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The Men Who Made Us Fat

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    Did anyone watch this programme? I've just caught up with it on the iplayer.
    It appears that all the advice we've been given since the 70s about having a low-fat diet has been misleading. Scientists are now saying that the over-consumption of fructose, which you will find in virtually every processed food, is causing obesity rather than the consumption of fat itself. Apparently, fructose gets converted into fat within our bodies.
    It's an interesting programme that looks at why decisions about the food we consume have been taken, politically in our best interests, but with subsequent consequences to our health.In the 1970s, rising food costs in America became a political issue, so the solution was to create a massive increase in the size of farms producing corn to become animal feed. There was an economic benefit, because surplus corn can be converted into fructose instead of rotting.
    One example looked at the replacement of sugar with fructose in Coca cola gave a 20% saving in cost, enabling bucket-sized portions to be sold.
    There are a few ads that took me back down memory lane. "Milky Way, the sweet you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite" "A finger of Fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat" Both full of fructose, which interestingly, has the ability to disrupt the normal signals our brain receives to tell us to stop eating.
    I gather that the next episode will look at marketing strategies in changing portion sizes to be larger and more profitable. I can't wait to watch it.
  2. anteater

    anteater New commenter

    Thanks for the heads up, modelmaker: it was a fascinating programme. Admittedly I've just spent an hour watching it instead of going for a walk...
    Very interesting that the MRI revealed that the presenter was "fat inside", despite looking pretty trim on the outside. Also it was amazing to see what power the sugar industry has.
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    Blimey, anteater, I thought nobody would ever reply. I have to say that I'm far from fat myself, but I've always put that down to smoking.
    It does make you think though. When the advice you get to eat low-fat meals turns out to be false, because the fat is being replaced with something that makes you fat...
    I expect that one day, they'll be telling us that the best way to avoid heart disease is to take up smoking and binge drink.
  4. I'm keen to watch this programme.
    Thanks for the link mm, will let you know what I think when I get a chance to view it (i.e. when I've prised the man of the house off the widescreen laptop).
  5. This isn't actually new news, so if it is new news in the UK, no wonder so many are obese.
    I don't mean that to sound bad, but I am shocked that it is news!

  6. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    Has that influenced your willingness in any way, to ship this **** around Europe then, celtic?
  7. I don't actually ship fructose **** around, MM.
    You really should have read all my posts more carefully!
    If I am transporting goods that need to be temperature controlled, you can be sure there isn't a lot of **** in them.
    Otherwise they would have a longer MHD date and no need for quick transport.

  8. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I have just watched this on iplayer. Fascinating the control the businesses have over policy.
    Despite the fact I know about calories I still have a fight my tendancy to think that fat is worse than sugar.
    The story of the fat-free biscuits selling like hot cakes because people thought that they were calorie free was scary but so believable.

  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I watched it, I think, based on this description. I've not clicked on your link. I didn't watch it properly - it was on whist I was doing other things.
    I would echo CQ's comments - this isn't new information. Health experts and doctors have been telling everyone for some time that sugar is the biggest contributor to obesity in Western diets and overconsumption of sugar poses a considerably higher risk to health than consumption of saturated fat.
    Whether the public is aware of this is a different matter, admittedly.
  10. I watched this too. I knew about the visceral and internal fat from previous programmes & reading. I didn't know about fructose though. I do listen to scientific research whioch does seem pretty robusr but does it not boil down to a basic over eating of calories whatever the ingredient. Output has to be greater than input??
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    The gist of the programme was about contrasting opinions between two doctors over whether fat or sugar was contributing to obesity and the wong guy won the arguement, resulting in why we are worse off now than we were. Essentially, neiher had the data at the time to prove their claims but it seemed likely to politicians that a high fat intake was the most likely cause of obesity than a high intake of sugar.
    Or was it?
    The sugar producers had a powerful lobby when it mattered in the 80s and still do.
  12. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    So today's programme is all about super-sizing. Clever marketing that gets us to buy and consume more by thinking we're getting a bargain. Be honest, who doesn't fall for it?
  13. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I watched smugly, thinking "I don't do any of this, I rarely get a McWimpy and when I do I never 'go large', I don't drink fizzy drinks, we rarely have biscuits in the house, I never buy chocolate bars..."
    And then I saw them hold up a multipack of crisps and remembered thinking I fancied a packet of crisps when doing the shopping the other week, going to the crisp aisle and instead of buying one packet, buying 2 x six packs of crisps because they were on offer...and have since had a packet of crisps every day since!
  14. modelmaker

    modelmaker Lead commenter

    And if that's what an intelligent person does, what about the rest of us?
    Tell me, would you feel guity if a barman asked whether the glass of wine you had asked for to give to your wife was small, medium or large, and you said small? It's all about choice isn't it? The choice to be branded as a cheapskate or not.
  15. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    What the frig happened to an educated choice??!!
    I don't tend to eat as some on here would consider "healthily" but I do plenty of walking and don't really eat that much at home (yet at school I am always wanting to eat??!!) so I'm not a fat blumper.
    I could really eat a sausage and bacon bap now though.
  16. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Me too.
    But then again I am a scientist by training and have studied nutrition.
    Fructose is fruit sugar. The stuff that makes apples, bananas, strawberries.............any fruit...............taste sweet.
    Sucrose is a different sugar, found in sugar beet and sugar cane. These do not produce fructose.
    Fructose is a monosaccharide, which means it is formed form just one molecule of a 'sugar' and that sugar is fructose.
    Sucrose is a disaccharide. It is two sugar molecules joined together, one glucose + one fructose.
    The body can turn any sugar or carbohydrate into fat. It is not the preserve of fructose to cause this. In facr, the worst sugar for this is maltose (2 x glucose molecules joined together) and this is found in beer, hence the 'beer belly'.
    The fact is, if we eat excess fats, sugars or carbohydrates we can and will store them as fat.
    We cannot store excess protein. We cannot turn protein into fat. So it is broekn down by the liver and turned into urea which is filtered out by the kidneys and removed as urine.
    None of the stuff on this programme is rocket science.
    One real problem is we are genetically programmed to enjoy fatty foods (a survival tactic from prehistoric times) which is why we generally prefer the taste of burgers and chips to lettuce and cucumber.
    Foof manufacturers have a lot to answer for.
    Corn syrup (which is what is made from the corn) is cheap and bulks out food. So does fat.
    Just read the ingredients on any ready meal! Shocking. Hence I refuse to have ready meals in the house.
  17. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Oy, less of the intelligent, sonny Jim!
  18. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    (Quote clipped for brevity)
    It's not news to me either and none of this is 'new' news but the majority of people don't understand this. That's why the programme was being made.
    I know it because I'm interested in food and also have a scientific interest in food (and indeed a scientific interest in pretty much everything).
    Belle, you know it because you are a scientist.
    CQ, you know it because you are an intelligent person who would pick up something like this easily. The same applies to pretty much everyone else on this forum.
    But - I honestly think the majority of people (worldwide, not just in Britain) don't even understand the basic science behind calorific intake vs calorific output. If everyone understood that you have to burn more energy than you take in in order to lose weight, the diet industry wouldn't exist.
    And if they don't understand the concept of calorific intake, they sure as heck won't understand how the body processes carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
    Fat itself has been singled out as the main culprit in terms of obesity because of its name. People understand that fat makes you fat. What they don't all get is that sugar does too. That is why the programme is being made.
  19. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I learned all the above doing Food & Nutrition and Home Economics in the 1970s, you would think it would be common knowledge but as nick said, it's not. I am always hearing supposedly intelligent people saying that they hardly eat anything but just keep putting on weight.
  20. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Yes. But the problem with common knowledge, like common sense, is it's not that common!

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