Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

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Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by specious_reasons » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:13 pm

At my work, they provide free drinks, coffee, tea, and various other soft drinks. This is pretty par for the course in most Seattle area businesses.

I am on a mailing list where I am informed of various changes and improvements of different building policies, one of which is changes to the menu of drink available. The people who maintain the menu call this something on the order of "healthy choices."

Someone on the list then complains (by replying to everyone), that diet drinks actually worse for your health than the regular equivalents.

I'm immediately suspicious, because it sounds like food woo, and that's as prevalent in the Seattle area as office coffee. As it turns out, that statement is not backed by scientific rigor. Some studies suggest that Non Nutritive Supplements (NNR) are a minimally effective at reducing calorie intake, but other studies suggest that diet drinks have a net negative effect on health. NNRs don't have any other distinct, scientifically verified health risks, but in general, the consensus is not to drink soda, diet or otherwise.

So, statement not supported by evidence.... Do I bother making a public statement? I considered replying back to the poor soul who gets to field these complaints, but that feels too backhanded.
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Pyrrho » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:32 pm

Warn them about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide.
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by sparks » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:06 pm

And especially how it 'remembers' all the bad shit that used to be in it...and acts accordingly!!11Eleventy
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:37 am

Frava. Caffeinated fruit juice. The prefect office compromise.

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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Pyrrho » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:43 am

specious_reasons wrote:At my work, they provide free drinks, coffee, tea, and various other soft drinks. This is pretty par for the course in most Seattle area businesses.

I am on a mailing list where I am informed of various changes and improvements of different building policies, one of which is changes to the menu of drink available. The people who maintain the menu call this something on the order of "healthy choices."

Someone on the list then complains (by replying to everyone), that diet drinks actually worse for your health than the regular equivalents.

I'm immediately suspicious, because it sounds like food woo, and that's as prevalent in the Seattle area as office coffee. As it turns out, that statement is not backed by scientific rigor. Some studies suggest that Non Nutritive Supplements (NNR) are a minimally effective at reducing calorie intake, but other studies suggest that diet drinks have a net negative effect on health. NNRs don't have any other distinct, scientifically verified health risks, but in general, the consensus is not to drink soda, diet or otherwise.

So, statement not supported by evidence.... Do I bother making a public statement? I considered replying back to the poor soul who gets to field these complaints, but that feels too backhanded.
Probably not worth the time and aggravation that could result from your efforts. Once they are convinced, they stay convinced until nature takes its course.

I am reminded of the person at our office who routinely comes to work with colds, coughs, sneezing, flu, etc. and who once loudly argued to someone who suggested that she stay home when sick, "I'M TAKING AIRBORNE!!!!" Huge tube of it on her desk. I keep my distance. Obvious disease vector.

Our office has sugared and non-sugared sodas, water, Keurig coffee machine with dozens of varieties for caffeine fiends, ice cream bars in the freezer, frequent pizza lunches, bagels, donuts, cookies, etc. which does not stop the guy behind me from packing in at least a few pounds of food and chowing down all damn day, every day. Someone did complain about the soda selection and there are tubes of sugar-free powders on top of the cooler as a result.

"Packin' it on here, Boss."
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:15 am

Pyrrho wrote: Probably not worth the time and aggravation that could result from your efforts. Once they are convinced, they stay convinced until nature takes its course.
That's my thoughts. I was considering countering the counterfactual to the people responsible for the menu, just for the sake of having them know people care. That will either see me as a welcome bit of rationality or a pariah, and I wont know which.

Besides, even though the other Schmoe made an unsupported statement, I agreed with the rest of the email. It's kind of ironic having a "healthy choices" menu which has Coke and Pepsi in it. I'm sure the people who make the menu know that too, so why bother them?
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:28 am

Rob Lister wrote:Frava. Caffeinated fruit juice. The prefect office compromise.

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Ick. I normally drink water and black coffee. If it's too hot for coffee, I fill the glass with ice and pour the coffee in.

How do you naturally caffeinate something? Using all natural caffeine?
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Pyrrho » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:35 am

specious_reasons wrote:
Pyrrho wrote: Probably not worth the time and aggravation that could result from your efforts. Once they are convinced, they stay convinced until nature takes its course.
That's my thoughts. I was considering countering the counterfactual to the people responsible for the menu, just for the sake of having them know people care. That will either see me as a welcome bit of rationality or a pariah, and I wont know which.

Besides, even though the other Schmoe made an unsupported statement, I agreed with the rest of the email. It's kind of ironic having a "healthy choices" menu which has Coke and Pepsi in it. I'm sure the people who make the menu know that too, so why bother them?
In my office you would be flagged as "negative."

If you do voice an opinion, be sure to suggest a solution...and be prepared to be assigned the task of implementing that solution. That's how my bosses discourage opinions other than their own.
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Anaxagoras » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:53 pm

specious_reasons wrote:
Pyrrho wrote: Probably not worth the time and aggravation that could result from your efforts. Once they are convinced, they stay convinced until nature takes its course.
That's my thoughts. I was considering countering the counterfactual to the people responsible for the menu, just for the sake of having them know people care. That will either see me as a welcome bit of rationality or a pariah, and I wont know which.

Besides, even though the other Schmoe made an unsupported statement, I agreed with the rest of the email. It's kind of ironic having a "healthy choices" menu which has Coke and Pepsi in it. I'm sure the people who make the menu know that too, so why bother them?
Well let's put it this way (and of course I'm not an authority, I just follow the news like anyone else): Diet soda is not proven to be a "healthy choice". I was also listening to a podcast just today that suggested that skim milk is not healthier than whole milk (see here). At least, the studies have failed to show any health benefit including reducing weight. Now if they are saying some kind of woo like aspartame is poison, that is clearly not based on science, but as far as I've heard, science cannot find any benefit to it either. I believe that the new thinking is that the old "a calorie is a calorie" isn't really true. Eating an apple or eating a cookie that has the same calories is not the same thing.

It's possible that even though diet soda doesn't have calories, it messes up your metabolism somehow and that's why it doesn't help you to lose weight. Or maybe people just make up the difference by consuming more calories elsewhere. Either way, the end result is that it doesn't work. I think it is even within the realm of possibility that they are worse for you than regular soda with sugar in it, but I don't think anyone knows that for sure. One or two studies can't prove that beyond a reasonable doubt unless they are very good studies.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:00 pm

For a diabetic, diet soda is OK (not "good"), but sugary soda is an absolute no-no.
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Rob Lister » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:12 pm

A really cool tech company would stock the fridge with beer.

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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:27 pm

Rob Lister wrote:A really cool tech company would stock the fridge with beer.
During the dot com boom there was a rumor that cocaine was the thing at really cool tech companies. 8)
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Re: Workplace nutrition, should I correct some random Schmoe in email form?

Post by Witness » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:22 am

should I correct some random Schmoe[…]?
Don't take it in bad part, but you recent threads tend to bring up this image in my mind:

Image

:wink: