16 Responses to “Coca-Cola, Obesity and Conflict”

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  1. avatar Stephen says:

    Slipp, thirty odd years of advice based on a consensus of experts and peer reviewed data, has lead to an increase in obesity, diabetes and many other chronic diseases this is undeniable.

  2. avatar Slipp Digby says:

    Stephen – Of course the food industry lobby Government, thats not to say they are successful enough at doing this to that they can lead the Government to provide people with advice which is entirely wrong and potentially harmful.

  3. avatar Jessica says:

    Please excuse the long answer, but Slipp, you encouraged me to attempt to answer your points, and thank you for your postings – I love the opportunity to reconsider my views or confirm them even more.

    Slipp said : Jessica, I am refering to the general population rather than those without specific medical conditions – that is who the eatwell plate is aimed at. No-one is suggesting the eatwell plate covers every eventuality or that you should use it instead of proper advice from a doctor or a dietician!

    I reply : But the point is, how do you know that the vast majority of the population is not suffering from a metabolic imbalance – albeit a small one? As Gary Taubes’ points out, if this were a possibility, then after the change in diet some 30 years ago, we should now be seeing an explosion in weight gain and obesity related problems….which indeed we are. I am asking you to consider the possibility that sugar high fruit and natural resources high in carbs might be making the situation worse. And also to consider that even if you are correct, even if Zoe is totally wrong, how is her plate dangerous for the general population? What minerals and vitamins does it miss out (remembering that there are ‘healthy’ people who eat this food and then take supplements on top)? Also, the dietary advice I am likely to get from a doctor or dietician is shown in the Eatwell plate. I should know, I was eating for five years whilst I watched my sugar levels and weight levels soar!

    Slipp Says : I agree that informed choice has to be based on good quality evidence.
    But you have to ask yourself is high quality evidence likely to come from the consensus of experts based on peer reviewed data, or from self appointed ‘obesity researchers’ flogging diet books?

    I reply : What peer reviewed data? If you can produce the studies which show that consuming fat (and ONLY consuming fat) leads to weight gain, we would all be very interested to see it. My complaint is that all information given by the government is based on faulty advice and the public just go along with it. I don’t agree with getting ONLY information from people who have an economic interest (although this of course would cover Coca cola and the sugar industry as a whole) but I can speak from personal experience along with the hundreds of other people. Yes, “the plural of anecdote is not data” – which is why we are calling for more studies and more investigation. What we are getting is abuse and “La la la, we’re not listening”. Even more creepily, we are now seeing, “Let’s take facilities away from fat people (why, so they can die faster?) and lay the blame at their feet”.

    Slipp says : The problem is that Zoe falls for the naturalist fallacy and also presents ideas which are potentially harmful (her views on Cholesterol being a good example) either without an evidence base, or by cherry picking studies which support her predetermined conclusion.

    I reply : Is this not what may people do where dietary advice is concerned? If you can prove Zoe wrong, please do so. Please show the studies which undermine her conclusions. There are other doctors and scientists out there who agree with her, whose science seems sound and based on studies (Gary Taubes’ book shows this clearly) but no one wants to hear this.

    If the government wants to argue that people know about their diet, and refuse to follow it, why is it that there is “Cheap fatty sugar laden food available”? Why not tax these heavily and use that money to provide cheaper fruit and vegetables? I agree we cannot simply whack huge amounts of money on such food as I truly believe some families would find it difficult to manage. But the government’s actions belie what they say, which makes them less than credible. And I’m confused – Sugar Nutrition states that sugar consumption has gone down, and yet obesity is getting worse. So the message you’re saying is not getting through must be having some sort of effect. I would argue that sugar consumption in the form of fruit and vegs has gone up, but this is not counted in a sugar consumption study.

  4. avatar Stephen says:

    Slipp, You said: “and the food industry lobbys to protect their own interests and create unhealthy foods we crave” so who do they lobby if not government?

  5. avatar Slipp Digby says:

    Stephen, the increase in diabetes and obesity is of course entirely real and undeniable.

    However I think its ridiculous to attribute this to bad government advice because the simple fact is that the majority of people do not, and never have followed the dietary advice given out by the government.

    We lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles, fatty sugar laden food is cheap and more accessible and the food industry lobbys to protect their own interests and create unhealthy foods we crave.

    Zoe claims that the eatwell plate is unhealthy, yet the vast majority of the population eat more sugar, saturated fat and salt that recommended and in most other areas cannot reach what she believes is a ‘bad’ standard. What does this say about peoples eating habits?

    This is simply a matter of education. The advice to eat properly is freely available and those who argue the advice is wrong frequently, in my experience, have a major conflict of interest themselves like commerical income from selling the alternative view – books, supplements or nutritional advice.

  6. avatar Stephen says:

    Slipp, thirty odd years of advice based on a consensus of experts and peer reviewed data, has lead to an increase in obesity, diabetes and many other chronic diseases this is undeniable.
    The scientists who have advised government have a lot to answer for and have produced some poor quality science.
    I would like these experts to explain why obesity, diabetes, etc., has happened while following their advice.
    They keep themselves employed in safe university jobs backed up by commercial interests.
    It doesn’t take much common sense to realise there is something wrong with the ‘eat badly plate’ there’s so many inconsistencies.

  7. avatar Slipp Digby says:

    Jessica, I am refering to the general population rather than those without specific medical conditions – that is who the eatwell plate is aimed at. No-one is suggesting the eatwell plate covers every eventuality or that you should use it instead of proper advice from a doctor or a dietician!

    I agree that informed choice has to be based on good quality evidence.

    But you have to ask yourself is high quality evidence likely to come from the consensus of experts based on peer reviewed data, or from self appointed ‘obesity researchers’ flogging diet books?

    The problem is that Zoe falls for the naturalist fallacy and also presents ideas which are potentially harmful (her views on Cholesterol being a good example) either without an evidence base, or by cherry picking studies which support her predetermined conclusion.

  8. avatar Jessica says:

    Hello Slipp

    From personal experience (type 2, insulin resistant diabetic) I have to exclude certain foods entirely. Anything with refined sugar. I eat as few carbs as possible. Now, yes, I understand that not everyone has to do that. I advocate that everyone needs to look at their own diet and see what’s best for them. The crucial difference between the “Eatwell” plate and Zoe’s diet is that no one will be harmed by her diet, whether they are diabetic, insulin resistant or not. The “Eatwell” plate would do me physical harm because my system now is so messed up.

    For anyone with insulin problems, it is possible that the “Eatwell” plate will do them harm as well – over a long period of time. People need to understand this and make informed choices about their food – really informed choices, where data from both sides has been tested and examined thoroughly. But the government and dieticians don’t seem interested in that.

  9. avatar Slipp Digby says:

    I think you have missed the point entirely about the eatwell plate. The vast majority of the population in the UK has a diet which is considerably worse that the eatwell plate and if the whole population conformed to these recommendations, then a significant amount of preventable disease could be avoided.

    Eatwell is supposed to give simple advice, perhaps for people who have taken little interest in their diet or who lack the knowledge to look at the hard science behind it.

    Far from telling people they must make up 8% of their diet with juke food, the plate is simply acknowledging a truth – that people enjoy eating these things, that they are not harmful in sensible amounts, and that trying to eliminate them will only increase their allure, or put off those looking to make a gradual change.

    Like most diet ‘experts’ you seem to advocate excluding many food types entirely, which in my opinion cannot realistically be maintained over the longer term.

    Thats what we all want isnt it? Small gradual changes? We are still, as a nation well short of the eatwell plate.

  10. avatar Jessica says:

    The good news is that even dieting clubs are taking umbrage with Cola “leading” a campaign about obesity. They still have some of the argument incorrect, by insisting that Cola is full of empty calories (i.e. if you count in, say, 500 caloies for one cola, that’s 500 calories you could be using on ‘healthy’ things like fruit), however, they did quote the study which showed that sugar is the leading Cause of obesity. At last. Maybe we’ll wake everyone up at last. Maybe we’ll get a voice for all those obese people who are treated so badly by some smug know-it-alls out there who insist that weight problems are their problems.

  11. avatar Stephen says:

    Hi Zoë,
    Have you seen this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myxwCEGcBYc

    It’s from the CSPI who I’m not a fan of but this video is probably the best thing they have done. It has a dig at Cola and their polar bears.

    Keep up the good work.

  12. avatar Jessica says:

    I was hoping you would be commenting on the BBC news item which states that sugar is not addictive, and not responsible for the obesity epidemic. It suggested that Dr Lustig’s evidence has been looked at and refuted – or was it looked at and dismissed? The leading “nay sayer” appeared to be Sugar Nutrition UK, which has an entire website dedicated to telling us how sugar is a necessary part of our lives. Since they’re called SUGAR nutrition, I can’t imagine that there’s any bias there. No siree.

    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi Jessica – Sugar Nutrition used to be called The Sugar Bureau – it’s an organsiation funded by the sugar manufacturers to represent their interests (http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.d8315) I have called it an Oxymoron in the past because sugar has no nutrition! (Unless you think empty carb calories are nutritious).
      Keep spotting the conflict!
      Best wishes – Zoe

  13. avatar Lorraine says:

    “The eatwell plate” – It’s bad enough that they include junk / processed food as part of what you should eat but to add to it there’s also fruit/sugar yoghurt, soya drink (most likely contains sugar as well as soya being unhealthy) and sugar baked beans. It should be called “The How To Get Diabetes & Other Metabolic Diseases Plate”.

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