Sweets Not Sweet

Last Saturday I tried to go to work early and catch up on some paperwork. The building was not yet unlocked, so I went to the diner across the street for some breakfast.

I ordered the $3.25 breakfast, consisting of a carb (2 slices of white toast), a vegetable (fried potatoes), and a protein (2 fried eggs).  The man at the counter a couple seats down ordered the $5, which added sausage and subbed in french toast for regular toast. Apparently he was too hungry to wait, and decided to order a muffin while his food was on the grill. I believe it was a blueberry muffin. And I believe the muffin contained as much, if not more sugar as flour.

I stared in awe while he doused the muffin with syrup. And as he continued to eat it, he continued to add syrup. This man could have passed for age 30-45, depending on his genes and life stressors. He was not wearing an elf costume.

When the diner’s owner, Sue, brought out his actual meal, she also gave him a canister of powdered sugar. “For the toast,” she explained.

He started shaking some sugar onto his toast. It wasn’t coming out very quickly, so Sue grabbed it from him and told him, “Just tell me when to stop.”

He quietly watched her sift powdered sugar onto his toast, while he continued to eat syrupy bites of sugary muffin.

After about 10 seconds, and maybe 4 teaspoons of sugar, I couldn’t take it anymore and screamed, “STOOOOOOOPPPPPP!!!!!!!”

Sue was startled and pulled back the sugar.

The man seemed unmoved by my emotional response. He didn’t ask for more sugar. Instead he started pouring syrup on the french toast.

I apologized for my outburst, and hoped that everyone would take my reaction with some humour, but also with some thought about how much sugar consumption was in their diets.

My battle as a dentist here is not so much against decayed teeth and bleeding gums. It’s against behaviours, motivations, values, and misinformation.


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