Ah, booze...the instigator of heightened self-esteem, belly laughs, steel balls, one-night stands and shady 3 a.m. breakfast decisions. But a recent study determined that alcohol is more detrimental to humankind than heroin or cocaine. Sheesh.
The study, which considered user destructibility on both individual and societal levels, found that Grandpa's cough syrup was responsible for ruining more families and bank accounts than any other chemical substance.
While the results of the study are hard to dispute, it's highly unlikely we'll stop drinking anytime soon. Still, we couldn't help but reminisce about the various food and beverage trends that have joined the Death Row of consumables at the hands of various studies over the years. Here are our top five "killers":
5. Margarine: There was a brief, tragic moment in history when people seriously thought that butter was bad. Creamy, delicious, silky butter -- an official food group for anyone who cooks the right way. The alternative to this delusional and absurd thinking was margarine, a disgusting, trans-fat-laden paste that tastes like ass and is chock-full of chemicals. We'll stick to the cow's cream and our higher LDL count, thankyouverymuch.
4. Diet Soda: Diet anything makes our palates quiver in fear, and nearly every study ever released on the zero-calorie cans has warned everyone to stay far, far away. Sodium benzoate + aspartame + formaldehyde =l cancer, cancer, cancer. And here's another way to think about it: While you glug back two or three cans of this factory-made shit every single day while sitting on your ass in your cubicle, you're ousting healthier options like milk, tea, coffee or water. Take note, people: You're not a hamster in some plexi-glass bubble, so stop sucking down the soda water.
3. Olean: Remember WOW chips? Big, beckoning bags of all your favorite snack chips that were completely fat-free? Let's all remember this, folks: If it seems too good to be true, it will probably give you diarrhea for days. Which is exactly what Olestra did to its fans. As such, Olestra is banned in many countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. Another observation about the product, and a comment on American culture: A whole slew of nitwits just ate more chips because they thought the Olean chips had fewer calories from fat. God Bless 'merica.
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2. Carbohydrates: Dr. Atkins could have easily won the 2004 presidential election, and factual evidence exists that there has never been a more annoying time to be a restaurant server than during the Atkins craze. The villains of this fad were "bad carbohydrates," consisting of refined starches and processed sugars. Amid the desecration of cheeseburgers and carbonaras nationwide, overweight Americans lost weight by eating nothing but steak and eggs for months. This love affair promptly ended when, shockingly, dieters found their cholesterol skyrocketing.
1. Energy Drinks: The beginning of the energy-drink phenomenon was like a honeymoon -- a blissful adrenaline rush of delicious ignorance, or an amped-up adventure blind to impending doom. You could have one zillion times the amount of caffeine in coffee! Energy drinks brought us cold, fruity, bubbly highs and were suddenly available in every gas station and supermarket in existence. Once again, research studies ruined everyone's buzz: too much sugar, too much caffeine and too many brain-chemistry-altering chemicals. And then everyone started mixing energy drinks with liquor and the shit really hit the fan (we're looking at you, Four Loko).