Saturday, 30 January 2010

In the News

Britain's Daily Mail today had an article by Hannah Sutter titled 'The Big Fat Lies about Britain's obesity epidemic'. Putting aside the Daily Mail's intention to politically isolate the government at every possible turn, this nevertheless illustrates how the concept of 'eat less' do more' is being continually picked apart and attacked:

  • For the past 30 years we've been told to eat less and exercise more, to cut back on calories and on saturated fat and, on the whole, we're doing it.
Sutter goes on to note,

  • Our calorific intake between the years 1974 and 2004 decreased by 20 per cent. We are eating about 20 per cent more fruit and vegetables than in the Seventies. We are doing approximately 25 per cent more exercise than we were in 1997.

    But are our waist lines shrinking? No. In fact, a quick glance around most High Streets would suggest the opposite is happening - with even young girls displaying 'muffin tops'.
As with the BBC story I commented on the other day, what matters is that we are getting exposure to the problem of thinking we can 'out-exercise our eating, or under-eat our hunger'. We can't.

Sutter is a Lawyer by training but kind of nails the basics of the problem pretty well. In a word, insulin. (The article is extracted from her forthcoming book 'Big Fat Lies: Is Your Government Making You Fat?'.)

The comments section is littered with the usual half-arsed armchair-physicist style comments from those who only see half the problem - that you can increase calories out (exercise), or reduce calories in (eat less), without some compensation elsewhere in the complex biological system that is the human body.

This is the point where I should direct people to 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' but to some people 'they just KNOW' that you need to 'eat less and do more' - so what is the point of reading GT eh?

A guy on Art DeVany's forum picked up on this paper 'Combining fat and sugar in diets leads to increased weight'. Now I am always of animal models but this paper at least tackles the notions held by the armchair physicists above - so let's cut to the chase:

  • “The results showed that the mice that ate sugar together with fat became significantly fatter than those that ate protein combined with fat. The mice that ate protein and fat had a lower increase in weight than a third group of mice fed a diet with less calories,”

It is almost as if a calorie simply is not a calorie.

Finally, a link pointing to the Iron Lady's low carb excursion.....

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