November 30, 2017 at 10:56 am #325
Can’t say I am surprised! We seem to have caught up with America . When I was a teenager (dawn of time) the only time you saw anyone eating in the street was after the pictures when you got fish and chips in newspaper. Everyone now seems to be clutching a phone, a bottle of drink, or munching on cake, takeaway , or sweets! There are more cafe’s than other shops in our high street. There is so much choice in the shops and everything is jumbo sized, or a bogoff. I am no slim jim, but my weight has gone on over 60 odd years, not about 10 as so many young people and Im still not classed as obese !
November 30, 2017 at 10:58 am #328
The UK the most obese, are they being serious? Has anyone looked at most of those Italian women who’ve reached that certain age? Man, they’re huge …. and they seem to assume male plumage too!
Personally, I’d much prefer our only slightly chubby ladies, thanks just the same!
November 30, 2017 at 10:59 am #329
I don’t think it is MacDonald’s, or other fast food outlets as such, because at least, if the customer is interested, they can tell you their ingredients exactly. In fact MacD’s can be a godsend to food allergy sufferers because they will happily tailor their menu to fit. I blame the supermarkets because they put all sorts of unnecessary additional ingredients even in their food to cook ‘from scratch’. Trying to buy a plain raw chicken to cook at home can be a challenge! And the tiny print is not designed to help the discerning customer. I have recently become aware of how often maize/corn is a hidden ingredient in many foods, which you would not expect to contain it, such as fruit-juice from concentrate. Received wisdom is that those who are trying to stretch a budget can safely buy such juice because it just has the water taken out, in the country of origin, then added back in when it arrives where it is to be sold. My research shows that corn/corn derived products are also added. Those who try to eat less sugar by buying e.g. jam made with fruit juice rather than sugar will find themselves eating far more corn, which may be GM, than they intended. then there are all the ‘low-fat’ products where the fat has been replaced by sugar in one form or another – again often either lactose or corn derived oligo-fructose/HFCS.
Many more families in Western non-English-speaking countries cook from scratch than is the case here. Even ready-made mayo contains maize, as well as sugar, neither of which you would put in if you were cooking from scratch. Those who live in English speaking countries, need to overhaul their diet, on the whole, so that they understand exactly what they are eating.
November 30, 2017 at 10:59 am #330
I used to do a bit of outside catering so I know a little about the economics of selling food.
The most expensive part of any meal is protein, usually meat and its also the most temperature sensitive to store. Carbohydrate is cheap, to produce, easy to store, most cereal based products can be stored dry, and add a bit of salt or sugar and they are addictive. The reason why there are so many breakfast cereals and biscuits is because apart from taking up a huge amount of room on the shelves, they are relatively easy to sell. You do not need expensive fridges and freezers, and they have a long shelf life.
Nearly every food outlet will sell you a large amount of bread, chips or potatoes in any form to convince you are getting good value, while they sell you the cheapest, smallest amount of meat/fish, to make the most amount of profit. The ‘go large’ meal has become normal, even a pub sandwich comes with chips.
My favourite unhealthy shop bought meals are the ‘meal deals’ where the dessert is usually about 350 calories, and if you eat the whole meal as sold you have nearly eaten your daily allowance in one meal, for a women that’s about 2000 calories. For some reason these meals seem more healthy than fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, but with your fish and chips you would probably get more/better quality protein and certainly less additives.
The politics of food mean until we all have obesity induced illness and it costs the NHS a fortune, nothing will be done. It makes me cross that the manufacturers can downsize products to increase their profits but not to help the public reduce their calorie intake.
November 30, 2017 at 11:01 am #332
@kelly I agree. Sugar in a multitude of forms has been introduced by food manufacturers – imo the worst ‘innovation’ was the ‘low-fat’ industry – and the myth perpetrated by the manufacturers and the medical profession that eating fat makes you fat. I remember as a child (in the ’50s and ’60s) always having a pudding after meals but those puddings were home made and although they contained sugar were not ‘super-sweet’ as manufactured ones are now. Of course, we walked a lot more then, than is usual now, there weren’t as many cars around then.
November 30, 2017 at 11:01 am #333
The modern lifestyle pays a hug role exercise is no longer essential for survival for loads of people add people who don’t know how to cook those who do and cook to much there’s a long list of things driving this thorny problem .
I think public policy plays a huge role the NHS will be charge of you mantra has permeated the Brian’s of many people who just vaguely think someone else will deal with there bad joints ,diabetes ,shot heart etc etc when the person who has most influence is the individual .
I am on a diet ATM after MrGS retired I slowly gained weight until I felt awful about two months ago I decided I had to do something .
Strict strict diet no falling of the wagon and I have lost just short of two stone in two months despite have a thyroid that’s responding to medication it can be done the only person who can do this is you , Fat children are another matter of course the role of parents s is huge .
Indvuduals are the authors of there own misery in this respect .
November 30, 2017 at 11:02 am #334
It doesn’t surprise me.
I remember looking at younger daughter’s primary school photo for year 6 and realising that and about half the class were severely overweight, and and fair few would be classed obese.
This is in a reasonably affluent middle class area – with countryside all around. You couldn’t blame lack of opportunity or sports facilities round here either.
I am guessing that too many kids just do not move enough. If they are obese then, what hope for the future. It is scary.
November 30, 2017 at 11:03 am #335
We drink too much, we eat too much cheap processed rubbish, too much meat in huge portions, we don’t exercise enough, people in poverty can’t afford fresh veg/fruit. Food is seen as a casual thing to stuff in your face rather than something to think about. It’s a sorry situation all round.
Compared to other countries, we are absolute gluttons
I have friends in Tokyo so am lucky enough to visit a lot and the difference in how food is approached there is incredible. Japan has a gazillion more cafes/restaurants/foodstalls in one road than we do in this entire country (slight exaggeration but not that much!) and people eat out a LOT – very very cheaply too. But it’s all extremely high quality and fresh and treated as a work of art, even on the tiniest street food stall. Every eating place has an open kitchen because food and cooking are revered. People are obsessed with the detail of it. They also hardly eat any sickly sweet desserts. Portion size is way smaller and variety is everything – like our ‘5 a day’ fruit and veg rule, they live by 30 different foods a day.
In comparison, on my commute home yesterday, I watched a man eat 3 doughnuts in a row while on the phone to his partner discussing a takeaway…
November 30, 2017 at 11:04 am #336
No surprises for me either…
What do we expect when the the bulk of foods in supermarkets is highly processed, high in sugar, high in fat, high meat consumption (every meal), high dairy consumption.
The whole of the developed/developing world has turned its back on natural foods in moderation. Everything you see is wrapped in plastic and full of preservatives.
Not only is it highly polluting to produce these foods, but it’s also highly dangerous to eat so much meat and dairy… this country isn’t as bad as America but intensive farming is the TOP cause of pollution on this planet and yet you won’t see Greenpeace or any other organisation blaming farming. Because they get sponsored by the food producers that use these farms for meat and dairy.
There’s so much hypocrisy the mind boggles but it’s all tied to profit-making corporations making money out of people’s appetite for more easy-food. Yet, the NHS spent £16b on obesity related conditions. More than the police and fire services combined. Thats our money. If the HCPs had any say on public health, heart surgeons would probably tell us to cut out processed food, cut down on intensively farmed meat and dairy. I used to hear it regularly in talks at Diabetes UK when I worked in CV.
November 30, 2017 at 11:05 am #337
people should definitely be counselled to help heal whatever trauma is affecting they ability to lead a healthy lifestyle – and also educated by dietitians so that people can learn how to eat healthily. No joke, I would support this as it has been proven that lots of mental health issues contribute to obesity.
I also have a theory that if the education system brought back self-sufficiency lessons e.g. cooking, food, gardening and home tech kids would be more educated from a young age to recognise what a healthy diet and lifestyle is. At the moment this kind of education is only available at private schools. The parents that could be teaching these skills at home are often in full-time employment in order to afford homes. It’s not like it was in my parents day where my dad’s salary could support the whole family and my mum stayed home and taught us how to grow and cook food. The economy has forced a “convenience based lifestyle” upon many modern day families. It’s not healthy so moves like education and counselling would certainly help.
The Carter report even suggests that the NHS mandate has a focus on prevention – yet to see any extra funding going to employing full-time dietitians and counsellors in obesity clinics and specialist centres in the UK though…
November 30, 2017 at 11:06 am #338
Why do you blame the food manufacturers? People have free will to buy their products or not. And plenty of people eat them within a workable calorie input and aren’t fat. I can’t open a packet of biscuits or a 150g bag of crisps without scoffing the lot. I don’t blame Crawfords and Tyrells, I just don’t keep them in the house unless they are locked in a time controlled cupboard where I can’t get at them when my free will has been loosened by a bit of wine.
People are eating fewer calories than they did in the past, in general. They’re just moving a lot less.
November 30, 2017 at 11:07 am #340
@luke So I’m not allowed to buy food I want because the company is told not to make it because other people have no self control? Is that what you are suggesting?
If not, how do you propose to fine Mars or Ginsters for the person who eats three when I eat one?
November 30, 2017 at 11:08 am #341
@frogface I don’t see it in that way. The way I see it, is that the food manufacturers are producing foods that are surplus to requirements and are making you and a quarter of the population (NICE Epidimiology Report 2012) unhealthy. That in turn is causing you and that population to have health problems that need medical care which costs the NHS £27.8M (NICE.org.uk CG189). It costs the economy £27B (www.evidence.nice.org.uk) in non-medical intervention, social care, lost days at work and the ones indirectly related e.g. landfill waste disposal for plastic waste from wrappers and non-recyclable packaging that most of this kind of processed food is presented.
The leading cause of obesity is unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise. Whilst I appreciate it’s personal choice to eat pies and biscuits all day everyday, and be obese, I’m not sure why tax-payers should pick up the tab for the consequences when they happen. If, for example, there were restrictions on deadly foods, the cost of healthcare would reduce and there would be more healthy people around to do work and contribute to the economy.
The fine would be imposed like any other deadly substances tax. Cigarettes and alcohol are heavily taxed and death related to ciggies has been overtaken by death related to crap food. I can’t actually see the difference between cigarettes and crap food when it comes to healthcare burden on the economy.
Just another inconvenient truth I’m afraid that no-one wants to admit to. However, the stats cannot go ignored forever.
November 30, 2017 at 11:09 am #342
I do think they should be encouraged produce healthier products where they can.
Along with excessive levels of chemical preservative, sugars, salt, saturated fat etc. I think we are on the right track with what people expect now a days, but got a long way to go.
I’m not taking about sweets, pizzas etc, those are choices people make. But simple things like a pasta sauce being crammed full of sugar, which you would just never use when cooking from scratch. They make things “tastier” with adding sugar, fats and calories. People think they are being healthy making home made (albeit not from base ingredients) but are getting caught out. That’s just one example, there’s loads of things ha similar.
November 30, 2017 at 11:10 am #343
Most people have no idea how many calories they are consuming, and what those calories are made of. Sugar and salt are extremely yummy, added to carbohydrate and its addictive.
If you go into a supermarket just look at the proportion of the shelves are made up of high calories low nutrition foods, yes you have to make the choice to eat them but the meat, fruit and veg isles do not get the same amount of marketing and marketing increases sales. The boxes are normally yellow and red because the catch the eye. There is every type of crisp because for the maker there is a high profit margin, even with the marketing. How often do you see an ad for fruit or veg.
Do you know the Pink Lady apple, is a branded marketed apple, apple growers have to pay to use the name, that’s why its become so popular. They wrapped beautifully and have to be perfect, that’s part of the deal.
Cigarettes were not good for people, and even though tax revenue was substantial the government regulated their sale. High sugar high carbohydrates diets are not good for us, for many reasons but Type 2 Diabetes is going not only cost a fortune and cost untold misery.
My dad died at 55 from heart disease from a lifetime of smoking, it used to be thought good for you, he would now probably die from Type 2 diabetes, because although active my mother was a cake baker and I grew up on bread and potatoes.
The jury is out on fats, a bit like oil in horse feed they take longer to convert to the sugar the body can use, so although high in calories they take longer to digest and seem to be less addictive.
People cooking at home from basic ingredients is cheap, buying on the go sandwiches, coffee cakes, ready meals, is where all the money is for the shop or supplier, so there is no incentive to push healthy food.
November 30, 2017 at 11:10 am #344
The good thing is, due to intervention from govt, smoking has reduced by 2 million since the ban. In 2008 smoking cost the NHS £5B. 10 years on, the health economy benefits will take more time to quantify but this is an interesting read…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40444460
Whilst in 2016 obesity cost the NHS £16B. If obesity is a result of high processed foods full of sugar and salt then, if there were such a campaign to regulate these “foods” then I’m behind it.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Katy.
November 30, 2017 at 11:12 am #346
I’m really not sure it’s that simple TBH – I don’t eat rubbish (well, not often) or large portions, and apart from breakfast and a lunchtime snack I have a modest main meal once a day. And I do 2 hours physical labour at the yard every day, don’t drink and am pretty much always on the go (no idea how I found time to work lol) but the weight will not shift, 11 stone these days as opposed to just over 9 until I got to be middle aged.
I am retired but so often you see people in the media, slim and sylph like into their ’40s and then it all piles on after 50. So is it body type (as opposed to the Japanese?) or hormones (lack of??) or something else?
November 30, 2017 at 11:13 am #347
I ate all manner of rubbish as a kid. But I was out all day moving around. And out with the dog in the evenings.
Playing fields are being sold off and competition and the rough and tumble of sports and PE in school is not encouraged.
Kids stay indoors and play computer games. EVERY sport and hobby is struggling to attract young people.
Parents are worried about the dangers of RTCs and stranger danger. There are a lot more cars on the roads in fairness.
Almost every child in NL cycles to school. Loads of adults cycle to work. Pedestrians and bikes have right of way.
If a driver hits a bike their life is pretty much over.
Every tiny village you drive through, there are people out on pitches doing sports of some description.
They eat and drink a lot of crap too, but they move a lot more and almost every home, even in really built up areas, has a vegetable patch or a raised bed.
Dunno about France.
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