Old Ads: Sugar’s Got What It Takes

By Jim F

So says the propaganda in an old advertisement from “Sugar Information Inc”.

The ad (below) was an attempt to stave off the commercial threat from the burgeoning artificial sweetener industry.


The bottom right reads:
Note to mothers: Exhaustion may be dangerous – especially to children who haven’t learned to avoid it by pacing themselves. Exhaustion opens the door a little wider to the bugs and ailments that are always lying in wait. Sugar puts back energy fast – offsets exhaustion. Synthetic sweeteners put back nothing. Energy is the first requirement of life. Pay safe with your young ones – make sure they get sugar every day.

Can you believe it? And can you really rely on food advertisers and lobby groups to “self-regulate”?


  1. Stacey

    Artificial sweeteners suck! I read the labels on everything I buy and if I pick up something that contains Splenda aka Sucralose, Saccharin or Aspartame – ha – back on the shelf it goes!! No thanks, won’t be putting that “crap” in MY body!! Check out my page on my website I made to help encourage others to boycott this stuff.

  2. Supplements Canada

    That ad makes me laugh. The food industry has so much influence it is scary!

  3. Anonymous

    I saw that insipid sugar propaganda ad with the shirtless actor. The 15 calories per teaspoon bit is a sick joke. 16 calories of sugar is equal to a measly 4 grams. That is no “teaspoon”. To burn off the “teaspoon” would require walking 2 and a half football fields distance. The sugar lobby must use one small teaspoon to come up with the 15 calories.

    While artificial sweeteners aren’t perfect, they are an improvement over the environmental toxin we call sugar. Sugar is killing people faster than tobacco by now and is utterly unnecessary. We need to tax sugar like we do alcohol and tobacco and let food companies use the Splenda instead.

  4. Liz

    Sugar isn’t that unhealthy. It’s certainly better than HFCS. I just moved to Australia from the USA and I found that soda here doesn’t contain HFCS. I actually like drinking a small glass of Coke now and then as a treat, and, unlike the Coke back home, I don’t crave more food after I drink it. Sometimes I don’t even finish the glass. It’s like a refreshing dessert.

  5. Melody

    I eat whole foods, including real sugar (I prefer the taste of turbinado or raw sugar). It’s that simple. So no way do I eat the artificial crap.

  6. Spectra

    I actually saw a commercial the other day for sugar, saying it was the “all natural sweetener” and has “no fat and only 15 calories per teaspoon!” I was pretty shocked to see a commercial for sugar on TV, but whatever. Sugar is absolutely NOT a necessary part of any diet. You get sugars in so many other foods…fruit, certain veggies, milk, etc., so you don’t need to add any more usually.

    I use “energyless” artificial sweeteners because to me, I’d rather get my calories from things like protein and vegetables and whole grains..things with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

  7. Jim

    kimmieone said:
    What year was that ad?[…]

    Based on the comment about the Watusi (a kind of dance) – the ad is from the early 1960s.

    From the Sugar Association site.

    “In 1947, the Association assumed its current name. Initially, the Association had two divisions: Sugar Information, Inc. focused on public education and communication; the Sugar Research Foundation developed and supported basic and applied scientific research. The Research Foundation became the World Sugar Research Organisation, Ltd., in 1968.”

  8. bluiedgrl

    That’s probably the year that Kool-Aid came out!

  9. Mike H.

    I try not to take a dichotomous approach to the sugar vs. artificial sweetener debate. It is difficult if not imposible to quantify which one is “better” given the multitude of individual circumstances. In both cases, the dose makes the poison.

    While sugar is okay in small amounts for most, we don’t NEED sugar as the industry would have us believe. Conversely, I haven’t seen any convincing studies that AS’ (spenda, aspartame) are unsafe for consumption, but I still wouldn’t consume very much of it. The foods that contain AS are best to not eat often anyway.

    Here is an example of the absurdity of the sugar industry – from the sugar association website:

    “The simple, irrefutable fact is this: Sugar is a healthy part of a diet.”

  10. Alchemyguy

    The reference to doing the “Watusi” apparently dates it to the early 60’s, the heyday of better living through engineering…modify this, reformulate that and soon we’ll all have jetpacks and robots!

  11. ayse

    I also will take sugar over artificial sweeteners any day. I try to avoid too much sugar, but I never touch the fake stuff. EVER.

  12. staci

    i thought this was a spoof!

  13. kimmieone

    What year was that ad?

  14. Alex

    I’ve lost about 25kg since cutting out basically ALL suger, AND aspartane etc from my diet. Used to go through the diet coke in a really big way. Although it’s kilojoule free, I sure feel better cutting out the artifcial sweeteners- headaches fatigue etc.- although alot of that was caffeine (also gone)

  15. Jason

    Both of those things I try to avoid. We have to self-regulate.

  16. Never teh Bride

    I feel like they’re suggesting that I pour out a heapin’ bowl of sugar for “the gang.”

    Here’s your sugar, kids! Eat up!

  17. JoLynn Braley

    “And can you really rely on food advertisers and lobby groups to “self-regulate”?”…..no way, they want to keep making their money and keep you coming back for more of those tasty, sugary, fat, additive-filled foods. It really has to be each person’s responsibility to fuel his or her body with nutrient dense whole foods. Refined sugar has zero nutrients, vitamins, or minerals, and it actually leeches those nutrients from your body in order to digest it.

    Now if you’re eating fresh fruit along with some protein, that’s a different story….that natural sugar in the fresh fruit does come into the body with nutrients from the food itself. And I’ve gotta say, I have high energy from eating whole foods (including fresh fruit), but refined sugar puts me in the dumps.

  18. Ren

    Id rather have sugar than artifical sweetners anyday.