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Doug Clark: Sugar bad for health, good for defense readiness

Doug Clark
Doug Clark

If you watched “60 Minutes” Sunday night, then you know that sugar has joined the ranks of red meat, coffee, cigarettes and other foods that should be shunned like adulterers in an Amish village.

New Food Police studies have found that sugary snacks and drinks share similar health risks with alcoholic beverages like Jim Beam and some of the stronger aftershave lotions.

In discussing these findings, noted San Francisco busybodyologist Dr. Robert Lustig said he would like to see kids being carded when they try to buy Cokes.

Once busted, a sugar delinquent would have to attend 12-Step “Sucrose Anonymous” meetings …

SPEAKER – “My name is Harry, and it’s 10 days since my last Twix bar.”

CROWD – “Hello, Harry!”

This news comes not a moment too soon.

Check your calendar and you’ll see that Easter is just days away.

Saturday or Sunday, I think.

The point is that millions of ignorant parents are on the verge of abusing their children via chocolate rabbits, marshmallow poultry and speckled candy eggs.

But it’s not too late to stop the madness. In a moment I’ll show you how you can become better fathers and mothers by replacing those harmful sugar treats with healthful alternatives.

First, however, a few words regarding the rise and fall of sugar.

Nobody can really say where sugar comes from. Well, not without doing a whole lot of boring research.

But back when I was a kid in the ’50s and ’60s, sugar was considered one of the four essential food groups, along with Ballpark Franks, Wonder Bread and Ovaltine.

The quick energy boost kids got from sugar helped us practice safety drills at school where – at the teacher’s command – my classmates and I would scamper under our desks to keep from getting hit by nuclear missiles.

It worked. Not one American school child was ever killed by a descending Commie warhead.

Sugar was everywhere while I was growing up.

We ate Sugar Jets for breakfast, Twinkies at lunch and Eskimo Pies at dinner.

Despite this, there weren’t many fat kids. That’s because fat kids got chased by bullies, which burned up a lot of calories.

Scientists didn’t investigate the far-reaching effects of sugar in those days, mainly because the average life expectancy was only 48.*

(*Heavy smokers like my Uncle Austin tended to live several decades longer.)

Today’s Americans live well into their 80s. Scientists have much more time to spend grant money researching things like how much sugar we eat or, say, homosexual activities in indigenous gopher populations.

The bottom line is that sugar is out.

So I went to a couple stores over the weekend and found some healthful substitutes that can easily replace those evil, sugar-laced Easter goodies.

Such as …

• Easter Sweet – Wonka candy Bunnies and Gummies ($1.99).

Healthy Treat – Caltrate vitamin Gummi Bites ($9.99).

• Easter Sweet – Whoppers 42-ounce Robin Eggs ($6.99).

Healthy Treat – Green Tea Wasabi peanuts ($5.29).

• Easter Sweet – Russell Stover solid milk chocolate rabbit ($2.50).

Healthy Treat – Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Crackers ($3.29 a bag).

• Easter Sweet – Reese’s Pieces peanut butter carrots ($1.49).

Healthy Treat – R.W. Knudson carrot juice ($3.74).

• Easter Sweet – Rosauer’s 8-inch holiday nest cake ($4.99).

Healthy Treat – Gluten-free corn loaf ($5.29).

• Easter Sweet – Galerie Edible Easter Grass ($1.99).

Healthy Treat – Container of organic wheat grass ($2.99).

• Easter Sweet – M&M’s Speck-Tacular Eggs ($2.99).

Healthy Treat – Tic Tac multicolored breath mints ($1.29 per box).

• Easter Sweet – Marshmallow Peeps and Bunnies ($.88 per pack)

Healthy Treat – Small Planet garlic & herb tofu ($4.29).

Hoppy Easter and bunny appetite.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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