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The five-a-day disaster: why the numbers don’t add up

Published on May 16, 2014,

The Guardian has an interesting article from Paula Cocozza suggesting the five-a-day mantra promoted by the UK and other governments around the world is being hijacked by large food retailers and producers ‘to flog us processed, calorie-packed fruit and veg’. Whether you support the five-a-day initiative or not, it was surely never intended for items like tins of pasta shapes in tomato sauce…

The five-a-day disaster: why the numbers don’t add up

When it comes to eating fruit and vegetables, we have all got the message: the required number is five. More is even better. The message is so ubiquitous, it has taken on a life of its own, a fame way beyond its achievements… For years, fruit was celebrated as the ultimate convenience food, but now manufacturers seek to render fruit in supra-convenient forms. Children go to school with mutant fruit forms in their lunchboxes – fruit strings, fruit shapes, fruit chews – that are made from juice and puree concentrate. Some have an alarming sugar content, yet they promise on the box to provide one of the five a day…

How much sugar is in your ‘healthy’ brown and wholemeal bread?

Published on March 27, 2014,

Whilst many people on a low carb diet won’t be eating bread anyway, this analysis by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper is quite a shocker – revealing that so-called ‘healthy’ brown bread contains more sugar than white bread…

How much sugar is in your ‘healthy’ brown and wholemeal bread?The Telegraph analysed 15 wholemeal and brown loaves sold by major supermarkets, as well as their equivalent white products. All of the loaves contain sugars which naturally occur in the bread. However, additional sugar was included in the ingredients of ten of the brown and wholemeal loaves. In five cases the brown or wholemeal loaves contained a form of added sugar, while the white equivalent loaf did not. Manufacturers said the sugar was needed to “mask” the “bitter” taste of wholemeal flour, insisting the ingredient appeared only in “negligible” amounts. However, Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar, a campaign group, said: “There is that there is absolutely no requirement for added sugar and it should not be included as any part of a balanced diet – just an occasional treat which we can all enjoy.”

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‘Big Food is in wilful denial about the harm sugar does to our children’

Published on March 17, 2014,

The UK’s Observer newspaper is carrying a powerful article by cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar Aseem Malhotra in which he criticises what he calls ‘Big Food’ companies and suggests that only by improving processed foods can we tackle obesity among the young…

Big Food is in wilful denial about the harm sugar does to our childrenI don’t believe that anyone chooses to be fat. The Gallup International survey of 57,000 adults revealed that health is what mattered most in life, followed by a happy family environment. So how can this be reconciled with the statistic that 60% of UK adults and one in three children are overweight or obese? It is partly because a fundamental misunderstanding among the public – and the scientific community – has interfered with our collective ability to curb this epidemic. The belief that we make our food choices deliberately, and that they reflect our true desires, sustains the status quo and obscures the reality that decisions about the food we consume are often difficult to control.

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You can follow Aseem Malhotra on Twitter @DrAseemMalhotra

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