Member Brief: Olipop Signs An Olympian

 

I didn’t know what to say to my grandmother. As a teenager, I avoided the consumption of soft drinks but, according to her, they were a healthy option. Why? Her doctor prescribed her Coca-Cola by the caseload to manage her blood sugar. In the corner of her small kitchen stood several cases of red cans, each packed with 46 grams of sugar. At the time, I’d say that her doctor knew best but over time, that presumption was proven wrong. By the end of her life, I was viscerally angered by the sight of a red can.

Her doctor prescribed her Coca-Cola to help with her occasional bouts of hypoglycemia, a condition associated with diabetes. It was a cost-effective substitute for expensive, whole foods (she lived in a food desert) and a costly insulin supply. The prescription likely shortened her vibrant life. I wonder what would have been different for her if this sugar fallacy was more widely covered back in the late 1990s. It was a common occurence to find that stack of red cans in the homes of lower-income families.

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