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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Mar-06-22, 02:58
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Dr Michael Mosley: Who made Britain fat?

Quote:
DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: Overweight? Our politicians are to blame because they don't have the willpower to clamp down on ultra-processed foods

Being a world leader in Covid research and vaccines has been a great triumph for the UK. But there is another ‘world leader’ title we really don’t want to shout about.

Obesity rates are soaring worldwide, but the UK is worse than most — we have the second highest rates of obesity in Europe (behind Malta).

This, in turn, leads to high rates of obesity-related cancers, such as breast cancer, as well as other life-shortening diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

So why is it happening? That is a question I set out to answer in a new series for Channel 4, Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat?

Now, clearly, if you put on a lot of weight it is probably because you are eating and drinking too much of the wrong stuff. But why are we overeating in such a spectacular fashion?

It is hard to believe it is because we are greedier or more slothful than other countries. I think it has much more to do with the fact that, along with the Americans, we’re world leaders when it comes to consuming ultra-processed foods (UPFs).

These are high-calorie foods that are often packed with sugar, fat and salt, as well as chemical flavourings and preservatives.

They’re designed to stimulate the reward circuits in our brains, so once we start eating them we find it hard to stop.

UPFs include burgers, chips, pizzas, pre-packaged meals, mass-produced ice-cream, sweets, crisps, bakery goods and biscuits, and pretty much anything that says ‘instant’ on the label.

On average more than half the calories we consume are from UPFs, with children and teenagers getting 65 per cent of their calories from these foods. Strikingly, the higher the proportion of your diet that is ultra-processed, the more likely you are to be obese.

So can we blame our obesity crisis on the food manufacturers which make and promote this highly processed food?

They’ve certainly played a part in creating our addictive food culture, but you could also argue that they’re just trying to maximise profits within the rules.

If you want real change, it ultimately comes down to governments, which set those rules. And as I discovered, they have done very little to try to curb the power of the food giants. In the UK, the first government policy that mentions obesity was published 30 years ago, under our then Prime Minister, John Major.

‘The Health of the Nation’ plan, as it was called, included recommendations such as getting the nation more active and encouraging people to eat less fat. It also set targets, the most striking being to halve the proportion of adults who were obese, from 14 per cent in 1992 to 7 per cent by 2005.

But by 2005, adult obesity rates had soared to 23 per cent; they’re now 28 per cent. There have since been hundreds of initiatives and advertising campaigns, many targeted at educating us about the dangers of obesity, or encouraging us to move more.

We don’t know how much has been spent on these initiatives (in the course of making the new TV series, we tried to find out, but no one seems to know). What is clear is that most of what has been tried so far hasn’t worked.

One of the few initiatives that did produce measurable results was the sugar tax, introduced four years ago after being announced in the 2016 Budget by then Chancellor George Osborne.

Before the tax was imposed, half of all soft drinks produced in the UK were rich in sugar; now it’s just 15 per cent.

Not surprisingly, there was massive pushback when the idea was first floated. George Osborne told me there was intense lobbying, from MPs who felt that a sugar tax was an example of the nanny state, as well from big companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. ‘They came to see me and other members of the Government to say this was wrong,’ he told me. ‘And their lobbyists also made that point, and they threatened us with an advertising campaign.’

Jamie Oliver, who vigorously promoted the sugar tax, told me he also got pushback when campaigning. More worryingly, for the first and last time in his life, his computers were hacked.

‘I can’t say that it’s got anything to do with that, and I can’t prove it,’ he told me. ‘All I can say is in the 46 years that I’ve lived on this planet, the only time any of that has happened was during that five-month period.’

The original plan was to extend the sugar tax to other foods and drinks, and there were other anti-obesity policies waiting in the wings, including a limit on supermarket buy-one-get-one-free offers, and a pre-watershed TV advertising ban on the promotion of junk food at kids.

But after then PM David Cameron resigned, those ideas were kicked into the long grass by his successor, Theresa May.

Thanks to our current PM’s near brush with death, at the start of the Covid pandemic, Boris Johnson has taken up some of the proposals dumped back in 2016.

He’s not keen on extending the sugar tax, but at the moment it looks likely that not only will we see curbs on supermarket promotions, but also some sort of pre-watershed advertising ban.

If everything goes to plan, by October, large food stores should look very different.

There will be no chocolate or other unhealthy treats near the entrance, the ends of aisles or by the tills; and by January 2023 there will be severe restrictions on junk food advertising, both online and before the 9pm watershed on TV.

I think there’s more that could be done, and I explore a range of novel ideas in the series, but what’s in the pipeline would represent a huge change from our previously largely hands-off approach.

Will it be enough to win the war on obesity? Only time will tell, but we can’t sit by and do nothing.

Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? 9pm, C4, Wednesday, March 9.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/...ians-blame.html

Quote:
Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat?

Why can't politicians halt the steep rise in the number of Brits living with obesity? Michael explores the issues and outlines a plan to fix the crisis before it breaks the NHS.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes...ade-britain-fat

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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Mar-06-22, 05:34
Dodger's Avatar
Dodger Dodger is offline
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I hope that the UK is successful with the proposed actions. Unfortunately, those actions will not be allowed in the US. Our lobbies will toss enough money to politicians that no controls will be allowed.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Mar-08-22, 12:33
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Dalesbred Dalesbred is offline
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Call me a sceptic but... it’s the ultra-processed food that makes the most money for manufacturers and ultimately investors. I would expect the definition of “junk food” to be stretched and twisted due to lobbying as to be almost meaningless. And I bet they go after “fat” rather than sugar/grain.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Apr-26-22, 07:11
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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There's no science behind "plant based." That's pure money and ultra processed.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Apr-26-22, 09:34
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Given that people have been ultra-compliant in those countries who have published dietary guidelines and have demonstrated that they want to do the right thing to achieve better health, isn't it about time that unbiased factual information is provided to support better food choices? Taxing foods and government involvement will not help, as that's exactly what's been going on since the late 70s when the USA created the food pyramid. Unfortunately, the "science" used currently is principally funded by food manufacturers resulting in a very inaccurate, distorted message that people want to believe. When people are able to choose foods based on accurate health score assignments, they've demonstrated good choices. I've thought long and hard about this dilemma and the challenge is that we've got too many food evaluators ("experts") making claims that are founded in agendas that do not share an objective to improve and achieve health. Add in the major pharmaceutical companies who currently think this is a wonderful world, and those sharing these concerns understand how much work remains to be done. Having someone like Michael Mosley ascribe blame is the equivalent to spitting into a blazing inferno in a futile attempt to extinguish the fire. While he makes a point and he's not wrong, it's a much larger problem than this. Some of us benefit from this awareness today, and I'm continually staggered by what more needs to be done to benefit the population.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Apr-26-22, 09:34
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bkloots bkloots is offline
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Government telling people what to eat (or not) has never been a popular application of public resources. "Food Pyramid"? Forget it.

I wish the health effects of sugar consumption could be documented as vividly as the effects of, say, smoking. People are also finding out that opioids can kill. Sugar? Not so fast.

Nutrition should be part of every child's elementary education. But controversies and economic pressures will never allow it, any more than leaders can agree on the ingredients and definitions for a school-provided lunch.

So...parents are given the task of educating and restricting the behaviors of their children. A very tough task in a world overwhelmingly in favor of "whatever feels good."

Those of us who choose wisely are, unfortunately, stuck with the bill for those who don't.

P. S. Posting simultaneosly with Rob. Essentially in agreement. "Freedom" includes the freedom to eat what we want, although we may be badly persuaded.
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  #7   ^
Old Wed, Apr-27-22, 05:27
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Not only that. Science tells us different approaches will work for different people. So now we need to know how people can tell which thing they might try first and hopefully find success.

One real problem with the food pyramid is how it seemed to work for some people, so everyone else was told they must be doing it wrong. That's simply not true.
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  #8   ^
Old Wed, Apr-27-22, 09:01
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
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Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkloots
Government telling people what to eat (or not) has never been a popular application of public resources. "Food Pyramid"? Forget it.

Those of us who choose wisely are, unfortunately, stuck with the bill for those who don't.

This is an important point and not a hyperbolic statement, as those of us on Medicare in the US realize direct costs of our premiums based on a number of factors, the primary being the subsidization of prescription drug costs.
Quote:
"Medicare Part B beneficiaries in 2022 began paying 14.5 percent more for their monthly premiums, which cover medical services such as doctors’ services and outpatient care. Why did the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raise the standard premium so drastically?

Part of the answer rests on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval last summer of an arguably unproven and expensive Alzheimer’s drug—Aduhelm."

This issue has gone back and forth with a drug where the trial results were questionable and the decision to release the drug resulted in resignations of decision makers in protest. But the larger issue is the fact that Americans, particularly over the age of 65, are extremely over-prescribed for many maladies resulting from lifestyle issues with poor food choices being at the core. We can only presume there is more to come in future years. Today, governments are not able to become beacons of common sense in these cases, as they are unable to guide people to better food choices.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Apr-27-22, 09:23
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GRB5111
Part of the answer rests on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval last summer of an arguably unproven and expensive Alzheimer’s drug—Aduhelm."


My bold. Because they are stuck on the track of dissolving those plaques, even though we have done that... and no one gets better.

Like the statins increasingly shoved at people over the past few decades, yet only a 3% prevention rate for heart attacks. The reason people take the drug.

If this was Brazil nuts that's enough to eat them, but with the side effects -- and what I consider a giant increased risk for memory issues -- I view statins as essentially a crime for profit.

Quote:
Apart from the observational data there is little data on non-whites and women. These data however set the scene for the results of prospective randomised trials to be completed.


As someone who loves both of the bolded categories, that's shocking. They push statins on EVERYONE. Even though studies on women indicate they have zero benefit.

Zero.
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