Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack?
30: The Inconvenient Truth about Sugar with Dr. Karen Throsby (Part 2)

30: The Inconvenient Truth about Sugar with Dr. Karen Throsby (Part 2)

What we obscure when we focus on sugar as the problem

No transcript...

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the Can I Have Another Snack? Podcast where we talk about food, bodies, and identity, especially through the lens of parenting. I’m Laura Thomas, I’m an anti-diet registered nutritionist and I also write the Can I Have Another Snack newsletter.

Today I’m sharing part 2 of my conversation with Professor Karen Throsby, author of Sugar Rush.  If you’re just joining us then make sure you go back and listen to part 1 of this episode before you jump into this one. We talk about mortified mothers, how removing sugar from the diet is gendered work that falls on women, and how the certainty around the ‘badness’ of sugar belies a lot more doubt and ambiguity coming from the scientific community. So go back and check out part 1 if you haven’t listened already.

Today we’re getting into why the so-called ‘war on ob*sity’ has to constantly reinvent itself to stay relevant, and how it fails to meet its own objectives. We also talk about how ultra-processed foods are quickly becoming the new sugar and how that conversation fails to acknowledge the role that convenience foods play in offering immediate care or the privilege in being able to eat for some nebulous future health. And we couldn’t talk about sugar and not talk about Jamie Oliver and the sugar tax.


Before we get to Karen, a super quick reminder that all the work we do here is entirely reader and listener supported and the podcast is my biggest operating cost. I will do everything I can to keep it free and accessible to everyone, and you can help by becoming a paid subscriber - it’s £5/month or £50 for the year (and you can pay that in your local currency wherever you are in the world). Paid subscribers get access to the extended CIHAS universe including our weekly discussion threads, my monthly column Dear Laura and the whole back archive. You also support the people who work on the podcast, and help ensure we can keep the lights on around here. You can sign up at and the link is in your show notes.

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Alright team, I know you’re going to love the second installment of this episode so let’s get straight to it - here’s part two of my conversations with professor Karen Throsby. 

Author of Sugar Rush and today’s guest, Dr. Karen Throsby

Here’s the transcript in full:


Laura: Karen, I want to come back to this idea that you articulate so well in the book. You say that “the so-called war on ob*sity has been unable to warrant its core empirical claims” – I'm quoting you now, “and has been a notable failure when measured against its own goals of sustained population level weight loss.”

Can you explain how in order to sustain itself, the war on ob*sity had to reinvent itself like Madonna? By casting a new villain…and kind of talk about that arc a little bit? 

Karen: Yeah. So if we think about, I mean, obviously the sort of attack on fat bodies has, has a very long history, but if we think about its most recent history in, in the form of the war on ob*sity, which dates to around the turn of the millennium as a new kind of intensified attack where dietary fat was seen as the core problem.

Sugar has always been seen as a problem. We can even go back to the 1960s and the rise of artificial sweeteners. and their take up in the diet industry. So it's always been there as a problem, but it was really fat, fat, fat, fat, fat. And that's why, when I looked at the newspaper articles, sugar was hardly talked about because the focus was different.

And I think what we get is then with that repeated failure, where there has been a base, I mean, there's…in the UK, there's been a leveling off of ob*sity rates, but it doesn't meet the aspirations of the attack on ob*sity. It has been a failure. And I think it runs out of steam because it's not achieving the change.

And, and yet you get this kind of constant hectoring and sort of constant renewal. I can't…there's been…I can't remember. It's like 17 policies or something, you know, in the last 20 years. And it's, you know, none of them are successful, have been successful. And then, so we get to about 2012, and one of the things that happened in the UK, of course, was the Olympics, where there was a lot of anti-ob*sity talk.

It was seen as a way of refreshing the war on ob*sity, and I think that partly opened the door. 

Laura: Yeah. I'm sort of smirking, because I was in the States at that point doing my PhD, so I kind of, like, missed a lot of what was going on here, around 2012 in the Olympics. So yeah, it's really interesting that you're, you're not, you noted that, that that kind of anti…

Karen: Like a core, a core justification for the, for funding, you know, a mega event like the Olympics was that it would boost sport, which would boost attempts to reduce ob*sity. And so you've got that in the background, you've got the fact that it is losing steam, you know, and so it needs to find another, another enemy, something to pick it back up again. 

And sugar, I think…because at the same time, as I mentioned earlier, we've got austerity measures being consolidated through the Welfare Reform Act in 2012, all of those welfare cuts in place. So then the idea of sugar, and the kind of an austerity worked really well together, the idea that individuals should make small economies to get by to manage their own consumption, that you shouldn't over consume because it costs the state, it costs other people money. And so those narratives came together perfectly and sugar just became this, this model enemy for the moment.

And then what we see then is the rise of interest in the sugar tax. which was announced in 2016, which is the peak in the newspaper coverage, and then was launched in 2018. So in a, in a sense, the history of the social life of sugar during this moment is an arc that sort of covers the rise to the sugar tax and then its implementation.

But all of the expectation that had been laid on fat is then laid onto sugar as the problem. If only we can solve this problem. And so again, as I said before, it creates this erasure of the absolute complexity of food and eating. The idea that food is only ever swallowing and metabolising, it's, you know, it's so social, it forms so many social functions around love, care, comfort, you know, all of those things that it’s just completely inadequate.

And then what we've got now is a tailing off. And actually it tailed off during the pandemic, there was a little peak at the beginning, if you can remember when Boris Johnson launched an anti-obesity policy, when he came out of hospital, he was blaming his own body size on the fact that he'd been very unwell. And so we saw a little peak then, but it's basically dropped off now.

So in sort of 10 years, we've had a sort of complete focus on sugar and then this tailing off of interest in it. And I think now what's coming in instead is ultra processed food is now filling that gap, but it's folded sugar into it because obviously ultra processed food is, as almost all, I mean, has always got sugar in it. And so it's picked up the sugar as it's gone. So it's, all of that is still there, but it's now being talked about in terms of ultra processed food.


Laura: I imagine that what you, you might say about kind of almost this like third phase of the, the ‘war on ob*sity’ in terms of who or what is responsible, because there almost has to be this singular entity that we can point at.

And at the same time, I think it's so interesting that ultra processed food has just kind of subsumed every kind of nutritional villain that we could have. Fat, sugar, sweeteners, and just the complexity within the concept of ultra processed food in terms of just from a lay perspective, right? To try and wrap your head around what is and isn't.

I mean, I have a PhD in nutrition and I struggled to get through the NOVA documentation on ultra processed food. And to bring it back to the sort of gendered aspect of this for a second, something that I noted that…so Carlos Monteiro is the guy, right, that developed the NOVA classification. I'm not sure if you've read much around this.

I don't know if this is a book that's in the works for the future, but one of the things he said is that ultra processed food is the undoing, basically of the family meal. I mean, there's…there's a lot that we could unpack there in terms of, like, the sort of putting a family meal on a pedestal and how that even has sort of classed and, you know, all kinds of connotations.

But, I mean, as a mother of a small child, to my thinking, actually, ultra processed food saves our family meals, right? Like, it makes it feasible to get something on the table while you have, you know, a child kind of hanging around your legs begging you to play with them. All of the, kind of, the rhetoric from Carlos Monteiro and the men of science, it kind of, it misses the piece of labour, around labour, which we've talked about, but it also misses this piece of just how we're all just struggling to survive in late stage capitalism, and how none of us in our lives have the conditions available to us where, you know, we have affordable childcare or family close by because we're living in these like hyper isolated, splintered, you know, individual houses, and we have no community and I think there's this a piece that gets missed out of this conversation about the bigger, broader social structures that we're living within, which I suppose, you know, speaks to the thesis of your book.

So yeah, I was just tying it back to some of my observations around ultra processed food, so it's really interesting that you've gone there and I'm curious to hear what additional thoughts you have about that?

Karen: Yeah, I mean, I think for me, the, the alarm that goes off for me when I hear this talk about ultraprocessed food is very similar to my alarm around the way the sugar, that sugar is talked about. It's carrying a lot of weight that it's, it's being now framed as again, the problem. 

But now it's a very different kind of problem to sugar. So we know that sugar is in a lot of foods. If you go to a supermarket, it's, you know, there's a considerable proportion of the foods will have added sugar.

But there's a real difference there between, say, observing that, where you could, for example, purchase lower sugar items and so on. But to say that, I mean, what is it, 60 to 80 percent of, of food that we eat – this is the figure that we get, I mean again, who is we? – is ultra processed food and we shouldn't eat it. What, what do they expect people to eat?

Are they seriously suggesting that people take out 60 to 80 percent of their habitual diet?

Laura: Well, I have an answer to that actually, Karen. So Gyorgy Scrinis, who I know you reference a lot in your book, he thinks that we should all… well, he had two recommendations from one podcast I listened to. One was that we should all, there should be lots of markets everywhere that people can just pick up food, fresh food, right?

And secondly, he also thinks we should all be able to go into our garden and pick a salad. 

Karen: Right. I mean, it's a lovely fantasy. It's a lovely fantasy. Promised on the labour of women, again.

Laura: I would love to have a garden, first of all, that I could be able to do that. 

Karen: Lots of people don't have those gardens. They don't have farmer's markets.

It's a lovely fantasy. It's probably not a bad idea, but realistically, people can't do that for all kinds of complicated reasons. And I think what gets lost there is, I think, the idea of health in the present. So, for example, we know that, when I talk about the, we, you know, the, we are eating this, what's often meant there is they are eating this, right?

We know that a lot of the people, the, the big figures in the anti UPF field are not and yeah, they're not eating it. So they are eating it and there is this complete lack of understanding around, for example, if you have no money, if you really have no money, if you're very poor, if you're poor in every way, which many, many people are in this country, to feed your child a processed meal that is highly palatable, calorific, that you know they'll finish and not be hungry, is an act of care in the present, that your kid's not going to be hungry.

They'll be able to concentrate at school, get a good night's sleep, those things. Whereas those…that act is not credited. So if you were to cook food from scratch or buy an unfamiliar food, for example, and give it to a child. Now I've never raised a child, but from what I kind of understand, children are incredibly conservative and it takes many, many goes at a new food before they will eat it. So if you have no money and you give your child an apple that they won't eat, you can't give them anything else. And so the cost of experimentation is very, very high for people with nothing to fall back on. And so there's lots of reasons. 

And then we talk about time poverty. It's better to, you know, sit down and grab something that is processed rather than not having the time to cook anything. And so lots of those reasons why people might eat this food. And until you address, I think, the inequalities that are absolutely central to food choice, it makes no sense to actually dictate food choice unless you are prepared to entrench those very same inequalities.

Laura: Yeah, thank you for that. I think you articulated it so beautifully with that example around the opportunity cost of feeding a child or, you know, exposing them..we would use the language of ‘exposure’ in nutritional science in terms of, you need 15 to 20 exposures before a child will accept a food and even that's horseshit, right?

We know that it can take a lot more than that and, and, and even then, you know, the…say they do eat the green beans or the broccoli or whatever it is, that's unlikely to fill them up and stave off hunger for, for that child. So, yeah, I think framing it as an act of care is such a beautiful way to, to put it because, you know, the, the alternative that's being peddled by these, UPF sort of evangelists is that that you're doing something harmful for your child and setting up that binary is so problematic because again, you're just flattening down so much nuance there.

Karen: Yeah, exactly that. This idea that food is either good or bad and sugar is…is bad. And if you say it's good, then you must work for the sugar industry. And if you make, if you make a set of claims, as I have, a kind of critical claim where I, I refuse the idea that it's either good or bad, I've never said that it's good or bad, I just get accused of working for Coca Cola.

You know, which I'm not, by the way.

Laura: Yeah, no, you're, you're an academic and what you're doing is complicating a lot of these things that, that seem….are, I suppose, where the, the rhetoric around them is so, um, binarised and flattened and yeah, just, just, uh, you're, you're asking questions, which I think we need to do a lot more of.

Speaking of questions, there is one, one more thing, little topic that I'd like to – I say, little topic, it's not a little topic at all, but one of the things that you, or one of the threads that felt really important in your book that I feel often gets obscured from any conversations about sugar is the really troubling history stemming from colonialism and enslavement of sugar.

Can you speak to how nutrition and public health sort of washed their hands of this history and maybe tell us a little bit about that history and, and what happens when we erase it?

Karen: Yeah, I mean a lot of people are aware, even though it doesn't come to the fore as much as it should, that there is a terrible history, and in many ways present, attached to sugar.

Obviously it was, you know, a central product in, in the slavery, in the slavery trade. It was, um…you know, millions of people were enslaved in the interests of sugar production, um, the murder of, of uncountable people, the dislocation of uncountable people to get sugar. And this kind of partly relates to its, its, its kind of history as a, firstly as a luxury item, and then as a kind of everyday in, in sort of, you know, the, the 20th century, it becomes a, um, it becomes a more everyday item that you know that workers would put in their tea to get to get energy. 

But also we can even see more recently in, in, say, Australia, for example, there's a really terrible history of indentured labour…so post slavery. At the end of slavery, there was a use of indentured labor so Pacific Island people, for example in Australia, under absolutely horrific conditions, working conditions, of profound racism as well. 

And these things leave a long legacy. And we know, the legacy of slavery, you know, has led to the marginalisation of people of colour, you know, into the present. And so I think it's an important point. One of the things that bothers me a little bit about the ways it does get talked about is that it gets, there's a couple of books that talk about it as a kind of essentially evil product. Look, it was connected with slavery and now it's killing everybody. 

Um, as if it's sort of in itself, it was contaminated, whereas in fact, of course, it was colonialism, it was capitalism, that was the problem, not sugar, because we saw things with cotton and tobacco and so on as well. So it's an interesting thing, because in some ways it gets talked about as, well, it's clearly a kind of terrible product, look at its history, and yet at the same time, we don't talk about its history and what the legacy is of that in terms of racism, the legacies of colonialism and also we should also think as well about the present environmental damage of the sugar industry, which, you know, is incredibly greedy of water, for example, and causes a great deal of environmental damage.

Which is also always through the lens of colonialism in the sense of who bears the weight of that damage, which areas, which places?

Laura: Absolutely. I thought there was a really…I mean, there were lots of really illuminating examples in the book, but one thing – maybe you could speak more to this – is the kind of voyeuristic aspect of Jamie Oliver's Sugar documentary where he acts…he is almost behaving like the coloniser in, or embodying the coloniser by going to Mexico and sort of, you know, as he claims, seeing the damage that has been caused by companies like Coca Cola, but that that is missing a lot of the, the historical context. Can you just describe that probably a bit better than I can?

Karen: Yeah, sure. I mean, Mexico has got this, this kind of, sort of unique status in the anti-sugar world as a place where sugar consumption is very high, but was also one of the first places to introduce a sugar tax.

And so it's, it's seen as, as a sort of model site – and sort of everybody references Mexico and all the policy papers and things. And what Jamie Oliver did is in this, his documentary about sugar, he went to Mexico and went to the area of Chiapas, which has a very troubled history of conflict and profound poverty, and he actually goes to a family, a family dinner, a family event. It's actually a memorial event for a family member who died and they have, and they cook up a big dinner. 

And he looks on very approvingly at the food that they're cooking. They're sort of, you know, frying up all these great vegetables and spices. And he, he keeps saying how authentic it is and how, what a great job they're doing.

And then we, he starts seeing what they're drinking and they're drinking pop. They're drinking fizzy drinks from the bottles. And also we see, we see several shots of women feeding babies, or toddlers, giving them pop, uh, to drink. And he sort of..his disapproval is so palpable and he sort of looks at the camera like, ‘why would they do this? Don't they know?’.

You know, and he seems to have forgotten that earlier he's spoken to an activist in the area who tells him that there is, there is very little drinkable water in the region. And so actually, again, we can see the pop as an act of care, that the kids are being given, you know, something safe to drink.

He never asks the next question. And he's got this very colonial gaze, which is…if only these people knew they would make different choices.

Laura: Yeah, that's, it's so interesting. And there was another moment, again, that there, I think there were children drinking Coca Cola and with a similar sort of like, Oh my God, don't they know any better sort of stance?

It was a dentist! Who said that they saw a lot of children who had been drinking high amounts of, of, like fizzy drinks, sweetened drinks, and that that they…the dentist started asking questions and the one of the, I think it was the mother maybe, or someone in the family had said that they were giving the child a fizzy drink to help keep them quiet.

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And then the dentist said, well, why do you need to keep them quiet? And they had said, well, because otherwise they will be beaten by their extended family. 

Karen: Yeah, I think it's the case from, from Alaska actually, that particular case. But what I think what's in…but yes, the point is that the mother giving the baby fizzy drinks was again performing an act of care to protect the child, in terms of present health, the child wouldn't be beaten for crying and so on. 

But this, this kind of trope of babies being given pop to drink runs right the way through the anti-sugar field as like the worst, the most egregious example. And of course, it's another version of mother blaming. And of kind of…and then it goes through this colonial lens of ignorance. If only they knew…

Laura: And then they need these white male chef saviours to come in and…

Karen: Exactly. So again, it's about…it's not, I'm not saying that, you know, giving the babies pop is, is a good thing or a bad thing.

It's performing a particular function for the people caring for that child. And then it's, it's framed through this colonial lens of: if only these people knew better, and we are the ones who can teach them. Rather than asking, what is it in your life that influences your food choices? How could we make your lives better?

Laura: Yeah, that makes giving our children a sweetened drink, you know, a necessity in the first place, what necessitates that. 

So then, we've talked a lot about this Jamie Oliver character, and I was telling you before we started recording that I now inextricably have the image of Jamie Oliver dancing outside of Parliament playing in my mind whenever I think about the sugar tax.

I don't know if you intended your book to be funny, but I found it hilarious, the way that you were just name dropping all these people who I ,like, know through nutrition, but that's that's an aside! But I wonder if you could tell us a little bit more about the sugar tax and specifically the ways that the sugar tax is constructed so that it cannot fail.

Karen: So the sugar tax is… if sugar is a problem about which something must be done, then sugar tax was the something, in the UK context. And the promise of the sugar tax was that it would reduce consumption of sugar, which in turn would a) produce more money to use for health projects and b) create health benefits. It would lead to a reduction in ob*sity, diabetes, all kinds of chronic diseases. Okay.

But it's set up in such a way that…so its ultimate goal is to reduce illness, right? So to reduce ob*sity – which I don't consider as being illness – but to reduce ob*sity and to improve measures…make measurable health improvements at population level. That's the target. 

But actually, it doesn't have to do that to succeed. So the first thing it needs to do, the first way it can succeed is by reducing consumption, which is taken as a proxy for expected benefits. So, the sugar tax did reduce consumption of sugar. A lot of drinks were reformulated in advance of the tax to have less sugar. It did reduce purchasing of the high sugar drinks to some extent. Uh, it's a fairly modest reduction, but it is a reduction and that's been mapped fairly, you know, across the board globally in these taxes, right? 

But there is no evidence of the measurable health impacts that were assumed to follow. And instead what happens is they get pushed into the future. Ah, ‘we haven't seen them yet, but we will see them, especially if we have more taxes’. So the problem is not that the tax hasn't worked, but that there aren't enough of them, so we need to tax sweets and, and other, you know, cereals and things. So there's that way that as long as it reduces consumption, it can't fail. Even if it doesn't produce measurable health effects. 

The second is financial. So it will produce money, revenue, which can then be invested into, I mean, in our case, it was, they said it would go towards breakfast clubs and sporting facilities. Although when you look across the documents, the number of times over that the money is spent is amazing. And the idea is that you get, then you get health gains by other means. So you'll have breakfast clubs, so kids will have a healthy breakfast. So it doesn't matter if the sugar reduction doesn't lead to health gains because there's a revenue gain that will lead to health benefits.

What's interesting is that also can't lose because if, if the tax doesn't raise very much money, it means that the tax has worked to reduce consumption. And if the tax raises a lot of money, you can say, well, it's worked because we can now compensate for the high consumption by investing in health benefits. So…and actually, I mean, there's, there's a whole other set of questions about what actually happened to the money.

Laura: Well, that was what I was wondering, because I'm still seeing that there are 4 million children in England who are food insecure. Where are the free school meals for the 800,000 children that…whose parents are on Universal Credit that aren't eligible for free school meals, like…?

Karen: And Sustain, the organisation Sustain actually raised some very specific questions about money that they knew had been raised in revenue that hadn't been…that had just been drawn into the sort of, into the wealth of the country. And so there's that. 

And then the final way that the sugar tax can succeed is its best way…it's the most nebulous way, is that it's seen as raising awareness. That simply by the fact of its existence, it's alerting people to the dangers of sugar. And so in a sense, it doesn't have to produce any of the other benefits because it's raised awareness. And what's interesting about this to me is that that then flings it straight back onto the individual.


“Well, we told you, we've signaled it through the sugar tax. You're still not eating appropriately. You're still not feeding your children appropriately.” So it's a kind of abnegation of political responsibility, even while claiming to be taking responsibility by having the tax. 

So this is my concern about the tax is that it can't fail. And actually it ends up throwing responsibility back onto individuals and. As always, particularly women, where food is concerned. 

Laura: Yeah, well, that's exactly what Matt Hancock wanted, so he’s got his way. But I do, I think it's really interesting that, especially that first part that you talked about, the sort of constantly moving goalposts and, you know, oh yes, we'll see these these benefits in the future. And it just all feels so nebulous. 

And, and then that being used as justification for us needing more and additional, you know, taxation, again, sort of obfuscating from all of the social and structural things over here going that, that nobody is addressing. 

Karen: I mean, you can think about the attack on sugar and, really on the, on the war on ob*sity more generally, as it's a very future oriented project. The benefits all lie in the future. If I give up sugar now, I will experience these, these benefits in the future, which is in itself a profound active privilege. And that's why I kind of mentioned the, the healthcare in the present of giving your child a bag of chips or something that will fill them up is being an active healthcare in the present because they don't have the luxury to invest in the future in the way that is being determined, um, in these prescriptions to give up sugar.

Laura: And simultaneously you see this sense of urgency on the political side of things, even though these alleged benefits to people aren't going to be seen for years and years in the future, but the sense of urgency in terms of policymaking and you get these very off the cuff, ill thought-out, you know, not thinking about the potential collateral damage of these policies just for political gain.

Yeah, we're all just collateral damage in this.

Karen: I mean, interestingly we're not all collateral damage, it's particular groups of people are collateral damage. 

Laura: Well, that's true.

Karen:…is the really salient point – I agree with you – but that's the really salient point that the weight of this damage does not fall evenly. And that's where my concern, that's kind of where the book really tries to focus, is where the weight of those exclusions falls. 

Laura: Yeah. No, absolutely. That's so on the point. So thank you for that. 

Karen, before I let you go, I would love to hear what your snack is. So at the end of every episode, my guest and I share what they've been snacking on. So it could be anything, a show, a podcast, a literal snack, whatever you have been snacking on lately. So what have you got to share with the listeners? 

Karen: Okay. So, so mine is a…it's an activity, really. So I love to swim and I swim in an outdoor pool, which is unusual in the UK, at a health club. And just, just recently…I swim in the evening and it's got very dark, but it's been very autumnal and the leaves have been kind of falling while, and the, the, the pool is surrounded by trees and it is the most peaceful and delicious space at the end of a very busy day to just go into the pool and be surrounded by this. It's very cold. The pool is warm, but the air is very cold. 

And it's a very particular moment that happens in the autumn where you get this beautiful colour and the sort of mist is rising off the pool. And it's the most peaceful, relaxing space at the end of a difficult day or a long day and I just look forward to it all day and then I just love…the first 10 minutes of that swim is just, is the best moment ever. So that would, that's my, that's my snack.

Laura: So I'm sitting here so envious of you right now because I know exactly what you're talking about. I live, like, a five minute walk from a Lido. here in London. It's very close, but I'm navigating some pelvic pain. I haven't been able to go for a swim for such a long time, but I know exactly that moment that you're referring to, which, um, yeah, it's so lovely when… apart from when you get to the stage in autumn where they, like, leave out baskets and with the idea that you gather up leaves as you're going. 

Karen: But I love the leaves being in the water. I love having the leaves in the water and it's just, it's such a comforting space for me.

Laura: I agree. There's something really holding, containing about being in the water. 

So my snack is…it's an actual, literal snack. But it's an anticipatory snack because every year…so my brother lives in the States, and every year we do like an exchange of like, I send him a bunch of, like, Dairy Milk and all these like chocolates, and he sends me stuff from from the US, so I've sent him with a list of stuff from Trader Joe's. So I'm vegan, which I believe you are as well. I just ask him to, like, clear the shelves of any, like, vegan shelf stable snacks and just box them all up and send them to me. 

So I know I have, like, peanut butter pretzels and the almond butter pretzel. They're like these little nuggets filled with peanut butter and almond butter, but like a pretzel casing. So I know that they're coming and they're so salty on the outside. Public Health England…I can see Susan Jebb is just, like, screaming at me right now. But it's okay. So yeah, I'm looking forward to getting that. By the time that this episode comes out in January, I will have had my snacks.

Karen: You will have had your snacks. That is fantastic. 

Laura: Karen, before I let you go, can you please tell everyone where they can find your book? Actually say the title of it! And where they can get it and where they can find more of your work.

Karen: Yep. So the book is called Sugar Rush: Science, Politics, and the Demonisation of Fatness. And it's published by Manchester University Press and you can buy it through their website. 

And if you want to learn more about the work that I'm doing, you can find me at the University of Leeds. If you put my name, Karen Throsby, into the search engine, or into Google, I'll pop up. And there's a list of sort of publications that I've done there and how you can get hold of me as well.

Laura: Well, I will definitely link to the book and to your part on Leeds website in the show notes that everyone can find you and learn more about your work. 

Karen, this has been such a treat. Thank you so much for coming and speaking with us and thank you so much for your really brilliant and important work.

Karen: Thank you so much for having me on.


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Can I Have Another Snack? is hosted by me, Laura Thomas. Our sound engineer is Lucy Dearlove. Fiona Bray formats and schedules all of our posts and makes sure that they're out on time every week. Our funky artwork is by Caitlin Preyser, and the music is by Jason Barkhouse. Thanks so much for listening.

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ICYMI this week: “Why Do You Wear Makeup??”

Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack?
Can I Have Another Snack? podcast is an exploration of appetite, identity, and bodies. We talk about how we feed ourselves and our kids (in all senses of the word!), and the ingredients we need to survive in diet culture. We’re sitting with the questions: who or what are we nurturing? And who or what is nurturing us? Hosted by Laura Thomas - anti-diet nutritionist and author of the Can I Have Another Snack? newsletter.