I have found the BBC 2 Series The Men Who Made Us Fat compelling watching; not only is it subversive and clever, but pure evil in revealing the nefarious, greedy and successful but corrupt motives and actions of the agrochemical, advertising, political and international organizations.
Researcher and Presenter Jacques Peretti has gone back to the beginnings, the initial impetus of the obesity epidemic by looking at how surplus corn was transformed into a valuable commodity – high fructose corn syrup and an indispensable ingredient in so much of the energy-dense, junk foods. Scientists and marketing gurus from the era of the 1970s and 19780s report on research revealing that feeding rats and humans with larger portions of junk food and fizzy drink sodas – with huge amounts of sugar – has led to the present obesity epidemic. Also that the cause of gaining weight, as pointed out by John Yudkin decades ago, was sugar and not fat, despite the marketing obsession with low-fat foods.
The genius of marketing has produced super sized and combo meals which has transformed ordinary eating habits into gorging, out-of-control, fat consumers. And the food and nutrition industrial lobbyists have resorted to tactics reminiscent of the tobacco company executives – threatening to withdraw the US funding of the UN if a damaging report was published. A similar lobbying ploy was used to prevent the publication of a report presented to the Labour Party’s Tessa Jowell proposing limiting advertising to children. These reports were never published.
To Positive Health PH Online nutrition readers who have followed articles on the subjects of cholesterol, fat, obesity and junk food, this series won’t be news; however the point is made is elegant fashion.
I have lost 2 stone in weight over the past 6-8 months, having been tricked by my GP into being weighed. When I discovered that I had gained 2-3 stone over the past 20 years, I was shocked. So, never having been a compulsive or excessive eater, I have had to cut down on smaller things: only 1/2 glass of juice in the morning, no fried eggs, just poached eggs, no sandwiches, just 1 slice of wholewheat toast in the morning and 1 slice of bread at lunchtime. Only 1/2 small glass of wine and no muffins, pastries, crumpets or scones. So I have been losing about 1 pound per week, not drastic, but 2 trouser and top sizes. This is fairly motivating. I still want to lose another stone – time will tell.