim and therefore his opinions and comments are from a bigoted perspective.

      I don’t like to divulge into my personal life but since you’re so affected by my words I’ll let you know some shit. In my life I have ranged from underweight to overweight (and at one point obese) I have gone from a rugby build to looking like a famine victim (no bullshit) and back again. Since I am still technically overweight according to my BMI I have every right to say what I want about the sugar tax and its so-called victims because overweight people are “my people” ✊🏾✊🏾

      Like I said in a previous comment – would I label a sumo wrestler as a shut-in or glutton? No, because the weight gain is their choice. The sugar tax was implemented to “fix” the obesity “crisis” – not for people who intentionally gain weight but for people who have no self control – morons who have inadvertently affected an entire nation. That’s my opinion on this issue as someone who is overweight but who has self-control. That’s not “picking on the fat guy” that’s picking on the fuckers who ruined food and drink across the UK because they are the dictionary definition of gluttons and shut-ins.

      The fact remains that this article is called “What Went Wrong With… The Sugar Tax?” not “What Went Wrong With… Fat People?”. And by the way, depending on where you are in the world being overly skinny is also associated with being poor.

  6. I take your points . But , we both live in first world countries – Great Britain and Canada . So we can only speak from a first world point of view . In the western countries we live in people who are overweight or obese are admonished by greater society . Do you see any men who look like me land “leading man” roles in Hollywood movies ? Or even lead roles in independent drama films ? John Goodman was / is super talented yet was forced to become a character actor . Same with Eric Stonestreet , Jacob Ming-Trent and P.J. Byrne . The fat guy on ” Game Of Thrones” (played by actor John Bradley) – despite being the most likeable character in the entire show – is relagated to playing second fiddle . It’s sad when WWE , UFC , Impact Wrestling and Bellator MMA are the leaders in the international promotion of body posititivy . See Nia Jax , Kevin Owens , Otis Dozovic , Grado , Mark Hunt , Leslie Smith and Roy Nelson .

    Why can’t Hollywood take a cue from that ? So we get untalented representatives like Rebel Wilson and Kevin James . Those who are laughed at , not with . And Jonah Hill was forced to diet so much that it has permanently affected his health .

  7. I just rewatched the first season of “True Detective” . Glenn Fleshler was the most talented actor in the entire cast . The man has a MFA in stage acting from New York City’s prestigious Tisch School For The Performing Arts . So what role did he play in the series ? A detective ? A police officer ? A sherrif’s deputy ? A private investigator ? No — he played a mutilated inbred pederast serial killer whose day job is doing menial labor .

    Because the man is overweight he has to play a monster . Is that how Hollywood really works ? They are really going for extremes here . Matthew McConaughey’s character was an arrogant and nihilistic prick and Woody Harrelson’s character was a rage-a-holic sex addicted drunkard . Yet , all of their character’s flaws are overlooked in the end because they are “True Detectives” . Why didn’t McConaughey play the serial killer ?

    If you ask what does this have to do with sugar in beverages — the answer is everything . Because Glenn Fleshler can consume the food he wants without his dietary choices affecting the already typecasted roles he is pigeon holed into . Harrelson is a snobby “raw vegan foodist” who eats moss and dandelions . Matthew McConaughey has stereotypical “matinee idol” good looks and is forced to hire expensive personal trainers and dietitians and to get vain surgical procedures done to himself to keep working in showbiz . It doesn’t change the fact that the Coca Cola / Pepsi sipping Glenn Fleshler is a better actor than both of them combined . What do you think of this ??

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