Posts Tagged ‘health’

Hospital nightmare

March 4, 2023

Alexandra General Hospital no queue. I soon learn why, no doctors. Directed to another hopital, Evangelismos General Hospital.

No signage to hospital. No sign at hospital. No sign to entrance.

On entering it is like a scene out of a horror movie.

Luckily escorted to another wing of the hospital, covid-19 isolation.

Not long before I see a doctor. Asked questions, show medication given previously by hospital and by doctor, blood test results from previous visit. That have tested three times covid positive. Blood taken, blood pressure, blood oxygen level,  covid test , ECG, temperature.

After not very long wait taken for an x-ray. X-ray within minutes. Escorted back to isolation area.

Then wait for hours. No one informs why the wait. Blood results, who knows.

After many hours, escorted to another area of the hospital. More scenes from a horror movie.

Eventually asked the same questions as before,  blood pressure and oxygen level taken. Told I need a scan. Could be 12 hour wait. 

I arrived around three, but maybe that was the first hospital.

Ten at night I decide I am leaving. But cannot leave , a device is stuck in my arm.

I speak to staff, please remove, I wish to leave. Cannot leave unless doctor agrees.

It is now pouring of rain. I will get soaked. Anywhere, nowhere to go to eat, late?

Doctor says I can leave. I will have to sign release papers. Advised I remain for a scan.

I have had coronavirus for indeterminate period. This is not good. May indicate serious. That is why they wish to do a scan.

Given a drink for the scan.

Maybe a scan in two hours.  Previously told not until the morning at the earliest.

Midnight. When is the last Metro?

Two taken for a scan.

Three learn the result of scan. Shows nothing. Actually shows an anomaly. I put down to their CT scanner.

The only thing I learnt from the tests. 

Coronavirus positive.

Infection levels have dropped. 

Symptoms, tiredness, weakness, exhaustion, pain in joints, coughing, sore throat , all covid related. 

Pages of notes. All in Greek. 

I finally left at four in the morning. Had been there since three in the afternoon. 

Now in a little cafe across the road getting something to eat. Nothing to eat since breakfast . 

No Metro this time of night. I will have to get a taxi. 

Double check. First Metro from Evangelismos 0525. I could, but in the cold and dark, risk of heavy downpour? Maybe not.

Visit to doctor covid-19 positive

March 2, 2023

A week on from Alexandra General Hospital testing coronavirus positive, out of quarantine, still very sick, unable to revisit hospital due to Metro strike, a visit to a doctor yesterday.

– blood pressure dangerously low

– blood oxygen level 98%

– covid-19 positive

Third coronavirus test. Second was at a pharmacy last Friday. Each test positive.

Doctor wished to carry out further tests but not permitted as I have tested positive. Advised visit hospital.

Not able to travel or fly.

Prescribed medication.

Advised to rest.

Over a week has passed since notified Insurance, kept informed, supplied with all required documents. To date no response, despite repeated reminders. In the meantime I am racking up hotel bill, cost of doctor, medication, changes to flights.

Lincolnshire Echo click bait scaremongering

March 13, 2020

Headline grabbing scaremongering, click-bait fake news.

Talking with people I have not found anyone scared, the county gripped by fear.

I have sadly found stupid people who think no different to seasonal flu, for example a stupid woman on a train, who coughed most of the journey.

I find people who are angry, angry that the government not banning public gathering or sporting events, angry at a Lincolnshire school taking schoolkids on a school trip to northern Italy.

Another example from the local rag, Lincoln city centre a ghost town. Not true, fewer people on the streets yes, a ghost town no.

The front page of the Echo, click bait attention-grabbing scaremongering. Then more of the same. Lincoln like a ghost town.

I was in town Thursday, it was not deserted, it was not like a ghost town, even around 5-30 on Friday not deserted.

I have seen fewer people on the streets in January middle of the day once kids have gone back to school.

If we look at data from mobile phone tracking in the streets of cities. down 3% three weeks ago, three weeks later, down 20%. These are average figures.

In some cities down 27%, worse case down 40%.

Waterside deserted. Grotty shopping centre, not worth visiting, is it ever anything other than deserted?

As always, shoddy journalism.

Nottingham not many people around. I have not visited before on a Friday, thus no comparison, but I was told fewer than usual. A Thai restaurant was busier than previous visits, one coffee shop I was told businesses down, another said half usual level of customers.

People are wisely staying home avoiding anywhere crowded.

Social distancing helps slow the spread of viruses, half the number of people, half the opportunity to spread, which is why avoid crowded places and government should ban all public gatherings.

People are running scared.

Click bait fake news from a scurrilous local rag does not help.

We have no immunity. Our only protection, social distancing.

Avoid crowded places, pubs, bars, crowded restaurants, shopping centres, overcrowded commuter trains. Wherever possible work from home.

People not going into town unless necessary to buy food, are acting wisely.

We have been very badly let down by a government that has steadfastly refused to ban public gatherings.

Eton and Harrow have closed, state schools ordered to remain open. The rich and privileged look after their own. School governors should hold emergency meetings and decided whether or not to close.

Maybe scribblers should ask why no hand sanitiser at entrances to Lincoln Central Bus Station, with signs advising passengers to use?

Maybe ask why hand sanitisers not at entrances to coffee shops and restaurants, clientele asked to use before permitted entry?

Local media acting for the local community, not click bait scaremongering and peddling fake news.

to be continued —

The Truth About Takeaways

February 28, 2020

BBC are to be complimented on The Truth About Takeaways looking at how bad takeaway meals. [broadcast BBC One 2000 GMT Thursday 27 February 2020]

If not seen a must watch.

Takeaway meals bad on every measure can think of, weight gain, damage to arteries, fat levels in bloodstream, fitness, lethargy, alertness, cognitive skills, sleep deprivation.

A two week trial of half a dozen fit students. They noticeably deteriorated and looked worse for wear during the two week trial

I felt sick looking at the food they had to eat, and that was without the disgusting smell. I had a sample of the disgusting smell of junk food at the weekend from a travelling junk food circus.

One family was addicted to takeaways. They lived on junk food every day, and no, they did not look well. A professor of food psychology weaned them off the junk food. At the end of two weeks they looked healthier.

Where I would criticise is failure to differentiate the different types of fat, not lump all fat together.  [see Big Fat Surprise]

When deciding what is healthy what is not, we should ask how far has it travelled,  to what degree heavily processed, look at the list of additives.

Do not be taken in by the Big Businesses vegan scam peddling highly processed crap.

We are being fed a false argument vegan v meat. No, the issue is industrial farming v regenerative agriculture.

Grass fed herbivores, the grass mitigates temperature, absorbs carbon, improves the soil structure, which in turn absorbs carbon, soaks up water.

Similarly with chocolate and coffee, direct trade, bean-to-bar chocolate, trees grown under the shade of trees, will also always be superior to plantation grown industrial chocolate, commodity coffee.

A warning on Deliveroo, and not only that they are an exploitative company like Uber, serfs working for an app. They are setting up their own kitchens, cutting out the middle man, current takeaways and restaurants unthinkingly supplying the data to destroy their own businesses.

Deliveroo are also a contributory factor in the destruction of town centres. High Streets need footfall. Deliveroo is taking away footfall.

OBJECT: Demolition of The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s

September 5, 2013

The Tumbledown Dick

The Tumbledown Dick

The Tumbledown Dick

The Tumbledown Dick

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

trash McDonald's

trash McDonald’s

Where there is evidence of deliberate neglect of or damage to a heritage asset the deteriorated state of the heritage asset should not be taken into account in any [planning] decision. — National Planning Policy Framework

planning ref: 13/00512/FULPP

Deadline for objections: Friday 6 September 2013

Note: late objections will be considered, but please get in as soon as possible.

Objection to:

Note: You may also wish to copy your objection to members of the planning committee, other councillors, Gerald Howarth MP and the media.

Note: Please encourage your friends to object. Please spread the word.


Dating from the 1720s, The Tumbledown Dick is one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough. A once popular live music venue, it is is now sitting derelict, with holes in the roof.

McDonald’s have submitted a planning application to demolish The Tumbledown Dick and erect a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. They will retain the front façade of the building.


The Tumbledown Dick is a locally listed building and an Asset of Community Value (ACV) and is therefore a ‘Heritage Asset’ which means the planning committee cannot permit development which would result in destruction of the building. McDonald’s proposal to keep only the façade but demolish the rest of the building, is thus unacceptable and must be REJECTED.

As a local listed building, it is contrary to that policy to demolish. The only exception is if to be replaced by a building of outstanding character. A Drive-Thru McDonald’s does not meet the exception.

Where there is evidence of deliberate neglect by the owners (it has been wilfully neglected) the deteriorated state of the heritage asset should not be taken into account in any planning decision, ie it cannot be decided it is ok to demolish due to deliberate neglect by the developer.

There are holes in the roof, water is pouring through these holes. The situation will rapidly deteriorate with winter storms.

As a matter of urgency enforcement action must be taken to install a new roof, put good all the internal damage. If the owners refuse, the Council should undertake repairs and bill the owner. In the meantime, scaffolding must be erected and the building enclosed within a waterproof membrane.

Why is the Council refusing to take enforcement action?

Heritage gives a sense of place, of well being.

The best way to protect heritage is to put it to some use. Proposals have been put forward to bring the building back into use as a community owned cultural centre.

Asset of Community Value

The Council recognises the importance of the building by registering it as an Asset of Community Value. Were it to come up for sale, the local community has the opportunity to purchase the building and run it as a local cultural centre. Friends of the Tumbledown Dick have in place such plans, but they will only be granted that opportunity if the plans to demolish the building and turn it into a Drive-Thru McDonald’s are rejected.

The building is also locally listed as a building of local importance.


Farnborough is a cultural desert.

Proposals have been put forward to bring the building back into use as a community owned cultural centre cf the West End Centre in Aldershot.

A refurbished Tumbledown Dick would feature live music, art exhibitions, serve good food and coffee, source wherever possible locally, provide meeting space, possibly a recording studio, employ local people on a living wage, recycle money within the local economy.

Traffic and pollution

By its very nature, a Drive-Thru is a traffic generator.

The Farnborough Road, A325, is a main arterial route, at peak times approaching gridlock, the traffic between the two roundabouts either very slow moving or not moving.

The Drive-Thru would feed directly onto this main road, very close to a major junction.

How many cars queuing before there is a tailback onto the main road? This already occurs at the Drive-Thru at Farnborough Gate. A tailback onto the main road, close to a very busy junction, this then feeds back down the slip road to the Blackwater Valley Road.

Queuing traffic causing potential tailbacks onto a main arterial route between two of the busiest roundabouts in Farnborough could be dangerous, as drivers exiting the Pinehurst Roundabout may have to slow down or quickly change lanes to avoid the queuing traffic for the Drive-Thru. This could be dangerous and may lead to accidents.

Deliveries to service the site will be carried out by large articulated lorries, due to the limited space on the site, the tracking shown in the plans means the lorry will have to block 7 parking spaces plus 1 disabled space during their deliveries (potentially blocking parked vehicles for up to an hour).

To exit the site, the articulated lorry would have to carry out a very difficult manoeuvre and go over both lanes of the A325 dual carriageway. This could lead to accidents or traffic delays.

Parking – there are insufficient parking spaces for the site and size of the 2 storey restaurant proposed. This will lead to further traffic queues and is not in keeping with local planning requirements for 63 spaces minimum as only 30 spaces are proposed.

The prevailing wind is from the west. The unpleasant stench of cooking oil will drift across residential areas 18 hours a day.


Nationally we have an obesity epidemic and associated health problems such as type 2 diabetes. Health care costs are spiralling out of control.

Type 2 diabetes used to be known as late middle age onset diabetes. It is now effecting young people in their mid-twenties.

Two-thirds of British adults are overweight and one in four is classified as obese.

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. They are getting fat because of what they eat.

By 2001, obesity in the UK had doubled in men and trebled in women. And it was rising. Two years later WHO published a ground-breaking report that said the food industry marketing to children high calorie foods and the increased consumption of sugary drinks was having a major impact on obesity.

Bad as health statistics are nationally, these are even worse in Aldershot and Farnborough, due to lack of education on healthy diet, lack of exercise, poor diet and too many fast food outlets serving high fat, high sugar, high salt, energy dense, junk food.

Rushmoor has a rising obesity problem (it is above the national average in children of Reception Age and Adults), should the council approve yet a further fast food outlet, especially one aimed at families due to the soft play centre?

You only have to walk through the town centres of Farnborough and Aldershot and notice the number of fat, overweight and clinically obese people, often with some disgusting fast food in their hands, eating on the hoof. Then look around and observe the number of tacky fast food outlets. Try counting the number in Aldershot town centre, one soon runs out of fingers and thumbs on both hands.

Even more noticeable the dire situation locally, if you then take the same walk in Alton, Farnham, Godalming and Guildford and do a comparison.

At the McLibel Trial, McDonald’s admitted they serve junk food.

The plans for the Drive-Thru will have a soft play area. This is to entice children into a lifetime of bad food, poor health and an early death. Do our children not deserve better?

Health is a national and local material planning consideration.

Islington has health and control of the number of fast food outlets and their location built into its local planning policies. Why does not Rushmoor?

Islington has an excellent pub protection policy, as does Cambridge. Were a pub protection policy in place locally, as required by national planning policy, there would be no planning application from McDonald’s, as The Tumbledown Dick would have had to be put on the market as a pub, free of pubco ties.

Noise and Pollution

The constant hum of traffic passing through the Drive-Thru lanes, 6am to midnight, 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, is going to cause more traffic noise and pollution in a zone already at the high-end range of pollution. It will lead to an increase in litter around the area and the Empress ward, plus an increase in anti-social behaviour in light of what already occurs at Farnborough Gate.

The Rushmore core strategy and the SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) where Rushmoor states they want to provide a “clean and healthy place to live.” There are also planning regulations in the National Planning Policy Framework about Noise and Pollution.

Stationary or slow moving traffic generates far more pollution than free-flowing traffic. This will become a pollution hot spot.

By its vary nature, a Drive-Thru generates car journeys, this leads to increased pollution, increased CO2 generation.

How is the increase in CO2 compatible with the statutory obligations of the Climate Change Act (2008)?

Climate Change Act (2008) sets a legally-binding target for the UK to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

At a recent talk entitled Focus on Farnborough (Wednesday 28 August 2013), looking at the past, present and future of Farnborough, Andrew Lloyd Rushmoor chief executive agreed there was congestion on this stretch of road and action was required. Mitigation is not pouring many more cars and lorries onto this congested stretch of highway. If action is required to reduce the traffic, then it is not possible to approve an application that by its very nature is a traffic generator and would pour many more cars onto this congested arterial highway.

A precedent has been set. Opposite, on the other side of the road, plans to expand a doctors surgery were rejected on the grounds that it would pour additional traffic onto this stretch of highway. The number of extra cars would have been insignificant compared with that generated by a Drive-Thru whose very businesses model is based on traffic generation. If the doctors surgery was rejected on the basis of extra traffic onto the same busy road, then the Drive-Thru must be REJECTED.

Litter and antisocial behaviour

Polystyrene burger boxes cannot be recycled. These will be destined for landfill or incineration, assuming of course not thrown in the street.

Walk past any Drive-Thru McDonald’s and note the amount of litter not only in the vicinity but also scattered down the road. McDonald’s claim to employ litter patrols. The very act of employing litter patrols, is an admission of causing a litter problem, and clearly these litter patrols are not effective, else we would not see the litter. Has anyone ever seen a litter patrol?

McLitter finds its way as far away as the top end of George V Playing Fields.

At Farnborough Gate, staff were dumping the rubbish in the bushes.

At the McLibel Trial, evidence was submitted that showed the litter problem caused by McDonald’s.

For whatever reason, Drive-Thru McDonald’s attract anti-social behaviour. A place for the low-life to congregate.

The Metropolitan Police have OBJECTED to a two-story Drive-Thru McDonald’s at Wallington near Croydon on the grounds that it would lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour. Local residents have handed in a petition with 1,200 names objecting.

There is an easy way to stop the litter and anti-social behaviour, REJECT the planning application.


McDonald’s, as with Sports Direct and Vue Cinema, is a bad employer, low pay, temporary part-time jobs, zero-hour contracts, low skill, high employee turnover, a revolving door with the Job Centre down the road.

Low-skill jobs, otherwise known as McJobs. The businesses model of Ray Kroc, was based on job de-skilling.

A good restaurant, employs skilled chefs, newcomers learn new skills, important life skills, how to prepare and cook meals.

The number of jobs McDonald’s claim they will create should be seen as a gross exaggeration and taken with pinch of salt. Unlike their junk food which has more than a pinch of salt. 65 jobs, which is an estimate at the high end, is not 65 full-time jobs. These are part-time, temporary, zero-hours contracts McJobs, which equate to a handful of real jobs.

McDonald’s state this site will create 65 full-time but mostly part-time jobs, but any jobs lost in the family-run takeaways opposite due to competition in the immediate vicinity should be mitigated against this. In addition, McDonald’s operate their employment contracts for 95% of their ‘crew’ on zero-hour contracts, which means they do not have to guarantee any set hours of employment and staff will only be paid for hours worked. Crew staff are paid minimum wage, which can lead to continued reliance on additional employment or the benefits system.

No one can survive on zero-hour contracts, not knowing how many hours worked, how much money will come in on any week. Bills land on the doormat with monotonous regularity.

We should be looking to good employers, who at the very least pay a living wage, who give guarantees on working hours, who are wishing to employ skilled people, and when a person leaves, they do so with enhanced skills, improving their prospects in the job market

Local economy

McDonald’s is an international chain. It will drain money out of the local economy, not recycle money within the local economy.

We then have the externalised costs of dealing with the health costs, the stress of living on low wage and uncertain hours, the cost of subsiding the low wages through the benefit system.

Rushmoor is (allegedly), committed to tackling local pockets of deprivation, much emphasis was put on this by Andrew Lloyd at his recent talk.

You do not tackle deprivation by draining money out of the local economy. You do not tackle deprivation by opening yet more fast food outlets. You do not tackle deprivation with McJobs.

You tackle deprivation by paying living wages, improving skills, improving diet and health, plugging the leaks and recycling money in the local economy.

Rushmoor is (allegedly), committed to tackling local pockets of deprivation, much emphasis was put on this by Andrew Lloyd at his recent talk. You do not tackle deprivation by draining money out of the local economy. You do not tackle deprivation by opening yet more fast food outlets. You do not tackle deprivation with McJobs. You tackle deprivation by paying living wages, improving skills, improving diet and health, plugging the leaks and recycling money in the local economy.

There is a strong argument to be made for the social and economic value of a community pub. IPPR’s recent report Pubs and Places: the social value of community pubs, placed the wider social value of a sample of community pubs at between £20,000 and £120,000 per pub. It noted that pubs inject an average of £80,000 into their local economy each year, besides their cultural and practical community value.

Need for not demonstrated

The need for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s has not been demonstrated.

There is a Drive-Thru McDonald’s a mile up the road, there are takeaways opposite, behind as part of the cinema complex, two restaurants, with the possibility of more to come.

On the other hand, we know the abysmal health statistics due to the locality saturated with too many fast food outlets.

Lack of vision

Farnborough and Aldershot town centres have been destroyed by lack of vision and decades of bad planning decisions. Boarded-up shops, tacky chains, charity shops, fast food outlets, gambling joints. All the signs of failing town centres. The places to avoid, and those who have the means go elsewhere.

A few new paving slabs in Queensmead is not going to bring the punters in. Even less a festival to celebrate an appalling waste of public money.

A Drive-Thru McDonald’s is simply going to reinforce the bad image of Farnborough.

Towns need heritage, a sense of place, diversity.

In Paris, we still see street markets. In Alton, Farnham, Godalming, the butcher, the baker, the greengrocer.

With fresh, cheap, easily available food, people cook. They lead healthier lives.

Heritage, good food, diversity, a sense of place, leads to well being.

Farnborough is a cultural desert.

The Tumbledown Dick as a community owned cultural centre, would safeguard heritage, it would provide music, art, good food, support local businesses, it would link in with The Barn in Farnham, West End Centre in Aldershot, Electric Theatre in Guildford, it would enhance diversity, not reduce.

A Drive-Thru would simply reinforce all that is bad about Farnborough.


Bad on several grounds: noise, litter, traffic congestion, pollution, health, destruction of local heritage.

The planning application to demolish The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s must be REJECTED.

Disgusting Southwest Trains

June 28, 2013

1830 Guildford-Ascot train, the stench from the toilets unbearable. I felt sorry for anyone who was forced to use the toilets.

For more than a decade the train fares have been rising at more than twice the rate of inflation. We are told the service is improving, but those who use the trains see no sign of improvement in service, they cannot even keep their toilets clean.

Battersea Park Adventure Playground facing closure

January 11, 2013

Battersea Park Playground  occupied

Battersea Park Playground occupied

Battersea Park Playground no to cuts

Battersea Park Playground no to cuts

Today, just 1 in 5 children regularly play outside in their neighbourhood. The rest are denied the chance to get out of the house and have the everyday adventures that – to people of my generation – are what childhood is all about. — David Cameron

Battersea Park Adventure Playground what a wonderful place for kids to play, a safe place for kids to play, you can see the joy on their faces.

It beggars belief that mean-spirited Wandsworth Council wishes to shut it down. I dare say if there was a playground run for profit by McDonald’s, Wandsworth would support it, the planners would push it through.

We are facing an epidemic of childhood obesity. Anything that encourages children to be active should be welcome. Were these kids not in the adventure playground, they would either be cooped up in high-rise flats or on the street with street gangs, robbing and doing drugs.

They are being fed decent food at the adventure playground. A pleasant change from McDonald’s, where too many parents abuse their kids.

Shame on Wandsworth for trying to shut down Battersea Park Adventure Playground.

Monday of this week Wandsworth were due to send in the bulldozers. The Adventure Playground has now been occupied by local parents and kids to prevent its destruction. Wandsworth Council is threatening the occupiers with legal action for occupying their own park.

It makes a mockery of Localism where local people are supposed to decide what happens in their locality.

Argyll and Bute Council picked a fight with Martha Payne for daring to write a food blog NeverSeconds about their disgusting school dinners, Wandsworh Council picks a fight with local kids by shutting down their adventure playground.

The occupation has the backing of tennis star Greg Rusedski, celebrity chef Levi Roots and Lord Dubs of Battersea, the former Labour MP, comedian Mark Thomas, Bianca Jagger, founder and chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, and presenter Gia Milinovich. London Play has also given their support, as has Play England.

For more information, with further videos about Battersea Adventure Playground, check out Wandsworth Against Cuts.

The occupation has also set up a facebook page.

Wandsworth are cutting basic services, closing libraries, cutting school crossing patrols, refuse to pay their lowest paid workers a living wage, has axed 14 staff posts at three adventure playgrounds, and yet can find £2 million for Boris Bikes (the cost of hiring is due to double this year).

The only response from Wandsworth has been to smear the opponents to destruction, ordinary kids, parents and carers.

The following demand has been issued from local groups, residents and occupiers involved:

We demand the suspension of the demolition of Battersea Park Adventure Playground, pending the holding of a public meeting with a transparent and accountable dialogue and a full consultation by Wandsworth Borough Council of the whole community about the future provision of free, safe, staffed adventurous and accessible play facilities.

This Saturday a fun day at the adventure playground 1400 to 1600 afternoon Saturday 11 January 2012. Attend and join in the fun. Show your opposition to Wandsworth.

Please sign the petition Hands off our Adventure Playgrounds.

Please spread the word and give your support.

We judge a society by how it treats its children.

The Men Who Made Us Fat (3 of 3)

July 17, 2012

Jacques Peretti examines assumptions about what is and is not healthy. He also looks at how product marketing can seduce consumers into buying supposed ‘healthy foods’ such as muesli and juices, both of which can be high in sugar.

He speaks with Simon Wright, an ‘organic consultant’ for Sainsbury’s in the 1990s, who explains how the food industry cashed in on the public’s concerns around salmonella, BSE and GM crops. By 1999 the organic industry was worth over £605M, a rise of 232% within two years.

How did the mainstream food producers compete? Peretti speaks with Kath Dalmeny, former policy director at the Food Commission, who explains some of the marketing strategies used by mainstream food producers to keep our custom.

The programme also explores the impact of successive government initiatives and health campaigns, such as the proposal of ‘traffic light labelling’, the introduction of which the food industry lobbied hard against.

But in 2012, when we have an Olympic Games sponsored by McDonalds and Coca Cola, has anything changed?

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

When people became concerned at the food they were eating, to the food industry saw it as a new market opening up, the opportunity to market us yet more junk food, only this time labelled as ‘healthy’ and so could be sold at a premium.

Consumers are being mislead into buying food labelled healthy which is not healthy.

Sunny Delight was marketed as a healthy drink for kids. It was sugary water full of colouring and additives.

Supermarkets were keen to promote organic, not because they cared about our health or the health of the planet but because they could get away with a bigger mark up.

By 2001, obesity in the UK had doubled in men and trebled in women. And it was rising

Two years later WHO published a ground-breaking report that said the food industry marketing to children high calorie foods and the increased consumption of sugary drinks was having a major impact on obesity.

Cadbury’s introduced a marketing scheme where kids would gorge themselves on chocolate and get vouchers for sports equipment for their schools. They would need to spend many times what the sports equipment would cost if bought direct and in the meantime get very fat.

Cadbury’s are one of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics. As are McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

The food industry has spent an estimated in excess of one billion euros lobbying the European Parliament to stop effective food labelling that would advise consumers they were eating junk food bad for their health.

A traffic light system makes it very clear to shoppers what food is good, what food is bad. The very last system the food industry wants to see in place.

A Harvard Business School study showed that people would eat a foot long sandwch from Subway thinking they had made a healthy choice (it contained 50% more calories than a Big Mac!). Worse still they would then indulge in a fattening desert thinking it ok because thinking they had just made a healthy eating choice they thought they had some leeway to indulge themselves.

People are getting fatter because they believe they are eating healthier foods.

Health Secretary Andrew Landsley was an executive director of marketing company Profero whose clients include Pizza Hut, Pepsi and Mars. He drew up a policy on obesity with the major players of the food industry. This would be like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank.

Landsley is in bed with the food industry when it comes to health in much the same way as he is in bed with the private health sector when it comes to destroying the NHS.

Fructose sweet white and deadly

July 8, 2012

fructose sweet white and deadly

fructose sweet white and deadly

Fructose is fruit sugar. It comes from fruit.

Complex sugars like sucrose can be broken down into simpler sugars, glucose and fructose.

If fructose comes from fruit, then it must be natural. If it is natural then it must be good for us.

That is what the food industry would like us to believe.

I was in Holland & Barrett, a health food store, at least that is what they would like us to think.

At the back of the store boxes of pure fructose. I was reminded of boxes of washing powder. It would probably be safer to eat washing powder, certainly safer to eat the box.

Why not simply serve the customers rat poison? The end result will be the same.

Fructose is deadly!

No child wants to be obese. No child gets up in the morning and shouts Mam, I want to be fat. No child wants to be bullied at school for being overweight.

Why then do parents abuse their children by taking them to the local McVomit, stuff them with sugary treats, give them Coke to drink?

We have an epidemic of childhood obesity, we have kids with type 2 diabetes a disease of late middle age. We have an epidemic of obesity in 6-month old babies!

It may surprise most people to learn that children do not exercise less than they used to. Children do not become fat because they exercise less. They exercise less because they are fat.

We are eating more. Gluttony.

This is a biochemical and psychological problem.

McDonald’s showed in the 1970s, if you give people bigger portions they eat more, and there appears to be no limit. Supersize everything, the food is cheap, the profits go up, but so does the calorie intake.

The calorie intake is in the carbohydrates, the sugars, not the fats.

We are eating more, but what we are eating more of is calorie dense, thus we are hit with a double whammy.

High Fructose Corn Syrup. Obtained from maize. Advantage to the drinks industry is that it is cheap. They switched from sucrose to HFCS. The net result that in the US is 63 pound per person.

Fructose is sweeter. If we give sucrose a base index of 100. On the same measure HFCS 120, fructose 173

We are increasing our total food intake, we are increasing the amount of sugar.

Agricultural policy is that food should be cheap. But cheap food comes at a high cost, high environmental cost, animal welfare, junk food.

High Fructose Corn Syrup. Cheap so replaces sucrose. But gets in everywhere because it is cheap.

Fruit juices are problematic. Healthy yes, but high in sugar, or can be.

Grams of sugar per 100ml

  • pomegranate juice 12.4
  • red grape and raspberry juice 11.5
  • orange juice 10.0
  • coconut water 4.8

Pomegranate juice is known to be high in sugar, that is why the advice is no more than one glass a day.

An athlete after a burst of activity will have burnt down the energy store held in the liver. High energy or sports drinks are designed to replenish the depleted energy levels in the liver. Do we see elite athletes drinking these drinks? No. We see fat kids drinking them because they have been brainwashed into thinking it is cool.

A legacy of the London 2012 Olympics is that more people will get more exercise. Sheer and utter nonsense. Sat watching the Olympics on TV does not incline one to get up and be active.

Two of the sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics are McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. What message does that send?

Eat less fat. Junk low fat foods are high in sugar.

In the home, food from fresh ingredients, we can control what we eat.

With processed food, cut the fat and it tastes crap, so replace the fat with sugar. Low fat processed food is high in sugar, which usually means high in High Fructose Corn Syrup

Fructose suppresses the signals to the brain that says I am no longer hungry. Thus if a kid drinks a can of coke in a fast food restaurant, a huge intake of calories, far from feeling satiated and having no appetite, can actually eat more.

A can or bottle of coke is a syrup. Caffeine is a stimulant, it is also a diuretic, meaning we urinate more. This leads to loss of fluid, we feel thirsty and drink more. Also contains salt, the sugar masks the salt. The salt makes us thirsty, we drink more.

Fructose and glucose are simple sugars, but they are not the same. They have different physical structures, they are metabolised in different ways.

The boxes of fructose in Holland & Barrett are labelled fruit sugar. The side panel states it is a natural sugar and advises use to replace sucrose!

Sucrose is 50:50 fructose and glucose.

With my knowledge of plants I can quite easily concoct a delicious but deadly meal.

Tobacco is natural!

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.

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