Fast food restriction vs education?

burgerAfter a few days away without access to a newspaper, I come back to find that fast food is now the focus of the media in relation to obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Why do our news items insist on singling out specific food products in the healthy vs unhealthy debate on food?  One minute it’s breakfast cereals; then it’s sugary drinks – sodas and fruit juices; now it’s fast food.

The fact is that no one food product will destroy our health or repair our health.  It’s inappropriate to treat diet and lifestyle with the same reductionist approach that is applied to allopathic medicine and mainstream medical care. The suggestion that simply avoiding fast food is a panacea for the current obesity crisis is over simplistic and misleading. Many manufactured food products have the capacity to harm: added sugars, salts, non-food chemicals…all waiting to ambush your health!

On the other hand suggesting that cutting down on food in a generic sense as the magic bullet is not specific enough. This advice fails to differentiate between foods that help and foods that harm: simple calorific restriction without regard for what those calories are made of is nonsensical.  Why?  Because there is plenty of evidence now out there that shows that generic ‘dieting’ is harmful – leading to an inappropriate loss of lean body tissues and impaired body composition rather than a desirable loss of body fat.  Danish studies led the way in quantifying that generic diets lead to 41% of weight lost my men to be from lean tissue, with 35% of weight lost by women comprising lean tissue instead of body fat.  Since then a plethora of studies have been conducted, culminating in a recent suggestion that a 25% ratio loss of lean tissue is an accepted norm in weight loss.  This flies in the face of the fact that research has identified that different nutrients have different effects on body composition in weight loss: simply there is no absolute reason why lean tissue loss should be a given at all.

The crux of the matter – yet one so often missing from media attention or debate – lies in the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that works.  Each person needs to approach weight loss and healthy eating according to several personal factors: current health status, lifestyle factors, targets and goals.  What is healthy eating to one may be quite different to another. Education is key!  Let’s stop the inanity of over simplification, reductionist or broadly generic advice.  Learn what is right for you as an individual, develop your own tailored dietary and lifestyle advice and then implement it.

Education, education, education. Better every time than following media misinformation!

 

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 8, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Asking questions are really good thing if you are not understanding something
    fully, except this piece of writing presents fastidious understanding yet.

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