Friday, 18 January 2008

Healthy eating - how can people be persuaded to eat a healthy diet?

A recent government report said that almost 70,000 deaths could be avoided every year if Britons followed healthy eating guidelines.

Alas, it's not only about how to persuade people to follow healthy eating guidelines. Firstly officialdom needs to question whether the healthy eating guidelines are correct in the first place. (They're not).

A high carb diet is not the diet most of us are genetically programmed to maintain weight and good health on. A high fat diet doesn't cause high cholesterol (unless you have a rare inherited condition) and high cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease - it's sugars that do the damage. That includes refined white flour and any other form of refined carbohydrate. Refined carbohydrates have the same effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels as white sugar - your body doesn't know the difference. A low fat diet isn't the only healthy diet, and in fact many people are deficient in the essential fats while continuing to consume the real villains, the trans fats.

The problem is that medical and public health officialdom has so far failed to recognise that many accepted truths about healthy eating are just that - accepted but not necessarily supported by good science. Until they take a fresh and honest look at their beliefs, and revise the healthy eating guidelines accordingly, persuading people to follow the guidelines is a waste of time and money. It is also a gross dereliction of their duty towards the health of the people they serve.

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