Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Autumn Invitation From Dr. Margaret Steele

Only fat people drink Diet Coke, according to Paris Hilton and Joan Collins. Okay, they might not be top of the list of people you’d go to with your burning nutrition questions. But in 2005 researchers at the University of Texas did in fact find that people who drank artificially-sweetened beverages were more likely to gain weight than those who drank sugar-sweetened beverages. (Link to the press release: http://uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=1539) This has come to be known as the Diet Soda Paradox. Ten years on, researchers still don’t know for sure why this paradox exists, and if Paris and Joan know, they’re not telling. I studied philosophy, not biology or nutrition, so I certainly don’t have an answer to the question of why people who drink ‘diet’ beverages might gain weight. I do, however, have questions: Why do we consume so much artificially-sweetened stuff? Why are artificially-sweetened beverages marketed differently to men than they are to women (think of Pepsi Max/Diet Pepsi, or Coke Zero/Diet Coke)? Why are we, as a population, not getting thinner despite the amount of ‘diet’ food we consume? And who is ‘we’ in this context anyway? I would like to invite you to join me in exploring these and other questions in Fat, Food and Feminism, part of UCC’s Adult Continuing Education Short Courses series. We will meet on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 pm, from September 30th to November 4th at the Brookfield Health Sciences complex on College Road. The fee is €150. The closing date for registration is Friday 18th of September 2015. Visit http://www.ucc.ie/en/ace-sc0016/ for more information and to register.

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