Sorry, I don’t believe this will change anything

The Good Life Letter 

7th December 2018

  • New survey reveals that people want the food industry to save them from obesity
  • But will it…? Or CAN it?
  • Why blaming food won’t stop the health crisis

This is interesting…

Public Health England (PHE) have published results of a survey showing that 9 out of 10 people want the food industry to reduce the sugar and calorie levels in their products.

“Save us from obesity!” the respondents were crying out. “Take the sugar out of our meals.”

The report showed that the general public really do WANT to be healthier.

They understand that obesity is one of the UK's biggest health concerns.

They want less sugar in their cereals, yoghurts, pizzas and ready meals.

And they don’t want to be tempted by sweet snacks near the checkouts.

All good but…

It strikes me as a little strange.

Because if the public have a strong will to be healthy… if they understand that obesity is a problem… and if they have a desire to eat less sugar… why is the health crisis getting worse?

The first answer might be the very fact that the public are not challenging the food industry’s products, only the amount of sugar or calories in them.

This is because cereals, pizzas, pasta sauces and ready meals are so every day and popular now that they’ve become staples of the modern British diet. Things that everyone chucks in their shopping trolley.

Reducing sugar and calorie content in those processed foods isn’t solving the issue that we eat too much of these kinds of foods. Nor addressing the issue that whole ingredients and home cooked food are better.

Neither does it deal with the fact that we eat far too many carbs in comparison to healthy proteins and green veg.
And it doesn’t make up for the truth that fruit, fish, eggs and even some kinds of meat are better options than cereals for breakfast.


In the main, because that’s not something which makes the food industry money. You can’t really package eggs, or mackerel or grapefruit in the way you can with a multi-ingredient, high mark-up cereal.

They can, however, make a lot more money by repackaging and rebranding their existing products as “New healthier recipe!”… “Now with less sugar!”… “Low Fat Option!”

Even if they do it won’t stop the health crisis, and here’s why…

Why sugar isn’t addictive

This latest survey is one of many blaming specific ingredients for our problems. It’s all the SUGAR’S fault, we are told, we’re addicted to it! If we get rid of sugar all will be well.

That’s the implication anyway.

But this might surprise you…

In 2014, researchers at the University of Edinburgh published a study in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
It showed that people can become addicted to eating… but NOT to specific foods such as sugar or fat. They said that your brain does not respond to those ingredients in the way it might to heroin or cocaine.

In other words, the desire to eat and keep eating is driven by our psychology.

Simply reducing the sugar content of cereals and ready meals won’t change that.

These researchers concluded that it’s not specific foods that are the problem, but our relationship with food. It’s about issues in our lives, from sleep problems to psychological problems to stress to genetic predispositions to lifestyle habits to our ingrained beliefs.

Then there is our increasing use of cars, leading to more people driving instead of walking, plus our increasing use of laptops, computers and smartphones, which allow us to sit in one place and communicate, work, shop and experience the world.

As the researchers in Edinburgh said, "People try to find rational explanations for being over-weight and it is easy to blame food.”

So reducing sugar and fat is just tinkering around the edges of a much deeper problem and won’t solve the health crisis.

That’s not to say that they should then be able to do what they like and make their food as sugary, salty, fatty and tempting as possible…I’m not saying that.

But let’s not, you and I, depend on the food industry to swoop down and save us like Superman. And let’s not be led to believe that a couple of problematic ingredients in food are the be-all and end-all.

Instead, some of the issues I cover in this letter can help us…

Getting better sleep, reducing stress, adding specific fruits and veg to our diets to solve different problems, using herbal remedies, balancing our lifestyles, finding natural ways to regain our mobility and keep a positive outlook.
Perhaps it’s even time that the public stopped worrying about these surveys in the first place.

Why information can sometimes be bad for us

You see, a final reason why the obesity health problem is deepening might be that people are totally confused by the very newspaper articles, surveys and health warnings that are “trying” to help them.

You know the kind of thing…

We eat too much salt… then not enough salt… then salt of the wrong kind…

We eat too much fat… then not enough fat… then not enough of the right fats…

We drink too much coffee… then coffee is suddenly good for us… then it’s bad for us again… then it’s good again…

We don’t eat enough fish… we eat too much fish because it’s contaminated… then we eat too much or the wrong fish or not enough of the right fish…

Chocolate good…

Chocolate bad…

Wine good…

Wine bad…

Wine good again…

Eggs bad…

…then eggs good…

And what about avocados? Are they in or out this week?

And cheese? Can we eat cheese? “Yes” they tell us, then “No” they shout a few months later, and “probably, we’re not really sure” they say a few months after that.

When you get constantly conflicting information, it can be just as bad as no information at all.

What happens then is that the fatigued and bamboozled public end up simply HOPING the food industry will make them healthier, and in my view that’s not likely to happen.

So stick with the Good Life Letter and I’ll share practical ways to reduce pain, control your weight, fend off illness and keep yourself feeling as young as possible for as long as possible! That’s a promise!
Yours, as always




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