No, it’s not your imagination. A lot more kids are being severely injured playing sport.

By | Sugar | 7 Comments

Many more kids than ever before are suffering permanently debilitating sporting injuries – the kinds of injuries that only hard-core sporting adults worried about in the past.  And the science says that bottle of blue goop the kids swill at half time is likely to be the cause.

The dreaded ACL injury is a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the four ligaments that hold our knee together.  The ACL is inside the knee joint connecting the bottom of the thigh bone (the femur) to the top of the lower leg bone (the tibia).  It is attached to the tibia by a little spit of bone called the tibial spine.

Twenty years ago kids didn’t tear their ACL, they broke the tibial spine.  This was because in growing children the bones are not at full strength, but the ligaments are.  In a stressed situation, where the ACL is yanking on the tibial spine, the bone gave way before the ligament, hence the fracture.

Orthopaedics textbooks from the nineties warned doctors to look for tibial spine fractures because children don’t tear their ACLs.  In essence, they thought they were immune to ACLs by virtue of being children.

But that has all changed swiftly, and not just in children.  The numbers of people suffering ACLs has been rapidly increasing in the last two decades.  The rate increased by a third between 1996 and 2004 (and almost doubled in women in that period).  The increase was even more dramatic in children under 17 years of age.

One recent detailed review at just one US hospital found ACL tears in children increased by 11% every year between 1999 and 2011.  In the same period the numbers of tibial spine fractures barely changed.

All of a sudden our kids are not making ligaments strong enough to break their developing tibial spine’s – the ligament tears instead.

Even after adjusting for increases in sports participation there is a very nasty (for the victims and the health system) trend developing at very high speed.

ACL’s can be repaired (by transplanting other ligaments) but even a well repaired ACL is likely to have severely debilitating long term consequences.  One recent study found that half of all adult Swedish soccer players who tore their ACL had developed severe arthritis of the injured knee within 14 years.

Apply that timeline to an 8 year old and it means they will spend most of their lives battling severe debilitation.  And that’s from an injury that 8 year olds are supposed to be ‘immune’ to.

Fortunately there is good science that tells us why our ACLs are suddenly failing.  Sugar.

The massive increase in our consumption of sugar is responsible for us producing substandard ligaments and cartilage.  If we make knees out of rubbish material its little wonder that they are suddenly not up to the job.

Sometimes sugars we eat are accidentally attached to proteins by our body. When that happens, the process is called glycation. Glycation can result in the formation of all sorts of unpredictable (and haphazard) molecules called AGE’s (Advanced Glycation End-products).

All sugars can form AGE’s but the fructose half of table sugar (sucrose) is ten times as likely to do so as glucose (the other half).

Our bodies are used to garden variety (glucose-produced) AGE’s. And we are pretty good at breaking them down and disposing of them. But even so, over time they accumulate in our organs and tissues and we, well, age (the acronym AGE is very much on purpose).

Unfortunately the AGE’s made with fructose molecules are resistant to our disposal system. So not only they made at 10 times the rate, they hang around.

AGE’s are dangerous because they bond easily (and randomly) to each other and to other proteins in a process called cross-linking. Cross-linking significantly degrades the quality of the protein.

Long-lived proteins such as collagen, elastin (both used in ligaments), lens crystallins (used in the eyes) and cartilage are much more susceptible to the effects of AGEs because once we make a bad batch, they’re part of us for an awfully long time.

Collagen degraded by AGEs makes less elastic ligaments.  And substandard ligaments, rather like rubber bands left in the sun, tear much more easily.

ACLs and other ligament and cartilage damage are now a standard part of sporting (and increasingly non-sporting – 30-40% occur while not playing sport) life because fructose is being consumed at unprecedented rates (ironically, particularly by those playing sport).

But here’s a tip, if you prefer to watch your kids on the sports field rather than in an ambulance, do what the NSW cricket team has just done and swap Gatorade for water.

 

Photo by Carolyn Tiry. Distributed under the Creative Commons License.

No, we don’t need a sugar tax

By | Sugar | 6 Comments

Sugar taxes are all the rage, but the evidence that they deliver better health is non-existent.  Fortunately there is a much easier way to get all the benefits (and more) without introducing a great big new tax.

Jamie Oliver and the Australian Heart Foundation are two prominent current advocates for a tax on sugary drinks.  Their reasoning is clear, sin taxes (like those on tobacco and alcohol) clearly change behaviour.  And sugar consumption is definitely a behaviour that needs to change.  The research is unequivocal – sugar is a primary player in the vast majority of chronic disease epidemics sweeping the world.

For every 10% increase in the price of a pack of ciggies, we can expect a 4% decrease in consumption (in high income countries and as part of a general package of actions against smoking). And we know that similar maths is at work when it comes to sugar water.  Mexico implemented a 10% ‘soda Tax in January 2014 and by the end of that year, consumption had decreased by 6%.

Smoking tobacco is the primary cause of lung cancer.  So convincing people not to smoke is likely to (and does) result in a measurable health outcome.  The substitute for cigarettes is nicotine patches and sprays.  They still deliver the addictive substance but without the health impacts of cigarettes.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for sugar.  Sugar is the addictive substance and is also the substance causing the damage.  Taxing one source of sugar will certainly reduce consumption from that source but detailed studies have been so far unable to detect a significant health benefit.

This is likely to be because people simply find another source of sugar.  Or, as the author of one recent study put it people simply “find alternate ways to offset the added cost of the tax, by buying in bulk or choosing generic brands.”   I would add, or, get their sugar from the other 90% of the food supply containing sugar.

In recognition of that loophole, Sarah Wilson wants to tax more than just sugar water.  She is campaigning for a tax on “soft drinks, their artificially sweetened alternatives and all foods and beverages that contained hidden sugars.”

The good news for Sarah is that John Howard anticipated her call and implemented just such a tax in Australia on 1 July 2000.  The bad news is that it has failed to positively change behaviour or health outcomes in the 15 years since.

The GST applies a 10% tax to all food and beverages except:

  • all meats for human consumption (except prepared meals or savoury snacks)
  • fruit, vegetables, fish and soup (fresh, frozen, dried, canned or packaged)
  • bread and bread rolls without a sweet coating (such as icing) or filling
  • unflavoured milk, cream, cheese and eggs
  • tea and coffee (unless ready-to-drink)
  • bottled drinking water
  • baby food and infant formula
  • cooking ingredients, such as flour, sugar, pre-mixes and cake mixes
  • fats and oils for cooking
  • spreads for bread (such as honey, jam and peanut butter)
  • spices, sauces and condiments
  • fruit or vegetable juice (of at least 90% by volume of juice of fruit or vegetables)
  • breakfast cereals.

To make the GST a perfect sugar tax, we’d need to remove breakfast cereals (why are they even there? – I smell a lobbyist), sugar as an ingredient, cake mixes, juices, sauces, condiments and some spreads from the list of exemptions (and add unsweetened yoghurt). But it is otherwise pretty close and I suspect that tinkering would be (politically) significantly easier than convincing the public to swallow a whole new tax on everything.

The big question is, would it change behaviour?  Unfortunately based on evidence to date, the answer would have to be resounding no.  When everything in a food category contains sugar, taxing sugar gives the consumer no choice but to pay more tax (and buy sugar anyway).

Luckily there is a simple way for a government (that really cared about our health) to do something about sugar consumption.  Simply require our supermarkets to tell us the lowest sugar choice in any food category.  The label above is my amateur vision of what that might look like.

Shelf labels allow customers to vote with their wallet by buying the product that has the least sugar.  Companies who want part of that action will ‘reformulate’ quickly and the market driven race to the bottom should persistently drive down the sugar content of the food supply.

One other teeny tiny change would be necessary.  Foods which are not subject to the sugar tax (aka the GST) must pass that saving on to the consumer.  Shops would not be permitted to sell tax free bottled water at the same price as taxable coke (as they currently do).

We don’t need more tax, we need a way for the consumer to reward companies that make foods with less (or no) added sugar.  Shelf labels are simple, direct, inexpensive and likely to produce material long term change in our food supply and our health.  So let’s put the tax stick away and reach for the information carrot to get this mule moving.

Also published on RendezView

How much Imitation Food did you eat today?

By | Big Fat Lies, Sugar, Vegetable Oils | 8 Comments

In these days of regulated, well, everything, it is easy to forget that we are not far down the track from a time when food was regularly adulterated in search of profit.  Milk (and beer) was watered down.  Bread was padded out with Plaster of Paris and sawdust.  And jam was stretched with sugar and pectin to save on costly fruit.

Some of these changes were just plain dangerous.  Some were not likely to be immediately harmful, but did mean the consumer wasn’t getting what they paid for.  To deal with the grey area between adulteration (with, say, sawdust) and cheating (with, say, water or sugar), in 1938 US legislators introduced laws that required that ‘Imitation Foods’ be clearly labelled.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) was authorised to create legally binding ‘standards of identity’ based on “the time-honored standards employed by housewives and reputable manufacturers”.  These were recipes which specified what well recognised foods such as cheese, or milk or bread or jam (for example) must contain and in what quantities.  The FDA attacked the task with gusto and by 1950 about half of all food sold in the US had a standardised description.

This meant that if you wanted to make a jam with less fruit than the standard you could do so but it had to be clearly labelled as Imitation Jam.

It also meant that if you wanted to sell low fat milk it had to be labelled Imitation Milk.  If you wanted to sell cheese slices made with milk solids and vegetable fats, it was Imitation Cheese. Or if you wanted to sweeten yoghurt with fruit juice instead of sugar it had to be called Imitation Sweetened Yoghurt.

You don’t have to be a marketing genius to understand that your product might not fly off the shelves with ‘Imitation’ stamped on the front.

The food industry wasn’t a fan in the 1950s but they became even less of a fan by the 1970s as the market for low-fat food really took off.  And they weren’t alone.  The American Heart Foundation was keen to get Americans to switch from animal fats to vegetable oils (to avoid cholesterol) and generally lower the fat in their diet.  But vegetable oils were rarely part of the traditional descriptions of these foods and the amount of fat was specified by law anyway.

Sustained lobbying by the food industry and the Heart Foundation resulted in the laws being changed in 1973.  From then on a food did not have to use the word “Imitation” as long as it had the same level of nutrients as the original.  Calories and fat were excluded from the requirement.  So as long as your Cheese like substance wrapped in plastic had the same vitamins and minerals as the real deal, it could be labelled as Cheese.

One of the most obvious results of that twisted logic is now available in your local supermarket.  There you can purchase a substance which describes itself as having “The protein, energy and fibre of 2 Weet-Bix and milk”.  The actual ingredients of Up&Go are (in descending order by weight):

  • water,
  • skim milk powder,
  • cane sugar,
  • wheat maltodextrin,
  • soy protein,
  • vegetable oils (sunflower, canola),
  • inulin,
  • starch,
  • corn syrup solids,
  • fructose,
  • cocoa (0.5%),
  • oat flour,
  • mineral (calcium), food acid (332), flavours, vegetable gums (460, 466, 407), stabiliser (452), salt, vitamins (C, niacin, A, B12, B6, B2, B1, folate)

You might be tempted to call that ‘Imitation Weetbix and Milk’ but as no Weet-bix appear to be involved, ‘Imitation Sweetened Milk’ is probably closer to the mark.

I’m sure that does add up to the same amount of protein, energy and fibre as Weet-bix and milk but I suspect that an appropriate amount of sawdust and offal would too.

I say bring back the Imitation label.  If your Mayonnaise is made with sugar, emulsifier and water rather than eggs and olive oil, it should be labelled Imitation Mayonnaise.  If your chocolate is made with sugar and vegetable oil rather than sugar and cocoa butter, it should be labelled imitation chocolate.  If your bread has added Fructooligosaccharides, then it’s Imitation Bread.  And if your Weetbix and Milk is made from skim milk powder and sugar, it should be called Imitation Sweetened Milk.

Assuming anyone still wanted to sell food labelled that way, it would make the shopper’s task significantly easier.  There would be no chance you would accidentally buy food containing vegetable oils as they would all be labelled as Imitations.  It wouldn’t eliminate sugar but at least the foods which contained sugar would clearly list sugar as an ingredient (rather than things like juice concentrate or pear extract).  In fact all the ingredients would be recognisable and the list would be much shorter.

This kind of change would result in almost all the contents of a modern supermarket being labelled as Imitation Food.  Yes, I know there is no chance of this happening.  Industry would fight it tooth and nail.  Very real and very large amounts of money would be on the line.  And that just shows how much we have lost control of our food supply – in the space of less than one human lifetime.

The 20th century will go down as the century when mankind surrendered the ability to prepare their own food (or at least know the person who did).  We surrendered that right to corporations motivated by nothing other than profit.  And the result is mass epidemics of chronic disease, the likes of which humankind has never before experienced.  This is not a coincidence, it is a consequence.  And it will end badly for us and our kids.

Removing imitation labelling requirements did not cause the disaster but it certainly and massively accelerated it.  Don’t be a victim of the corporatisation of our food supply.  Eat Real Food, that is, food that is assembled from recognisable ingredients.  Oh, and ditch the sugar. It’ll kill you whether it’s labelled properly or not.

Also published on The Juice Daily

Oops, sorry ‘bout that – 5 Big Things Nutrition science got horribly wrong

By | Big Fat Lies, Sugar, Vegetable Oils | 10 Comments

Australia is in the midst of a chronic disease epidemic.  Kidney cancer, Melanoma, Prostate cancer and Anal cancer have all doubled since 1982, as has Chronic Kidney Disease since 1991. Type II Diabetes has tripled since 1989.  Multiple Sclerosis has done the same since 1961. Thyroid and Liver cancer has almost quadrupled since 1982.  And life threatening childhood allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have almost quintupled since 1994.

In the same timeframe, we have become more health conscious than ever.  The science of Nutrition has moved from a back-room study of malnutrition to daily media coverage of what to eat.

The problem is most of what the nutrition profession has told us about food and its effect on disease has been horribly wrong.  So horribly wrong that, in many cases, we’d have been better off if we had done the opposite of what they said.

Here are 5 Big Things they’ve stuffed up.

  1. Fibre prevents bowel cancer

In 2002 the Cochrane Collaboration reviewed all high quality controlled trials (involving almost 5,000 patients).  They concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that increased dietary fibre would reduce Bowel Cancer.

That review was followed up in 2005 by a major evidence review by the Harvard School of Public Health.  The paper covered 13 studies which involved 725,628 people.  And again fibre drew a blank.  The authors concluded that high dietary fibre intake did not reduce the risk of Bowel Cancer.

Other recent research has also demolished many of the other claims around fibre.  It doesn’t prevent heart disease.  It doesn’t improve constipation (in fact it may be part of the cause).  And it likely increases our chances of getting diverticular disease.

  1. Cutting salt is good for the heart

When we consume salt, we retain more water.  More water means higher blood pressure.  A large Cochrane review conducted in 2004 showed that reducing salt intake does reduce blood pressure – but only slightly.

And while that’s nice, the real question is, does it prevent heart disease.  Unfortunately for the low salt brigade the answer (revealed in a 2011 Cochrane review) is a definite no.

There is no evidence that reducing salt reduces heart disease outcomes.  And worryingly one of the reviewed trials showed that reducing salt increase the risk of death in heart failure patients.

  1. Animal fat and Cholesterol are bad for the heart

Over the last five years a series of major reviews have all arrived at the same conclusion – Saturated Fat (the type which dominates fats from animals) does not cause heart disease.  The most recent review, published in August 2015, also adds that those fats are not associated with stroke, type II Diabetes or death from any other cause.

We’ve also been told for decades to avoid cholesterol.  It has been a major part of dietary warnings in the US (and eventually Australia) since 1961.  But this year the US government’s top nutrition advisory body released a review of the evidence which concludes dietary cholesterol is no longer a ‘nutrient of concern’.

No, we didn’t suddenly become immune to its evilness, the advice had been wrong all along.  And that dreadfully wrong advice stopped us consuming one of the most nutritionally perfect foods available – eggs (also vilified for their saturated fat content) – and had us falling victim to every marketer who wanted to plaster ‘low cholesterol’ on the front of a pack.

  1. ‘Vegetable Oil’ is good for the heart

One of the more recent demolitions of the ‘saturated fat’ is bad for the heart, myth also looked at whether vegetable is good for the heart.  We have, after all been told to replace butter with margarine for exactly that reason.

The study, sponsored by the British Heart Foundation, looked at trials involving over half a million people and concluded “Current evidence does not clearly support [heart health] guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated [fats – the ones found in vegetable oils].”

But these vegetable fats are not benign additions to the diet.  Increasingly the science is demonstrating  that the fats contained in vegetable oils (like Canola, Sunflower, Soybean, Cottonseed, Grapeseed, Rice Bran and Safflower oil) are a significant part of the disease process for Motor Neuron DiseaseParkinson’s DiseaseMacular DegenerationMultiple Sclerosis (and other auto-immune diseases) all cancers and lethal allergic reactions.

  1. Sugar doesn’t cause Type II Diabetes

Most nutrition authorities still maintain that nothing about sugar (other than the calories) is associated with Type II Diabetes.  And perhaps that is why the Heart Foundation is happy to endorse high sugar foods like Milo and a low-fat Mayo that lists sugar as its primary ingredient.

In June 2015, the latest in a long line of research once again concluded that sugary drink consumption (yes, even juice) was associated with Type II Diabetes even after adjusting for the weight of the people involved.  In other words the calories weren’t the problem.  Something else about the sugar was causing the diabetes.

It turns out that ‘something else’ is the fructose half of sugar and it is not merely responsible for Type II Diabetes but for many of the other chronic diseases that now plague us, including Fatty Liver Disease and Chronic Kidney Disease.

When nutrition science was in its infancy (in the 1960s and 1970s) it made some bad guesses about what makes us sick.  It guessed that eggs and animal fat gave us heart disease.  It guessed that salt caused heart disease and stroke.  It guessed that sugar was harmless.  And it guessed fibre was good.

These guesses were not illogical.  They were just naïve.  And, as it turns out, wrong.  But science has moved a long way since then and guessing is no longer required.

We now know that Heart Disease is caused by chronic inflammation and cancer risk is significantly elevated by oxidative stress.  And we know that loading our diets with man-made fats (labelled vegetable oil) and sugar will ensure we have both.

We no longer need to speculate.  Science has provided the answers.  The sooner those in charge of our dietary recommendations put their pride behind them and admit that, the healthier we will all be. 

But don’t wait for the apology.  Take control of your own health and (at the very least) ignore the nonsense they tell you about Fibre, Animal Fat, Salt and Sugar.  Good Health.

Health Star or Death Star?

By | Conflicts of Interest, Sugar, Vegetable Oils | 13 Comments

The Federal Government’s Health Star Rating system (HSR to its friends) is being heavily promoted as a solution the nation’s out-of-control obesity and chronic disease problem.  But it has turned into a food industry marketing stunt that is part of the problem not part of the solution.

This week HSR turned 1.  And as any one year old might expect, it got some lovely presents.  The government committed to spending $2.1 million telling everybody what a jolly good idea it is.  And they also cut a cheque to the Heart Foundation to look after the little fella for the next 2-5 years.

It seems everybody has been celebrating.  Sanitarium has been spending up big telling us that Up&Go (20% sugar) has 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Uncle Toby’s have also had the ad makers working round the clock, reminding us that you don’t have to drink your breakfast or have boring old oats.  Your kids can have their terrific 4 star sugar-loaded (25% sugar) oats instead.

The new multi-million dollar ad campaign helpfully tells us the more stars there are (to a maximum of 5) the healthier the food.

The government must be using a different definition of healthy to the World Health Organisation, the Canadian Heart Association and the British Medical Association, (to name just a few), because I doubt any of them would be likely to describe a ‘food’ that is 25% added sugar as healthy.  And yet that is exactly the type of ‘food’ getting the 4 and 5 star ratings in Australia.

Meanwhile, food that has sustained humans for millennia, like butter, coconut oil or yoghurt is flat out breaking the one star barrier.  Even strawberry liquorice (42% sugar) does better than that (2.5 stars).

They all score badly because they contain saturated fat.  For decades that kind of fat has been painted by nutritionists as the dietary villain.  But recent reviews of the science conducted by the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends dropping saturated fat (and cholesterol) from its list of nutrients of concern because there is no evidence connecting it with heart disease.

The HSR is a marketing program developed by and for the processed food industry (but paid for by the taxpayer).  Its development panel includes the Australian Beverages Council (whose members include Coca-cola and Pepsi) and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (whose membership list is the phone directory for the processed food industry).

It, like the Heart Foundation tick (which coincidentally appears on all the ‘healthy’ products I mention above) should be used as a guide to what foods to completely ignore.  The less stars a product has the less likely it is to do you harm.

But this isn’t an amusing little sideshow.  People are being actively told by their government to consume products that will unequivocally harm them.  They are being told that high sugar, high seed oil products like Up&Go are the best thing they can eat when the evidence says the exact opposite.

We wouldn’t tolerate a Government sponsored program that actively encouraged children to smoke (for their health) so let’s not tolerate our money being used to market sugar laced, seed oil as health food.

Don’t tolerate you and your family being treated like processed food dump sites.  Write to Sussan Ley (the Minister responsible for this abomination) and tell her you don’t want your money spent on a labelling system designed by Big Food’s marketing department.  And tell her you want your government to base its dietary advice on evidence, not what Big Food needs to sell this week.

Two things you can avoid to take yourself off the chronic disease treadmill

By | Sugar, Vegetable Oils | 3 Comments

Australians are sicker now than at any time in our history and it is getting worse unbelievably quickly.  We are almost four times as likely to have thyroid cancer than just three short decades ago.  We are more than three times as likely to have Liver Cancer or Type II Diabetes.  We are twice as likely to have Anal cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Melanoma, Kidney cancer and Motor Neuron Disease.  And Fatty Liver Disease, something that barely existed in the eighties, now affects 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 8 children.

Men are more than twice as likely to have prostate cancer and 60% more likely to have testicular cancer.  Women are 43% more likely to have breast cancer.  And children are more than four times(!) as likely to suffer from a life threatening allergic reaction.

These are not comparisons to the 50s or the turn of the 20th century.  These statistics are comparisons with 1982 (and in the case of allergies, with 1994).  The chronic disease tsunami is upon us. If we are not already affected by one of these diseases (or the many others steadily getting worse), we most certainly know someone who is.

So, when something happens that reminds us of this, we pay attention.  The Ice-Bucket Challenge for Motor Neuron Disease and the Beanie for Brain Cancer campaign strike a chord with us because, like never before in human history, we are likely to have a very personal connection with chronic disease inexplicably striking down those we love.

We are intensely interested in knowing all we can about these diseases.  We don’t believe they strike randomly, no matter how many times we are told they have no known cause.  Even if we don’t know the exact numbers we have a sense that we are a population in serious disease trouble. We desperately want to know if there is something we should be doing or not doing to avoid adding ourselves (and those we love) to the statistics.

The problem is, we are never told.  The organisations tasked with telling us about these diseases tell us nothing is known about their cause.  They offer us no hope.  They ask us for money for research and they leave us to live with our fingers crossed.

But we do know some important things about these diseases.  We know that sugar consumption causes Type II Diabetes Fatty Liver Disease and Chronic Kidney disease and is likely to be part of the disease process for Liver, Kidney and Pancreatic cancer.  We know that the fats contained in vegetable oils (like Canola, Sunflower, Soybean, Cottonseed, Grapeseed, Rice Bran and Safflower oil) are a significant part of the disease process for Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Macular Degeneration, Multiple Sclerosis (and other auto-immune diseases) all cancers and lethal allergic reactions.

Deleting sugar from your diet will not bring a destroyed pancreas, liver or kidney back.  Deleting vegetable oil will not reverse Parkinson’s, Motor Neuron Disease or cancer.  But removing those modern additions to our diet will take you off the high risk path for all of those diseases and more.

This is the message we should be given the next time our national attention is focused on a beanie, a ribbon or a bucket of ice-water.  We should be told what we can do to avoid the disease.  Those asking us for money should be doing their level best to ensure they never need it.

 

 

Photo by Kyle Nishioka. Distributed under the Creative Commons License.

Eat Real Food now available

By | Books, Sugar, Vegetable Oils | 13 Comments

Enter the great Book #1 Give-away. David will give away the first copy of Eat Real Foodsigned and personally inscribed as Copy #1 – to the winner of this competition. Enter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the last 100 years, we’ve become fatter and sicker with millions of people developing serious diseases from diabetes to cancer. Health gurus confuse us with complex diets and expensive ingredients; food manufacturers load their products with addictive and destructive ingredients causing our increasing weight and declining health. But help is at hand. Health and consumer advocate David Gillespie shares the simple secret of weight loss and wellbeing: swap processed food for REAL FOOD. Eat Real Food features:

  • An explanation of why diets don’t work and a provides a focus on what does
  • Information on how to lose weight permanently, not just in the short-term
  • Evidence-based science explaining the real culprits of ill health and weight gain.
  • Advice on how to read food labels.
  • Easy recipes to replace common processed items and meal plans that show how simple it is to shop, plan and cook Real Food.
  • Tips for lunchboxes, parties, and recipes for food kids actually like.

Eat Real Food is the safe, effective and cheap solution to lose weight and improve our health permanently

Buy Now Read an Extract

4 Sugar Filled Foods the Heart Foundation would like you to eat

By | Big Fat Lies, Sugar | 7 Comments

Yesterday the Heart Foundation publicly demanded the Government take action to address Australia’s obesity crisis.

Heart Foundation chief executive Mary Barry told The Age that with 60 per cent of Australian adults and a quarter of children now classified as overweight or obese, the government needed to immediately implement a tax on sugar water.  You see, the Heart Foundation is (rightly) very concerned about sugary drinks. It has been campaigning against them for two years now.

Oddly though, their concern about sugar does not extend to products that bear the Heart Foundation’s paid endorsement (the Heart Foundation Tick).

Perhaps it’s the water in a sugary drink that renders them dangerous?  Because the Heart Foundation apparently has no problems accepting licensing fees from the manufacturers of these sugar loaded ‘foods’.

  1. Nestle Milo Cereal.

At 27.3% sugar, Nestle’s Milo Cereal will add a tidy 7 teaspoons of sugar to the average teenager’s breakfast bowl (100g).  If you caught your teen ladelling 7 teaspoons of sugar into anything you’d probably have a word or two but with this stuff the work is all done.  Welcome to the first Heart Foundation approved breakfast.

  1. Kellogg’s Just Right.

Ok Milo might have a Tick but it is chocolate after all.  The next cab off the rank is less obviously dessert like but it packs a sugary punch too.  This little Heart Foundation approved beauty weighs in at 28.7% sugar.  Do you want some cereal with your sugar?

  1. Uncle Toby’s Quick Sachets – Creamy Vanilla

You might think you were on safe ground with a nice bowl of porridge (especially from a product bearing the approval of the Australian Heart Foundation) but with almost a quarter (24.9%) of every bowl being sugar this aint no dieter’s paradise.

  1. Kellogg’s K-Time Twists – Strawberry & Yoghurt

Having filled the kids (and you) with Heart Foundation approved sugar for breakfast you will probably be looking for a healthy snack for morning tea.  Have no fear, there are Heart Foundation approved delights at hand.  This little sweetie is a whopping 36.2% sugar, which is a fair chunk more than a nice bar of Lindt Dark Chocolate (29%).  The chocolate bar of course does not bear a Heart Foundation tick but perhaps they should think about applying?

While it is lovely that the Heart Foundation wants us to consume less sugar, their campaign would be significantly more persuasive if they stopped accepting payment for endorsing sugar loaded products like these at the same time as they demanded that sugary drinks be taxed.

We are entitled to more than insults and hand-waving from the medical profession

By | Big Fat Lies, Sugar | 5 Comments

Yesterday the President of the AMA in Queensland, Dr Shaun Rudd warned Queenslanders that their State was at risk of sinking into the sea if they didn’t stop being so fat.  He declared a “state of emergency” in the “war of the wobble”.  The excuse for his bizarre rant (which seemed also to target tuckshop ladies and their arms for some reason) was that the AMAQ wants whoever wins the QLD state election to implement their recommendations aimed at reducing obesity.

It is a good while since I have heard fat-ist drivel so plainly spoken.  The message is loud and clear.  If you are overweight, you have a character defect and you need to harden up (and be saintly and thin). The derision in this Irish GP’s voice was palpable.  That it should be uttered by a doctor representing the health system that has put us in this position is quite frankly disgusting. It should come as no great surprise then that the AMA’s proposed solutions to the crisis are worse than pathetic.

Do they suggest implementing the WHO guidelines on the reduction of sugar?  Have they reviewed the recent evidence (again) confirming that sugar is the source not only of obesity but the vast majority of chronic disease now crippling our health system?  No.  Their suggestions are to ban fast food outlets opening near schools and subsidise fruit and vegetables in ‘at risk’ communities (whatever they are).  Describing those policies as ‘limp’ would be a significant overstatement.

There is nothing wrong with lamenting the danger we all face from obesity.  There is nothing wrong with wanting government to do something about it.  But name-calling and spit-balled non-initiatives spouted by a doctor afflicted with superioritis majoris is not the answer.  We know what causes obesity (sugar) and we know what fixes it (removing sugar).  So please AMAQ, drag your policy (and speech) writers into the 21st century and start lobbying for change that would really make a difference.

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match