LTE for Portfolio – best baker

Which soda should I choose?

To the Editor,

The point of conducting a scientific study is to find an answer to a theory or question. Yet, science has been unable to answer one small question; Which soda should I choose: Coke or Diet Coke? In Andrew Jacobs’s Septembet 6th, 2019 article “Death by Diet Soda?” Jacobs said that there are many studies done on the consumption of sweetened drinks, which have been unable to definitively state whether it is in fact healthier to drink Diet Coke over regular Coca-Cola. There was a study done by JAMA Internal Medicine which shows how the mortality of consumers of soft-drinks; sugary and sugar-free, compared to each other. “This is a huge study, with a half million people in 10 countries, but I don’t think it adds to what we already know,” claimed Vasanti S. Malik, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. The effect on the health of a consumer that drinks sugary beverages compared to drinking sugar-free beverages, has been a long going investigation. The complexities of the study add to the reason of why science can’t tell me which drink I should choose and why it probably never will.

However, consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks were positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases, and sugar-sweetened soft drinks were associated with deaths from digestive diseases. The study published by the US National Library of Health on this topic, has proven that the consumption of sugary beverages is the direct cause of an early death or other diseases. The only thing proven is a small correlation, but not a definitive cause. I am a consumer of Diet Coke myself. I have been drinking Diet Coke since I was a 10, and it was because I believed it to be a better alternative than regular Coke. However, these recent scientific studies just show that the artificial sugars in Diet Coke aren’t proven to be better to consume than the actual sugar in Coke. Science seems to only confuse me more with their findings.

The studies done by the American Society for Nutrition on the consumption of artificial sugar beverages have been confusing to say the least. Some studies have found a correlation between artificial sweeteners and weight loss, but others have suggested they may increase cravings for sugary foods. Both of these studies were done to find how artificial sweeteners affect our bodies, but one study says it’s beneficial to us, and the other says it’s detrimental to us. The fact of the matter is that, even though the question seems simple, it has layers of complexity and obstacles when you go to try to answer it.

Even though the scientific studies haven’t been the most helpful in the choice of beverage consumption, they are made through hard work and dedication. In the mean time though, the inconclusiveness of the answer to the question; Coke or Diet Coke?, can be a potential health crisis for consumers who read that one is better than the other and blindly accept it. Those people could be our loved ones or, especially, young children who will become more likely to have health complications from a small age due to the consumption of the unhealthy drink. We should be more careful with what we put in our bodies because at the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you want to drink Coke or Diet Coke. I advise consumers of soda to be completely aware of the choices they make, because your health is in your hands.

Link to Article


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3 Responses to LTE for Portfolio – best baker

  1. davidbdale says:

    Reading this letter, I sense the frustration of its author directed at the inability of science to PROVIDE ADVICE. You start by saying that the point of a study is to answer a question. And I suppose many studies might begin with the question, “Which beverage overall is better for the health of its drinkers?,” but that’s a question so broad it would probably never get funded.

    The problem is these massive observational studies of big behaviors like who drinks more or less of something are imprecise because they can’t eliminate all the other behaviors, and environmental factors, and genetics, that might lead one group to die earlier than the other.

    I have a feeling the authors of the study never wanted its results to be presented as advice. But after 16 years, they have to conclude SOMETHING. The analysts, journalists, and advocates who interpret the results as they wish and publish them under provocative headlines like “Death by Diet Soda?” are the most likely cause of our confusion and frustration.

    Your overall essay would probably be improved by a punchier intro that makes that central point and doesn’t blame science for not doing what it didn’t set out to do. “Why can’t science tell me whether to choose Coke or Diet Coke?” would be a good start. You could then politely rant that all the money spent on studies (studies that provide very valuable information to niche researchers) never answer the big questions we all care about: WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    You have the material here to pursue that line, and much of what you say already supports it. Bring the central PERSONAL question to the top of the letter and you’ll snag the attention of millions who feel just as you do that THESE STUDIES NEVER TELL ME HOW TO ACT! The corollary complaint is that the news media, The New York Times included, write headlines to snooker us that we’re going to get some real advice because their bias sends them looking for the biggest boldest claim they can find to gain readers, whether that claim is substantiated by the study or not.

    Does that sound reasonable and doable?

    My best “anything else you wish to comment on” advice would be to seek and destroy the repetitions that chew up words and don’t add much meaning, BestBaker. If you like, I can help you track them. Secondly, you start by reacting to the 16-year study the Times cites as its primary material, but you move to “the studies,” and “these studies” without identifying others, which this reader found very confusing.

    You’re doing good, earnest work here, BestBaker, covering your essential components, marshaling evidence, and making appeals to our reason, our ethics, and our emotions. Your biggest audience, though, of others who are frustrated that they don’t get life advice, needs a special approach that acknowledges their irritation and impatience for answers.

    As usual, I will appreciate your reaction to these notes. Of course, make changes from now on ONLY to your Portfolio version, and don’t hesitate to ask for more help at any time. Thank you for this opportunity. I enjoy the conversation.


    • bestbaker123 says:

      Wow I completely forgot to reply once I read your feedback which was a week ago btw. Sorry bout that! But I read your feedback and will make my intro “punchier” and I will read through my work and will let you know if I need help! Thank you for your time and feedback Prof! much appreciated


  2. bestbaker123 says:

    Please let me know if I finally hit the rightful target of my frustration this time! And anything else you wish to comment on when you get the time. Thank you!


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