Ask Rocco: 01/27

Sugar daddy drama

By Rocco Castellano
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s so-called fitness gurus spewing falsehoods without even doing the research. I hear it all the time from some of the top fitness pros around the world: “Sugar’s bad for you … watch your sugar intake, blah, blah, blah.”

I’m going to start off by saying shut the f**k up and stop rereading the marketing B.S. that has obviously brainwashed you.

Sugar is not “bad” for you and sugar does not make you fat. So stop telling those highly inaccurate lies to yourself and to others around you. This is where the quote, “Common sense is obviously not common practice” comes in.

For years, we have been made to swallow lies upon lies upon lies that sugar is bad; you will get diabetes; sugar will make you as fat as a pig. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could be further from the truth.

Let me give you a little history lesson on how sugar became public enemy No. 1 – and it had nothing to do with your health at all.

In 1934, during the Great Depression, our very thoughtful government took over what was then “The Sugar Policy.” Basically, this means they created a bill known as The Sugar Act of 1934 which named sugar beets and sugar cane basic commodities, and put quotas on American produced sugar, imported sugar from foreign markets and included marketing allotments and labor provisions. Sugar farmers were also paid a direct subsidy of one half-cent per pound of sugar they produced. Everyone was happy. We were still consuming sugar, but no one was fat, obesity wasn’t on the rise and diabetes wasn’t blamed for this sweet white crystalized substance. It was actually considered healthful and was used to cure diabetes, until the invention of therapeutic insulin. So what happened?

In the 1970s, actually between 1974 and 1976, The Sugar Act of 1934 expired and in his infinite wisdom, President Gerald Ford, in an effort to win the state of Louisiana, tripled the import tariff on foreign sugar. This made cheap sugar from the Caribbean and other parts of the world way too expensive to buy and allowed “Big Sugar” – very similar to “Big Tobacco” except sweeter – to manipulate sugar prices. Although the American sugar was cheaper, it was still expensive and consumers and food producers became extremely pissed.

In this insane measure to help “Big Sugar” get rich, the artificial sweetener industry jumped on the opportunity to disparage sugar. It all became part of “Marketing Science” history.

One piece of the puzzle comes from Ben and Marvin Eisenstadt who packaged saccharine as the artificial sweetener, Sweet’N Low.

Ben invented the process of packing table sugar into little “tea” packets and putting the “sugar” packets on his cafeteria table instead of the fly-infested sugar bowls. Ben and his son Marvin brought this process to a sugar company who, instead of buying the unpatented technology, just stole it.

This pissed Ben and Marvin off, as you could imagine. So like any pissed off father and son team, they created a sugar substitute called Sweet’N Low, made with saccharin, and put it in a pink packet to make sure it caught your eye. This created the Cumberland Packing Company who also invented the soy sauce packets you get from Chinese take out, Ketchup packets for fast food and a host of other little packets for condiments.

Since “Big Sugar” stole their process, they set out to discredit sugar and jump on the diet tsunami that was heading our way in the 1970s. Remember Jane Fonda and those ridiculous videos?

Ben and Marvin took every chance they could to tell people sugar was bad and Sweet’N Low had zero calories. And the sheeple believed them, until the saccharine studies came out and said it caused cancer.

It actually didn’t, it was just “Big Sugar” fighting back.

In 1977, G. D. Searle, now under the Monsanto flag, had spent tens of millions of dollars to develop the brain tumor-inducing Aspartame and couldn’t get it approved by the FDA. So what did they do? That’s right, they hired the hugely connected Donald Rumsfeld, yep, that Donald Rumsfeld, as their CEO. Over the next four years, Rumsfeld turned the beleaguered company around and Ronald Reagan asked him to be part of his transition team when he became president in 1981. Rumsfeld handpicked Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes as the new FDA commissioner (I think you know where I’m going with this…) and after a crazy vote and a tie breaker for Dr. Hayes, Aspartame was approved as an additive for food and marketed by G.D. Searle under the brand name NutraSweet.

Armed with approval from the FDA and a huge marketing budget, G.D. Searle propped NutraSweet up as a better alternative for sugar, shoving NutraSweet down our throats along with the escalating need to count calories.

At every turn, we were, and still are, bombarded with advertising and marketing dollars telling us how harmful sugar is and that we need to switch to zero-calorie alternatives.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Two very important systems, our muscular and nervous system (specifically our brain) need glucose as fuel. And what has glucose in it? Sucrose. Better known as table sugar.

Table sugar is a disaccharide of fructose and glucose. Taking in cane sugar is much healthier for you than taking in the artificial sweeteners that are marketed to us as “diet” food. I will expand more on how sugar became public enemy No. 1 in future columns.

The views and opinions expressed in
Ask Rocco are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Rocco Castellano is the author of “askROCCO Uncensored v1,” a speaker and a controversial fitness personality who has won an Emmy for his fitness training role in MTV’s Made. For more information, please visit

Tags: , ,

Rocco Castellano is the author of “askROCCO Uncensored v1,” a speaker and a controversial fitness personality who has won an Emmy for his fitness training role in MTV’s Made. For more information, please visit

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Got an Opinion?


We are interested to hear what you think.  Please send us a message. [contact-form 4 “Opinion”]  

Yes, Flying Saucers Do Exist!

Allison Maddux (Scandal #5) layout bid against Kathryn Lawson (Riot #38). 2013 USA Ultimate Club National Championships Women's Semifinals

Please don’t call it Frisbee. Colorful flying plastic discs fill the air around this time of year, tossed from hand […]

Debate 7/10: You’ve got mail…for now!


Who in their wildest dreams thought Donald Trump could be a consensus builder? Certainly not me. Donald has done something […]

Bubbles to beat the brunch backlash


I casually peruse food articles, as you might guess. One emerging set of hot takes seems to revolve around brunch. […]

Jump, jive, and wail!


Since 1982, Muse Machine has been a staple of many lives in the Miami Valley. Over 76,000 lives, each year, […]

A Monument to Insurrection


Dayton Society of Artists’ special summer exhibit Alan Pocaro, The Distance Between Us When We Communicate (Detail) By Tim Smith […]