Sugar Kills Your Diet, Your Health, And Hostess Brands

If you talk to any nutritionist or doctor, they will tell you that sugar kills all of us. The introduction of heavily processed sugar this past century has diseased us with obesity. I’m addicted to Gatorade after every tennis match, while I’m sure many of you are addicted to cakes, cupcakes, soda and the likes. I went to Europe for two weeks this fall and gained 10 pounds, even though I worked out and walked eight miles every day because I couldn’t stop eating all-you-can eat lemon meringue pie! I might even have to get some lipo or a tummy tuck and spend a lot of money, given the price of such an operation.

If there was no sugar, or drastically less sugar in our diets, I strongly believe we’d all live healthier and happier lives. But, sugar is big business. Hostess Brands has been generating over $2.5 billion in revenue through the production of 500 million Twinkies and 127 million loaves of Wonder Bread every single year! Americans can’t get enough sugar, which is why we will all probably die prematurely if we don’t change.

Hostess Brands management decided to shutdown the firm after the 6,700 person baker’s union decided to go on strike. They were the sprinkle that deflated the Twinkie’s back. As a result, roughly 18,500 people will be at least temporarily out of work as a group of investment firms, lead by Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital, look to strip down the company and sell its assets to the highest bidder.

Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January, its second trip to bankruptcy court since 2004. It previously emerged from restructuring in 2009 after a four-and-a-half year process. The workers blame management for their ineptitude as the company has been on decline for a long time. What about blaming themselves for not finding something new during this time period if they knew the ship had been sinking for so long?


The Baker’s Union rejected the latest rounds of concessions by management who called for another 20%+ cut in salaries, plus employees to shoulder more of the insurance burden. One worker revealed that his pay would have been cut from $34,000 to $25,000!

My take-home would be less than unemployment benefits. Being on unemployment while we search for a new job, that’s a better choice than working these hours for poverty wages,” said another worker.

If unemployment is really better than working, then hell yeah, I’d risk going on strike to see if I could get better concessions. It sounds like to the 6,700 baker union members, they rolled the dice and won. Unfortunately, when a company enters bankruptcy, its workers might have a little harder time than those from a solvent company to collect unemployment, because its your company and state who pays!

The other problem is that the 6,700 bakers might not fully represent the entire 18,500 workforce. Some of the 18,500 inevitably would rather keep their jobs, albeit with lower pay and benefits, than enter the cold days of Winter unemployed. Very few companies hire workers during the 4th quarter because budgets have already been spent. And managers get the most bang for their hiring buck when they hire in the first quarter instead.

Unfortunately, you can’t produce Twinkies if you don’t have any bakers.


* Rely on nobody but yourself. It’s very easy to rely on our jobs as the only source of income we’ll ever need for the rest of our lives. It’s easy to depend on government bailing us out, feed us benefits, and coddling us until we can stand on our own two feet. Instead, I encourage all of us to never rely on anybody or anything but ourselves. A job and the government are crutches that hurt us as soon as they go away. We are left with nothing but hopes and dreams.

* Build multiple income streams. While you are working, work on another income stream. After you’ve built one, build another, and another, and another. Streams of income can include dividends, interest, P2P lending, real estate, teaching, a second job, or online income. Build long enough and you’ll be amazed at the amount of side income you can produce.

* Pay attention to your company’s health. If your company you work for is publicly traded, listen to its quarterly earnings calls. Do web searches on the financial health and news of your employer too. If your company is private, pay close attention to the internal meetings and what’s happening across departments. Where are they expanding and contracting? Generally companies don’t suddenly go belly up. There is a series of unfortunate endogenous and exogenous events that happen beforehand. Start looking for another job as early as possible.

* Be aware of trends. There is a war on obesity in America right now. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has banned megagulps, and San Francisco is forcing McDonalds to charge for toys in Happy Meals. Congress also plans to pass legislation that denies tax deductions for companies who sell unhealthy products to children. Transfat, sugar, and processed foods are out. Real foods are in! I left my job in 2012 after 13 years because I knew the financial services industry was only going to get worse for the next three years due to declining profits, higher capital requirements, and government oversight. I wanted to negotiate a nice severance package when I could, rather than get nothing later on.

* Cut out sugar. If it’s not obvious by now, cut out sugar and other processed food as much as possible! Well more than 75% of weight loss is due to a poor diet. You can work out all you want, but if you overeat, you will not lose weight. So much of health is about what we eat. You wouldn’t feed gobs of candy and layers of fat into your Ferrari now would you? Food products in America and around the world are overrun with sugar. Food companies know sugar is addicting, just like how Tobacco companies know their hundreds of chemicals are addicting. Replace that soda with water, or real fruit juice if you must.


We need to be constantly monitoring the situation around us to avoid getting blown up by landmines. Have you ever done a double take after stumbling across an old picture? What happened to me? Our self-correcting mechanisms make sure we don’t go too far. If we are not fully aware of our surroundings, then we run the risk of ending up financially and spiritually broken.

Sugar kills us all, but it tastes so good. Let’s go on strike against the truth for as long as possible until it’s too late.

Untemplaters, do you think sugar kills? Why don’t we stop eating sugar if we know it’s bad for us? Why didn’t more Hostess Brands employees try and find another job if they’ve known for over eight years the company was in financial trouble? Is it rational to say that the 6,700 bakers would rather not have jobs than have jobs?





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  1. Sydney says

    I remember how I used to love eating those Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the swirly white icing. My parents almost never bought them for me but I’d savor them when I did get to eat one. Twinkies were a treat too, but thinking about them now makes me feel sick to my stomach. Waaaaay too much sugar and who knows what else in them.

    Sugar not only kills us, it’s incredibly addicting and a lot of people don’t realize that. It’s hard to cut it out overnight, but reducing sugar intake also reduces our cravings! I know this is true because I’ve done it before. I simply don’t crave sugar if I’m not eating sweets regularly. But once I start eating desserts, juice, and candy, I just want more, more, more.

    If I worked at Hostess and found out they filed for bankruptcy in January, I’d be going all cylinders blazing trying to find a new job from the minute I found out. But I might have done that many years earlier too since they’ve been sinking for a long time. I have no idea how hard it is or isn’t to find a job in baking, but I’d certainly try to open my own catering business if I couldn’t find a similar job working for someone else.

    • says

      My mom made me drink barley green every morning and scolded me for buying candy. Had to sneak them in the house! In retrospect, I appreciate her discipline!

      When the writing is on the wall, folks have to plan their exit strategies yesterday. Seriously. Look out for yourself!

  2. says

    Everytime I go on holiday to Asia – Thailand specifically – I lose a LOT of weight. Why? Because they have hardly any processed foods and sweets about. I love the healthy feeling that Raw Foods give!

  3. says

    A lot of finger pointing on who is to blame for the Hostess mess. But the fact is, even if the company didn’t close down now, it is inevitable that it will very soon. They simply cannot sustain with the products they produce.

    Maybe the unions knew that and gambled to get the most while they can.

    But back to your point, yes everyone must have a plan B whether or not you are comfortable with plan A.

  4. says

    I feel pretty sick if I have too much sugar. I used to have a big sweet tooth when younger but that ended in my early 20s… I don’t think sugar is too bad in and of itself if you have just a bit in moderation, just like anything else, but hundreds of grams a day is probably not moderation. 😉

    • Sydney says

      Yeah, my body crashes big time if I eat too much sugar. Overall my sweet tooth comes and goes. It went nuts around Halloween so I’m trying to cut back on my sugar in take now.

  5. says

    I love sugar and admit that candy, sweets and such are my biggest temptation. The reason we eat it even if we know it’s bad for us is because it takes good and it gives us pleasure. What I try to to to reduce my consumption is either to not have it around the house (removing the temptation) or limiting my serving sizes. The first piece of candy gives me a great deal of pleasure, the second gives less, the third even less and so on. If I eat only the first, I get the most satisfaction per piece of candy.

  6. says

    Sugar is like a drug. I read that before in an article. It brings in that rush of good feeling to a certain part of our brain.

    I didn’t quite believe it but this past year or so I truly think so. I find myself wanting something sweet to eat. Even though I say no at the beginning of the day, by the end of the day, I’ll have eaten something I didn’t want.

    It’s truly addictive and that’s why people can’t stop eating it.

    I’ve really had to be more deliberate about trying to stop. I haven’t completely cut it out but I’ve cut back in the past week.

    • says

      Totally addicting. So I wonder, for those who let themselves go too far, does that mean they have the weakest willpower? If you are an employer, is it therefore natural to discriminate if you depend on an employee with the most discipline and endurance to get things done in this crazy competitive world?

  7. says

    Although I have not cut out all sugar, I think there has to be a balance to everything. If you eat a relatively healthy diet an occasional candy bar doesn’t matter. I see my students have a constant diet of soda and Hot Cheetos which is probably why they are hungry. The people who live to 100 years old usually have very little processed or sugary foods.
    Rational thinking has nothing to do with Hostess products or the employees. The good employees usually leave the sinking ship because they can and you are left with the others. There will always be a huge market for these kind of snack foods. All you have to do is look at all the unhealthy outlets we have now.

    • Sydney says

      I can’t imagine drinking soda every day but a lot of people do. Processed foods really are bad for us and I can totally believe that avoiding them and a lot of sugar helps people live longer. It’s hard to cut them out all together though and I eat more processed foods than I want to admit.

  8. says

    And that’s why I don’t like unions.

    I never got into Hostess products. I tend to have a problem saying no to sweets when they are around, so I’ve developed a simple solution: I don’t buy them! In the store, I try to avoid that isle completely to avoid temptation.

    One of the the reasons that people have such problems with sugary and fatty foods is because those desires are hardwired into us from a time when getting enough to eat and sugar and fat were signs of nutritious, high quality foods. Now that sugar and fat are all but free, we have to fight our own biology.

    • Sydney says

      Avoiding the candy aisle is something I need to do more. I buy chocolate bars to snack on from time to time and it’s hard not to pick up something else that’s within reach!

  9. says

    I recently cut out sugar from my diet. It was right after Halloween of this last year. I went about 6 weeks with none, or very little. Then, Christmas happened and I fell off the wagon. I hurt so bad after not having it. I had also cut grains and dairy, and that is what Christmas is. lol Now that the holidays are over, I’m back to eating well and am starting to feel good again. If you experiment and cut it for three weeks, you won’t eat it anymore if you have some and it doesn’t agree with you. Do I still crave it? Of course I do, but it all comes down to reaping the consequences of what you put in your mouth. If you stuff it with junk, yes, you will gain weight. But you have no one to blame but yourself. There are medical conditions that promote weight gain and I am not talking about that. I am talking about all the people who refuse to take care of themselves and will die an early death for it. Find a great nutrition plan and stick to it. If I could open a healthy food joint, I sure would just to inspire people. Healthy does not have to taste bad.

    • says

      Maddy, congrats for cutting out sugar, grains, and dairy from your diet! Cutting one out is incredible. All three is amazing.

      Have you found more energy and have you lost some weight since?

      • says

        All of this has brought about my adaptation of the Paleo Lifestyle. I do feel more energetic. As someone who suffers from a low Thyroid, getting out of bed is a huge accomplishment. But I found that I have been better able to get up and feel good for once. I liked this way so much, I wanted my mom to do it with me so I made up a “plan” to follow and measure our results together. She wants to lose, I want to lose. We can both win. High protein, low carb lifestyles can be a great fat burner by putting the body into a healthy state of ketosis and enable the body to burn its own fat instead of turning carbs to fat. I started an exercise routine as well last night to further my ability to lose fat but gain lean muscle. :) I’m very excited!

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