A headline aired on LBC Radio Station this morning has suggested that the cause of Britain’s obesity problem could be that we have received incorrect dietary advice for decades. The National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have produced a report stating that the nation’s beliefs concerning what makes a healthy diet are false. Although it has been assumed that low-fat diets are the key to good health, now commentators claim that fats are essential to a balanced lifestyle and do not encourage weight gain. High fat foods such as avocados are in fact beneficial, while the real culprits are processed foods labeled as ‘low fat’ that often contain hidden sugars to compensate in taste for removed fat.
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, founding member of the Public Health Collaboration, claimed that guidelines promoting low fat products are ‘perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history resulting in devastating consequences for public health’. Instead, he promotes the consumption of fats ‘to get slim’. Indeed, the BBC documentary aired in 2015 titled ‘The Truth About Sugar’ explored the great extent to which sugar is hidden in processed foods such as low fat ready meals. The show followed the journey of four volunteers who slashed their sugar intake in a bid to lose weight. The results were impressive: 3 of the volunteers lost almost a stone each.
Fiona Phillips, presenter of BBC Documentary ‘The Truth About Sugar’, highlights hidden sugar in ‘low fat’ products
Similarly, recently celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launched his ‘war on sugar’ through his campaign aiming to underline sugar as the leading contributor to health problems in the UK owing to its persistent presence in supposedly healthy options in supermarkets. He has shown great support for George Osborne’s agenda to introduce a tax on sugar to reduce obesity that is to be implemented in 2018.
Jamie Oliver tackles the UK’s obesity problem
Instead of choosing products branded as ‘low fat’ or ’low cholesterol’, it seems that the way forward is a balanced diet free of added sugars and enriched with whole foods including those high in healthy fats.