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Health at Every SizeThis follows on from a  previous post as I go through HAES.

By creating a system that maintains a cheap and plentiful supply of corn and soybeans, among other products, government policy has inadvertently favoured the production of foods that promote weight gain (and damage health)

This refers to the various subsidies provided by the US government to support growth of products such as corn which in turn help make meat market cheap. Fruit and vegetables don’t have the same subsidies so the price differential is there. We have our equivalent subsidies in the EU.

Companies of course make greater profit out of more processed food rather than out of the original article so it’s in their interest to sell us more crap and to design and market it so it appeals to our taste buds and sense of smell before we think about the content.

Studies have found that if we get large servings, we eat more.

Again, we need to respond to the inner signals of whether we’re full rather than the outer signal of have we cleared our plate or not.

When we eat processed foods, we get the joy without all the associated nutrients intended for us.

Our brains reward us for eating the strong flavours that we like, whether sweet or savoury by giving us positive feedback, thus making us enjoy and desire those tastes even more. So if we get hooked on the added fat, sugar, salt, artificial flavours, then we desire more of the same which is exactly what the processed food manufacturers wish. But in the same way, we can retrain our taste buds to enjoy the taste of real food.

In the US, 70% of food advertising spend is on fast food, snacks and soft drinks etc. Manufacturers support health organisations in the sure hope of having their products marketed to the memberships. Medical advice on nutrition is often set by organisations sponsored in one way or another by food manufacturers. An example given is that there is no scientific reason for promoting milk’s health benefits although there is evidence to the contrary and yet both sides of the pond have strong milk marketing slogans that we’ve grown up with. In other words, a healthily cynical attitude to all food fads and marketing news is required, something I developed a long time ago when I first realised that items like “fat-free biscuits” promoted as a healthy option had twice as much sugar in to make up for the lack of fat. Reading the label and using your brain is paramount to not be deceived by all the food promotion out there, whether it’s on the packet or in the media.

Quotes are taken from “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon