Sugar Intake Guidelines

The World Health Organization publishes health guidelines specific to sugar intake. Their observations and recommendations include:

  • WHO GuidelinesA  strong recommendation for limiting free sugar intake (including monosaccharides and disaccharides, and including those naturally present and those added by manufacturers) to 10% of total caloric intake.
  • A weak recommendation for limiting free sugar intake to 5% of total caloric intake. They found no health detriment when achieving this more stringent level.
  • For those already under these guidelines, they do not recommend increasing free sugar intake to guideline level. For those deficient in total caloric intake, increasing free sugar intake is not an appropriate strategy when other forms of caloric intake are available.

For me, a tall adult male, with a daily 2,600 Calorie diet (and 4kcal/g of energy in sugar) the looser guidelines lead to a daily intake limit of 65g of sugar, or one 20 oz bottle of Coca Cola (240 Calories).

For women or children, the sugar intake guidelines will be significantly lower, due mostly to lower total caloric consumption. Applying the more stringent 5% standard to children will limit total intake to a fraction of a 12 oz can of Coca Cola.

The WHO provides no guidelines on the intake of artificial or substitute sweeteners or sugar alcohols. However, these substitutes are generally used in processed foods that do not generally provide the same health benefits as whole foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Dietary GuidelinesThe USDA now recommends limiting sugar consumption to 10% of total caloric intake. USDA guidelines generally emphasize a calorie balance for maintaining body weight. Therefore their recommendation is derived from the requirement to meet other nutritional requirements with the remaining balance of calorie consumption. A similar argument applies to their recommendations on saturated fat intake (10%).

The Japanese government does not make sugar-specific intake recommendations. In general this is because childhood and adult obesity are lower there. However, in 2000 the ministry announced its “spinning top” (upside-down food pyramid) that permits a moderate amount of snacks and confections. Given the overall lack of sugar otherwise in the diet, Japanese guidelines are probably consistent with WHO recommendations.

 

 

Midway and Counterfactual Fallacies

Real historians don’t embark in counterfactual speculations. Political pundits, armchair historians, and fiction writers frequently speculate on what would have happened if some historical event had turned out differently, but skeptics should be leery of the analysis.

In the specific instance of George Friedman’s speculations on the Battle of Midway, he makes several inferences that are worthy of scrutiny. He is correct that Japan’s rapid advances throughout the Pacific drastically changed the calculus of early war efforts. The threats to the South Pacific raised Japan’s profile significantly and endangered the “Germany First” doctrine in place prior to hostilities.

Sensing the panic, FDR personally assured Australia’s PM that the US would send at least one division, perhaps more, to ensure Australia’s security. The US also beefed up defenses along the communication lines, including Fijis, New Caledonia, and Samoa. Seen from the outside, Japan’s Imperial Army and Navy seemed invincible, but internally they struggled under several years of war in China and six months of all-out global war that spanned the largest war theater to date, from the Indian Ocean in the west to the Hawaiian Islands in the east, from Aleutian islands in the north to Australia’s northern coasts in the south. The Imperial Army, for its part, bristled at the invasion of Australian mainland, understanding fully the manpower and logistical difficulties this would entail.

Moreover, Tokyo also opposed Yamamoto’s plan to draw the US into a massed battle around Midway, and for good reasons. The logistics stretched the Imperial Navy’s capabilities — the Midway operations alone consumed nearly a quarter of Japan’s strategic fuel reserves. They estimated 60 transports per month would be required to support the islands if they could be taken, spending half their time empty on the return trip. The islands would be within range of US strategic bombers from O’ahu while Japan’s bombers would be out of range. It was only the surprise Doolittle raids that solidified support for the only detailed plan then being advocated by any of the services.

Precisely because of these considerations Nimitz wasn’t concerned about losing Midway, but his confidence in his intelligence led him to believe that he could conduct a surprise counterattack that caught the Imperial Navy off guard. The Navy’s successes in the Coral Sea also led him to be believe that his own naval dive bombers were a match for Japan’s. Nimitz also assessed his disposition of forces better than subsequent historians, who repeatedly described Nimitz’s capabilities as crippled and desperately outnumbered. Nagumo brought 20 warships and four carriers with 248 aircraft. Nimitz brought 25 warships, three carriers, and 233 carrier aircraft. In addition the Army rounded up another 120-odd aircraft on Midway, plus a significant number of AA guns in direct defense of the island. Arguably it was Nagumo who was outnumbered, having lost his decisive edge in Carrier Division 5 due to complications in the Coral Sea and the subsequent repair and refitting of the carriers.

Nimitz knew the quality of pilots he was up against, and the nature and importance of the battle. The Midway islands were not existentially important to him then (as they are not existentially important to us today). It is unlikely he would have sacrificed the carriers casually once their presence had been revealed. The surviving carriers would have retired west to the protection of the forces on O’ahu, already considerably strengthened after the Pearl Harbor attacks, and plotted to fight another day.

Even if you assumed a complete naval victory for Japan, Freidman makes an erroneous assumption that victory of the islands would have been assured. This is far from the truth. The Marine Corps had placed 3,000 and 4,000 troops on both islands, buried communication cable throughout, fortified both islands with anti-air and anti-ship cannons, and hid tanks inside a grove of trees. Japan’s landing forces of 800 and 1,000 lacked nearly everything: marine landing craft, coordinated air or naval cover, and any kind of doctrine for marine landings. This lack of capability showed up several times throughout the war. The carrier strike force was just that — a strike force, and couldn’t sustain the kind of bombardment and cover required in a major marine operation. The reality is 1,800 Japanese navy and army troops would have been slaughtered by American machine gun fire during their hundreds of meters of marching over submerged reefs and sandy beaches without cover.

Friedman also speculates on Japanese incursions against the Soviet Union, drawing the Soviet Union out of battle with Germany. No such operation was even conceived by the Imperial Army, because of the logistical challenges inherent in it. Whereas Japan wasn’t seriously considering either major operations against either the Soviet Union or all out invasion of Australia, Friedman speculates Japan could have achieved both simultaneously.

To assume that Japan successfully invades Midway, you have to assume that Nimitz lacked the intelligence to launch a surprise counterattack. At this point Japan might have been able to overwhelm a smaller contingent of US Marines stationed on the islands. Nimitz could simply have waited for the carrier strike force to retreat, which it inevitably must have done within days or weeks, at which point he could bring long-range bombers from O’ahu and carrier-based forces to bear against the small contingent of forces that Japan left in place, assuming he calculated it was worth bothering to do so. The remaining carriers in place in 1942 (two) possessed a variety of potential targets for continuation of hit and run operations they had undertaken prior to the battle.

What the Battle of Midway bought the US was operational tempo and strategic flexibility. The US could launch a major operation in Guadalcanal and force Japan to respond. Until Midway, Japan held all the tempo. This ultimately shortened the war by one to two years, but didn’t fundamentally alter the basic constraints that Japan faced or the advantages that the US possessed for fighting a long, global war.

Carbon Tax Should Be Sky-High to Avoid Climate Disaster, Experts Say

Solving global climate change is a political issue. In the United States, pundits prefer solutions based on a market in trading of carbon-emissions. Organizations will be granted rights to emit carbons based on historical usage. Those organizations that implement reductions faster will be able to sell their carbon emissions to slower-paced ones.

The issue with market-based solutions is the variability in carbon pricing. Many economists prefer solutions based on carbon taxes whose costs are more predictable.

With carbon taxes, the big question, then, is is the price of carbon. This particular analysis suggests that the situation is more dire and carbon taxes should be higher than previous proposals.

I haven’t yet had a chance to review the quality of their research. However, to reiterate previous comments, global climate change is, by far, the largest economic and moral crisis of our era.

https://futurism.com/carbon-tax-sky-high-avoid-climate-disaster-experts-say/

Making America Irrelevant Again

President Trump has done it: he has ignored the advice of his saner advisors (i.e. Tillerson, Ivanka) and withdrawn from the United States from the Paris climate deal negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015. The announcement is all over the news cycle.

Global climate change is the greatest moral and existential crisis of our time. Broad scientific consensus is difficult to achieve (scientists are very competitive), but on this issue the consensus is nearly unanimous. Science denialism is prevalent only among US politicians.

Less unanimous is how to address the challenges, because those are largely political questions, therefore involve who wins and loses, who pays, and how to balance long-term and short-term costs and benefits.

How foreign countries respond is up in the air. Already there are calls to boycott America. The most effective mechanism would be a carbon tax, based on the amount of carbon dioxide released in the manufacturing of products and their constituent products. If necessary the taxes raised can be used to offset other forms of taxes and remain revenue neutral.

Moreover, countries that adopt a carbon tax can avoid multiple-taxation by waiving taxes on imports from countries that have adopted a similar carbon tax. Import taxes will be imposed on products from countries that do not comply. American exporters would therefore be placed in a situation of paying the taxes anyway, in spite of the stranglehold of special interests over the US body politic.

According to the New York Times, the withdrawal process will require several years, leaving the final withdrawal up to voters in the 2020 election.

US Policy Avoided This Disaster for 70 Years

Merkel is calling for European countries to look out for their own interests. US policy evaded this outcome for 70 years, and Trump destroyed it in 3 days.

Europe descends into a continent-wide war ever 40 years whenever European powers pursue self-interests in complex alliances. And, no, this time is not different.

How fast the slide into World War III occurs depends on how much Trump appeases Putin. At the moment the signs aren’t good. Russia is economically weak and militarily potent, which is a dangerous combination in a proud and traditional power, especially a waning one.

https://apple.news/A7JVPOxddSYajzhqhwJs9vQ