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Search posts: Recommends SUGAR SHOCK! Was the Review By Dietitian Fair Or Accurate? You Decide What Holds True For You

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:10pm

Art_allison_stevens The wonderful, popular website, -- which bills itself as "An Authoritative Resource for Diet and Fitness Information" -- is now running a review of my book SUGAR SHOCK! from nutritionist Allison Stevens, R.D.

(Allison -- a charming dietitian who I admire and respect -- interviewed me recently for a Q & A that the site is running with me soon in this interviews section. In fact, we had a fun time talking.)

Anyhow, while her review on is positive in totality -- Allison does ultimately recommend that you buy the book -- she made some remarks that I find at least partly unfair, if not inaccurate. But I welcome her criticisms and comments even if I disagree with some of her thoughts and conclusions.

Therefore, I invite you to decide for yourself. Read SUGAR SHOCK!. Then read the review of it. Next, come to your own conclusions as to whether or not the review is accurate and fair.

So Allison's review on begins thusly:

"Is sugar the next Big Tobacco? This comparison is not new.  But, if you are unconvinced of the possibility, pick up a copy of Sugar Shock!  Written by journalist Connie Bennett, an ex-sugar junkie, Sugar Shock! is not another low-carb diet book. Instead, Bennett explores the addictive nature of sugar and the effects it can have on your health. Although over-the-top at times, Sugar Shock is a real eye-opener that leaves you thinking twice before grabbing for that early-morning bagel or afternoon soda."

That's certainly nice to call my book "a real eye-opener," but I wonder: Is SUGAR SHOCK! really "over the top at times"? I disagree, but I'm open to hearing your assessment. Meanwhile, later in her review, Allison writes something that shocked me because I took great pains to present accurate information:

" Sugar Shock! is alarming in tone and frightening upon first read. Readers must keep in mind that the author's personal experience was due to a medical condition and that her research is often one-sided. And although the author raises some interesting points worth exploring, the potential harm of sugar and refined carbohydrates is at times over-stated."

Again, I invite you to buy the book and decide if you agree with Allison's claims. In this case, I flat out disagree. In fact, I believe that it's important to bear in mind:

  • When stressing the dangers of culprit carbs, I'm talking about eating too many of them -- which is what MOST Americans do. (I'm not referring to an occasional dessert or bag of potato chips.)
  • I cite some 150 experts, who revealed the dangers of over-consuming sugars and refined carbs.
  • My researchers and I reviewed dozens -- probably hundreds -- of research studies, that showed just how devastating eating a lot of the stuff can be.

Further down in her review, Allison launches into another section with which I beg to differ. She writes:

"There are good carbohydrates that are essential for energy and health. This is a point that Bennett makes, but one that tends to gets lost in the midst of all of the carb-slamming text."

Excuse me? Are we talking about the same book? In fact, Chapter 4 is devoted to explaining in great detail how you need high-quality carbs but not those inferior "culprit carbs." The chapter is even called, "Clearing the Carb Confusion: The Pitfalls of Processed Carbs and the Benefits of Quality Carbs." (You can see the TOC here.)

Allison does at least say:

"Commendably, Bennett does not support cutting out carbohydrates altogether, but instead recommends switching to healthier sources of carbohydrates (think whole grains, fruits, and vegetables).However, after scaring the reader into thinking that sugar is the root of all health problems, the book fails to provide recipes and meal plans and lacks much practical advice on how to avoid "sugar shock."

Wait a minute, I never ever ever say or imply that "sugar is the root of all health problems"!! Now, that's a remark that hits below the belt.But, I concede, another statement of Allison's is qutie accurate.

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