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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Feb-06-22, 14:41
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: HP/LC/IF
Stats: 238/180/160 Female 5'10"
Progress: 74%
Location: UK
Default Low-fat wotsits aren't the answer to Britain's obesity crisis

I rather liked this article in today's Telegraph and thought I'd share it here

Low-fat wotsits aren't the answer to Britain's obesity crisis

Replacing one kind of nutritionally barren junk food with its ultra-processed "low fat" cousin may actually be damaging to public health

Jane Shilling

When I first began to travel abroad it became clear that, while I was suitably impressed by the cultural glories, what really fascinated me were foreign supermarkets. To a grocery shopping sensibility schooled at Vyes of Sittingbourne, where the most exotic product was a pâté of nameless origin, the stuff to be found in at Monoprix or Carrefour was a revelation. Jars of tripes ŕ la mode de Caen, tins of harissa, artichokes, pomegranates, little cheeses wrapped in chestnut leaves.

Most of these things (though disappointingly not the tripe) are now commonplace in British supermarkets, and my enthusiasm for grocery shopping remains as keen as ever. But recently it has become hard to avoid being ambushed by the spectre of so-called “healthy” eating.

Sugar-free, fat-free, lactose-free, gluten-free – what these products tend to have in common is that they are mostly highly processed and noticeably more expensive than simpler and supposedly less “healthy” alternatives. Their increased presence in shops is not just a response to faddish customer demand, but a move to comply with the Government’s anti-obesity action plan, due to come into effect in April, which involves a ban on promotions of foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

While the Prime Minister’s commitment to the policy is reportedly wavering after resistance from Conservative MPs, Professor Tim Spector, an expert on gut health, suggests in his book Spoon-Fed that government guidelines on healthy eating are too often based on misleading science promulgated by the food industry. To replace the current generation of obesity-inducing junk food with a new generation of “low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sugar, low-sodium, high-protein heavily processed junk versions of foods”, he argues, is not merely ineffective, but actively damaging to health.

Between the additive-laden poles of unhealthy and “healthy” junk food lies a simpler alternative: what Professor Spector calls “real” – that is, unprocessed, or lightly processed, food. But the problem with “real” food is that it requires a confidence in buying and preparing ingredients of which there is a vast national deficit.

Cooking and nutrition is part of the national curriculum: the statutory guidance states that “Learning to cook is an essential life skill [which] will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity”. Well, quite. So why not deploy the anti-obesity budget where it would do most good, not by replacing one kind of nutritionally barren junk food with another, but by concentrating on the elegant strategy already in place: that of teaching the essential and creative life skill of making food from real ingredients?


Spoon-Fed: The #1 Sunday Times bestseller that shows why almost everything we’ve been told about food is wrong
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Feb-06-22, 14:52
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
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Plan: P:E/DDF
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Americans aren’t learning to cook either, as Barbara recently bemoaned.
One article I read thought some have been forced by CoVid restrictions to learn home cooking. But the proof is in the pudding as they say...and obesity rates have rocketed up further the past two years.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Feb-07-22, 01:12
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Plan: Primal/P:E
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Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Nice article... and the sad thing is, it should have been written 30 years ago when Ms Schilling was probably still in school. How many *generations* will it take to figure this out?

Wotsits are Cheetos here on this side of the pond.
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  #4   ^
Old Wed, Mar-02-22, 12:37
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Originally Posted by Kristine
Wotsits are Cheetos here on this side of the pond.

Thanks! I did wonder
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