Posts Tagged ‘fat’

The Men Who Made Us Fat (2 of 3)

July 1, 2012

Jacques Peretti investigates how the concept of ‘supersizing’ changed our eating habits forever. How did we – once a nation of moderate eaters – start to want more?

Speaking to Mike Donahue, former McDonalds Vice President, Peretti explores the history behind the idea of supersizing. 40 years ago, McDonalds hired David Wallerstein, a former cinema manager who had introduced the idea of selling larger popcorn servings in his Chicago cinema. Wallerstein realised that people would eat more but they didn’t like the idea of appearing gluttonous by going back for seconds. By increasing the portion sizes and the cost, he could sell more food. In 1972, he introduced the idea to McDonalds and their first large fries went on sale.

By the 1980s, we were eating more – and eating more often. Perretti speaks with industry professionals to examine the story behind the introduction of value meals, king-size snacks and multi-buy promotions. How did the advertising industry encourage us to eat more often?

The programme also explores the developments in dietary advice – by 2003, the Chief Medical Officer was warning of an ‘obesity time bomb.’ Peretti speaks to obesity expert Professor Philip James, who made recommendations in his 1996 report that the food industry should cease targeting children in their advertisements. He also speaks with Professor Terry Wilkin, who led a pioneering study into childhood weight gain; and former Labour MP David Hinchliffe, who chaired the 2003 Parliamentary Select Committee on Health.

Second part of three-part series on BBC 2, The Men Who Made Us Fat (June 2012).

Disgraceful behaviour of Tessa Jowell who shelved a report on obesity.

Contrary to myth, children do not exercise less. They are not getting fat because they exercise less, they exercise less because they are getting fat. Funding for this study blocked.

Richard Doll exposed the link btween smoking and lung cancer. There was then a long battle with the tobacco cindustry who denied there was any link, but as we learnt when class action was taken, they were well aware.

That is the position we are now in with the food industry. An industry that is as damaging to health as was the tobacco industry, an industry that is spending vast sums on lobbying.

Note: Due to the extended Wimbledon coverage, the third and final episode of The Men Who Made Us Fat has been rescheduled for 9pm Thursday 12 July 2012 on BBC 2.

The Men Who Made Us Fat (1 of 3)

June 27, 2012

Around the world, obesity levels are rising. More people are now overweight than undernourished. Two thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four of us is classified as obese. In the first of this three-part series, Jacques Peretti traces those responsible for revolutionising our eating habits, to find out how decisions made in America 40 years ago influence the way we eat now.

Peretti travels to America to investigate the story of high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener was championed in the US in the 1970s by Richard Nixon’s agriculture secretary Earl Butz to make use of the excess corn grown by farmers. Cheaper and sweeter than sugar, it soon found its way into almost all processed foods and soft drinks. HFCS is not only sweeter than sugar, it also interferes with leptin, the hormone that controls appetite, so once you start eating or drinking it, you don’t know when to stop.

Endocrinologist Robert Lustig was one of the first to recognise the dangers of HFCS but his findings were discredited at the time. Meanwhile a US Congress report blamed fat, not sugar, for the disturbing rise in cardio-vascular disease and the food industry responded with ranges of ‘low fat’, ‘heart healthy’ products in which the fat was removed – but the substitute was yet more sugar.

Meanwhile, in 1970s Britain, food manufacturers used advertising campaigns to promote the idea of snacking between meals. Outside the home, fast food chains offered clean, bright premises with tempting burgers cooked and served with a very un-British zeal and efficiency. Twenty years after the arrival of McDonalds, the number of fast food outlets in Britain had quadrupled.

First part of three-part series on BBC 2, The Men Who Made Us Fat (June 2012).

The salads looked tasty and delicious, and of course are healthy, the junk food made me feel sick.

Chilling was the amount of internal fat being accumulated.

How to safeguard your investment in saturated fat

June 26, 2012


McD's press button to open the door, less exercise

McD’s press button to open the door, less exercise

It is the parents who have to take responsibility for what their children eat. — McDonald’s

As a company over many years, we have promoted a healthy active lifestyle. — McDonald’s

Why needlessly expend energy on opening a door?

Why waste that investment in saturated fat?

McDonald’s is here to help you,

McDonald’s is here to help safeguard your careful investment in saturated fat.

McDonald’s has installed a button to open the door. No longer do you need to needlessly expend energy. No longer do you need to worry about that careful investment in saturated fat.

You can always rely on McDonald’s to help safeguard your investment in saturated fat.

In the 1970s, less than 2% of adults in UK were obese.

Obesity has trebled in the UK since the 1980s.

By the mid-90s, more than one in ten children in the UK were obese.

Children are developing type-2 diabetes, a disease of late middle age (it used to be known as maturity onset diabetes).

60% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese.

Obesity is costing the NHS over £4 billion a year.

Annual health bill in the US for obesity approaching $150 billion.

In the US, one-third of the population is clinically obese.

It is not only saturated fat that is the problem, sugar is too.

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