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This spring I wrote about this exciting documentary, FED UP. Just from watching the trailer it was clear that this would be something extra. A documentary about the obesity epidemic, of highest quality, that doesn’t just put the blame on a lack of calorie counting and willpower in sick people (something that’s just sickening).
The documentary screened in theaters in the US during the summer and received consistently excellent reviews. It hasn’t shown in Sweden, but a couple of days ago it was released on DVD and finally I had a chance to watch it.
The movie is excellent and goes further than other previous major productions. It completely dismisses the sugar industry’s favorite idea that obesity just depends on calories. Instead, the blame is clearly put on the real culprit: sugar and addictive junk food.
Here’s the movie’s strengths… and its fatal weakness: Continue Reading →
Why won’t the ice cream melt anymore?
An American woman got a surprise when her kid had left an ice cream outside in the sun – and it didn’t melt. A TV channel did their own tests and confirmed the finding. While real ice cream quickly melted, the cheap ice cream from Walmart didn’t melt.
The secret behind this is the ingredients: less real cream and more sugar and more stabilizing agents such as guar gum and cellulose gum.
According to the manufacturer, the non-melting ice cream is “healthy” and meets all requirements from FDA.
Besides, who doesn’t love the taste of warm gum in the summer?
Soon there will be another fast-food chain that can spread the obesity epidemic in Sweden. American Dunkin’ Donuts – most famous for its addictive and sugar-laden donuts – is now on track to open 30 restaurants in Sweden:
It’s hard to imagine worse news for the average weight in Sweden. Hopefully the welcome will be lukewarm. Continue Reading →
Have you tried coffee creamer with your coffee?
A reader sent me a couple of pictures from an Air Europa flight. The only thing they offered with coffee was a package of powder, like the one above. Guess what’s inside? Continue Reading →
Here’s bad news if you want to be able to trust what you read in the newspaper.
Unilever – the manufacturer behind low-fat margarine among other things – now announces that they have started a “partnership” with major British newspaper The Guardian. The idea is that Unilever pays the newspaper a lot of money (a 7-digit number). Apart from that the partnership is based on…
…shared values of sustainable living and open storytelling.
What do these fine words mean? I recommend the entertaining analysis by Andrew Sullivan. The fine language is called “bullshit”, used to cover up the truth. What it’s really about – not surprisingly – is to disguise the industry’s propaganda so that it will look like independent journalism and become more efficient.
It’s very simple. Newspapers are having trouble finding sources of income. Unilever wants a credible platform for their advertising, where it looks like journalism. Win-win. Except for the readers, who will find it increasingly difficult to know what is news and what is advertising.
Just an example: Why spend money on TV commercials for low-fat margarine when planted newspaper articles about how “harmful” natural fats, such as butter, are a lot more effective?
In Sweden Unilever has been found in violation of the law several times for such disguised advertisements for margarine. Now the UK risks seeing the same thing happen at a totally new scale. Continue Reading →
This is the entry to my grocery store. It’s time for one of many Song Festival Competition nights, selecting Sweden’s entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, and this means going face down in sugar. It’s only once a year!
Or wait, it’s not just once a year we’re binging on bad carbs. It’s every day we can find an excuse, that is, most days.
This is the real cause of children’s obesity. It’s not that they were born with stomachs that needed to be surgically removed, no matter what some think.
And no, children with a weight problem don’t need to eat candy and drink soda. Not even a little. Not at all. No more than a person with pulmonary disease needs to smoke a cigarette. No more than an alcoholic needs a drink.
What children with weight problems need is a home free of temptations, and to eat themselves satisfied on real food. Weight loss without hunger. Parents can provide the children that opportunity. Continue Reading →
What does the label “natural” mean in ads for junk food? How about “100% natural”? Watch this commercial from the “False Advertising Agency” and you’ll know.
The video is produced by a company behind labeling of organic foods in the U.S.
Even better than looking for labels would be to eat real food. You can find this by using Michael Pollan’s suggested rules. For example, don’t eat anything that never rots, and nothing with ingredients impossible to pronounce (or with more than five of them). Continue Reading →
Gigantic margarine manufacturer Unilever is starting to give up the fight. Fewer and fewer people want artificial margarine, and fewer and fewer people are still unnecessarily afraid of all-natural butter.
In many countries – including the US – the sale of margarine is plummeting, while the sales of butter are increasing more and more.
In a new strategy, Unilever in Germany (and Finland), now blends butter into its cheap margarine – new TV commercial above.
“Margarine has become a marker for cheap, processed, artificial, unhealthy food,” says Marion Nestle, a New York University nutrition professor. “The irony is hilarious. Unilever went to a lot of trouble to formulate healthy margarines, but the zeitgeist has caught up with them.” Continue Reading →
Just in time for the holidays, fast-food restaurant McDonald’s got caught being surprisingly honest.
On a website for its own employees McDonald’s warns against eating fast food because it can lead to overweight. A picture corresponding to McDonald’s own main product Big Mac & Co is labeled “unhealthy choice”.
McDonald’s apparently doesn’t want its employees to get fat and sick, and so advises them not to eat the food that they serve. Perhaps McDonald’s should be equally honest with their customers? How about writing “unhealthy choice” in appropriate places on the menu as well?
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