So here we go again. The government wades in to fight the growing tide of obesity with the advice that we girls can eat a whopping 79 calories more a day and the boys can eat 105 calories more. So we’d better concentrate hard on calorie counting whilst stuffing loads and loads of fat down our faces as we all undoubtedly do everyday without a care for our burgeoning waistlines.
The government calls for a ‘new approach’. For the food and drink industry to ‘extend and intensify their effort to help people make healthier choices’. What will this mean? Even more low-fat, low calorie false-sugar stuffed rubbish sold for a big profit and a suprise for the consumer – despite every effort made the waist gets even bigger.
So what is new? Silly me, we can eat more calories. It is deeply saddening that it is assumed that everybody is stuffing down doughnuts and chips without acknowledging what they are doing. Do the nutritionists responsible for this tired old story think we are all stupid? Do they not realise that most people in this country have it branded in their brains that fat is fattening, red meat dangerous and oily fish dodgy – except tuna, of course.
Since so much is known about the effects of insulin upon fat storage and uncontrollable appetite why isn’t sugar the prime culprit? Could it be due to lobbying by the food companies? Can eating low fat crisps help weight loss? After all, I have heard cry so many times, we all need a treat. The problem is that manufactured healthy food, low in fat, is instead high in sugar. We humans have an innate love of sugar stemming from ancient times- variously put down to breast milk being sweet or to food not being rotten. Whatever the reason, it is sweetness that we crave and so this manufactured ‘healthy food’ gets sweeter and sweeter, leading to a debauching of the taste buds and a taste for sweeter and sweeter foods.
Would not a new approach be not to look at calories going in but rather to look at what is everybody is actually eating? When are they eating it? And what is the proportion of fats, carbs and proteins? How much false food1are they eating? What is their sugar intake in the form of the obvious sugary stuff, but also their starch, sweet drinks and fruit intake?
And lets take exercise. How many of us know people who exercise everyday – quite possibly for an hour or longer – but with never an inch lost around the waist? If we read the blog on Exercise and Calorie restriction, we will come to realise that we already know that exercise increases the appetite. Exercise is extremely good for us, it is a good depression buster and will normalise appetite – but it won’t curb hunger for most of us. And cardio exercise burns depressingly few calories.
It beggars belief that essentially the message of how to lose weight does not change. Despite the clear evidence that so far this advice has not worked. The premise of the argument is that we all eat too much food, eat too much fat and are too lazy to exercise. And, ultimately, are either stupid or simply don’t care that we are slowly resembling a nation of whales. So, please, if you are struggling with your waistline, don’t blame yourself. Instead, start to think for yourself. Because if you think like the government does, we can all only continue to get fatter and fatter.
- False food. The more manufactured a food is, the less real it is. There is a world of difference between a jacket potato with a splodge of butter and a tube of low fat Pringles. There is a world of difference between eating a lamb chop with copious freshly cooked greens and a mass produced pizza for dinner. [↩]