Dong Zhou wrote:Where I do have sympathy are for those who go for the healthy sounding options (say, a fruit juice) and it isn't, they get hit without realizing it. Where I don't have sympathy are for those with fizzy drinks, soda's and worse as their regular drink.
As long as businesses are 1) not advertising themselves as healthy (in which case heavy regulation is needed) and 2) have clear and helpful "this is how much sugar is in this can" (which really isn't the case), I don't have an issue with businesses selling fatty/sugary food. A takeaway, fast food, a fizzy drink isn't meant to be healthy and it is up to consumers not to take too much, it would be sad if the UK had to expel McDonalds, KFC, Pepsi/Coca Cola and so on becuase, as a nation, we can't be trusted with it.
Both of these are problems here. Unhealthy foods are advertised as healthy, if only through roundabout means. Health claims might be made based on a small presence of an ingredient when any potential health benefit of that small claim is completely drowned out by greater health concerns of the food (as simple as the amount of added sugars). Packages trumpet 'Added Fiber!' 'Non-GMO!' 'Gluten-Free!' 'Paleo Friendly!' on a granola bar with chocolate coating and any number of trendy terms effectively, for many, creating the illusion of being good food when it is, in fact, a candy bar. Another example is Coke's Vitamin Water, which advertises all the benefits it offers in terms of added nutrition and advertises through fitness professionals when it's just added-sugar soda in another label. A cereal might advertise 'heart healthy' or 'now with more fiber' when the inconsequential addition for that claim involves a tradeoff in another teaspoon or two of sugar per serving.
Most of this is a matter of lobbyists getting the better of lawmakers—it's probably not realistic to expect these businesses to care in the slightest about destroying the health of their customers—but it seems sad, to me, to make that concession. If people struggling with obesity knew more about this situation as a whole it's likely that these foods would not exist as they exist today.
Our new dietary guidelines include a proposal to label added sugars in foods (which would be a great step in the right direction) but who knows if it is going to survive lobbying.
Dong Zhou wrote:Politics: We do seem in a better place. Health Committee, peers, members of the government ranks all pushing on public issues and Hunt has just drastically tightened the recommended alcohol limit. Our current government can be a tad slow (they seem to wait to see how public health schemes get on elsewhere) but there is more pressure here.
How does the UK do with sugar, red meats, and other recommendations? Come to think of it, we do have some pretty reasonable alcohol recommendations but people don't really think much of it. I guess if the health drawbacks of alcohol (more or less soda + all the deleterious impacts of alcohol) are to be impressed on people here it would have to be through a public awareness campaign.
Dong Zhou wrote:Diet and fads: We don't have the big diet figures but we do have magazines, Weight Watchers and we have always had diet fads which are rarely a good idea. Regular meal times with proper non-fatty meals, portion control, seems a better way and something people can stick to even once weight is to normal level.
I would imagine people in the UK are exposed to a fair degree of the same diet and food fad recommendations we run across here in the United States if only through shared language, the internet, and social media. Do people seem to be losing weight based on restrictive fad diets or is there a generally healthier approach? Come to think of it, with how much I've read about Canada I'm surprised I haven't read more about the UK. I guess Canada finds its way into my reading more because they're our neighbors.
Does the UK have recommendations that place a lot of blame on fat? The United States has for quite some time now but research is demonstrating that a great deal of this blame is misplaced and our recent dietary guidelines are finally shifting a little bit to move a bit away from the low-fat or fat-free craze. Although that approach ought to be tempered with related recommendations on red meats and the like.
Dong Zhou wrote:Price: Yep, lecturing on healthy food is always annoying becuase the food said people recommend tends to be out of price range. I only get salad's or anything remotely like that when Tesco corner shop has them on reductions but not everyone lives near such a shop, I wouldn't get them if Tesco's suddenly left. One can lose weight without salad's or health food.
When I was losing some weight with price concerns about the best I could do was cook regularly at home with a meal something like brown rice, chicken, and vegetables. It sure starts to get expensive when you start to get creative with the foods, though...
Dong Zhou wrote:Schools: We have better here. School meals are being pushed now to prevent parents giving junk food to the kids during school hours.
That's good to hear. Michele Obama raised some stink about the junk food sold in schools and the Republican party mobilized to whine about it as anything from trampling our freedoms (to have our school feed children trash?) or... whatever, I can't even remember all the arguments they were so bizarre and incomprehensible. It's a subject which doesn't seem to get a lot of attention here, although lobbying groups are actively involved on the federal and state level to keep the likes of pizza and soda in schools.