Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Life without sugar?

I noted previously that I’ve pretty much given up coffee. Not that I’ve given up on caffeine: I expect cards from the Coca-Cola corporation and tea growers this Christmas, in recognition of my substantial contribution to their profits this quarter.

I don’t know if I’m getting more sensitive as I get older, more aware of how I react to food, or just more suceptible to psychosomatic silliness, but yesterday I had some cake and ice cream (with good cause– it was a birthday dinner), fell asleep early, slept late, and felt like my neurons were misfiring. It was like a carb-induced hangover. At least I haven’t had any flashbacks.

Of course, it might have just been a couple days’ insufficient sleep catching up with me, but somehow I doubt it. Maybe I should try avoiding sugar altogether, and see what effect it has on my level of mental alertness. I have noticed that when I’ve been on Atkins this past year, I’ve often felt more mentally alert (though much of that additional cognitive power was spent fantasizing about sushi rice and Ritz crackers); As the dean in Animal House put it, fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life– and if sugar is a contributor to both #1 and #3, that’s a powerful argument against it. (It would also suggest a relationship between America getting fatter and dumber. Might growing waistlines and falling SAT scores be correlated?)

Though this line of reasoning pretty nicely summarizes the calculus I now apply to virtually everything I injest eat, whether foodstuff, drink, or content: how will it affect my weight, and how will it affect my productivity?

1 Comment

  1. Although spelling jokes are really cheap shots, I note your newly invented word, “injest”. Is this supposed to apply to eating something funny?


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