Archive | Food

Can You Prevent Cancer with Millions of Cinnamon Buns?

Cancer for dessert

Cancer for dessert

Today is “Cinnamon Bun Day” in Sweden, and October is breast cancer awareness month. Is it reasonable that the Swedish Cancer Society runs a health campaign with one of Sweden’s biggest bun bakery?

Send a Bunogram in partnership with the Swedish Cancer Society and the Pink Ribbon (Google translated from Swedish)

Excerpt from a press release from the bakery: (Google translated from Swedish)

Last year Bonjour sold a grand total of 3.6 million cinnamon buns during the month of October. This year we have expanded our partnership with the Swedish Cancer Society and the Pink Ribbon, which substantially revises the expected outcome upwards. This year the business anticipates that as many as 5.4 million pink cinnamon buns will be eaten in Sweden during the month of October. [my bold]

Will the Cancer Society really prevent poor health by getting people to eat millions of extra cinnamon buns? The whole thing seems quite ill-considered in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Especially as obesity carries with it a greatly increased risk of, for example breast cancer, which the Cancer Society and the Pink Ribbon are supposed to fight. Contributing to a massive increase in the consumption of cinnamon buns then seems counterproductive.

Not surprisingly, there’s even a study showing that Swedes who eat more baked sweet goods have a higher incidence of cancer.

How are they thinking about this cinnamon bun campaign? Probably they’re just clueless. Continue Reading →

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Breakfast at Europe’s Biggest Diabetes Conference

Judging from the breakfast served, the solution to the diabetes epidemic doesn’t seem to be at the EASD, Europe’s biggest diabetes conference.

The problem, on the other hand, seems to be everywhere.

Continue Reading →

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What Happens if You Eat 5,800 Calories of Carbohydrate-Rich Junk Food Daily?

What happens if you eat 5,800 calories of carbohydrate-rich junk food every day? This is what Sam Feltham is going to find out in a 21-day experiment that he’s now launching. He’ll also monitor various health markers during the experiment.

SmashTheFat: Introduction: The 21 Day 5,000 Calorie CARB Challenge

You may have seen the results of Feltham’s earlier experiment – 5,800 calories of LCHF food daily for 21 days:

What happens if you eat 5,800 calories on an LCHF diet every day?

While eating an enormous amount of LCHF food he didn’t gain 16 lbs (7.5 kg) as simplistic calorie counting would predict. He “only” gained 3 lbs (1.3 kg).

What do you think’ll happen when he consumes 5,800 carbohydrate-rich calories daily over the same length of time?

Contest: Estimate the number of pounds of weight gain for Feltham in the comment section below. Please also speculate on what happens beyond weight gain (tiebreaker in the event of several correct answers). The winner will be honored in a blog post.

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What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Butter-Cereal

What’s wrong with this picture? There are two products:

  1. Unprocessed Irish butter
  2. Highly processed breakfast cereals containing 27% pure sugar (a professor and obesity expert recently called this “eating candy for breakfast“)

Do you see the red tick? That’s the sign of the Australian Heart Foundation, that supposedly helps people to “easily choose healthier products at a glance” by using “tough and stringent” nutritions standards.

The Heart Foundation still spreads obsolete fat-phobic advice – proven to be incorrect by modern science – so the real butter has no tick. But they gladly put it on the sugar-filled kids’ cereals.

No wonder obesity numbers in Australia are reaching “staggering” proportions: More than 60 percent of the Australian population is now overweight or obese.

Why is the Heart Foundation still spreading old-fashioned fat phobia – and instead, in the middle of an obesity epidemic, fooling parents into giving their kids candy for breakfast?

Protest here (just 700 more supporters needed! Update: goal reached and increased from 10K to 15,000)

Continue Reading →

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“The World is Fucking Insane”

Soda

Unfortunately I can only agree with this.

The World is Fucking Insane: Exploring aisles 9-13 at my local supermarket

Continue Reading →

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Despite Promises, Kids Still Bombarded With Junk Food Ads

Twinkies

The food industry has promised to voluntarily stop advertising unhealthy junk food to children. And according to industry-sponsored reports they do live up to these promises.

A new independent scientific review show something completely different: Children are still the targets of lots of advertising. Independent surveys in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America showed little change in the last five years, despite industry’s assurances that things would improve. Here’s comments from the senior author of the study:

Self-regulation simply does not work in a highly competitive marketplace. Asking the companies to restrict their own marketing is like asking a burglar to fix the locks on your front door. They will say you are protected, but you are not.

So what could work? The three things that Big Junk Food fear the most:

  • Smarter, better-informed citizens
  • Government intervention
  • Lawsuits

Let’s face it: The industry will continue to fight on all three fronts. E.g. by trying to fool & confuse the public á la Coca Cola or spending millions on lobbyists to stop any regulation. Lawsuits may be their biggest vulnerability. But they will fight on all fronts. In a “highly competitive marketplace” they have no other choice.

We should stop expecting the burglar to fix our locks. Yes you too, Michelle Obama.

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The Perfect Crime

Sometimes, marketing enables a pickpocket to steal a wallet–and be thanked for it…

Last year, just one of the big fast food companies made more than $1,300,000,000 in profit (billion with a ‘b’). They’ve also paid their CEO nearly $200 million in salary in the last five years. Sometimes, a big profit is the sign that you’re doing something right, creating real value for people able to pay. Sometimes, though, it means you’re exploiting a weakness in the system.

Seth Godin’s blog: The perfect crime

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“Have Some Candy”

candy

Why do people assume that everybody wants candy, no matter where you are? Has this become so normal?

The other day I was at a lunch restaurant, where you can buy healthful foods, such as a salad full of nutritious ingredients (my choices: chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese). I chose mineral water to go with my salad.

As I was paying the cashier said “… and have some candy”. I answered “No, thank you”, but she had already thrown a handful of wrapped toffees into my grocery bag.

Did I seem like a customer who wanted candy with my healthful lunch? Apparently. One apparently assumes that EVERYONE wants it nowadays. It’s normal to eat candy, at any time.

The Twist of the Tale

It’s of course voluntary to eat the candy you are given. It’s your own responsibility what you put in your mouth, no one else’s. I have chosen not to eat candy. So, do you think I ate them? Continue Reading →

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The Darkest Secrets of the Food Industry

Do you want to know the darkest secrets of the food industry? Read the great new book Salt Sugar Fat, like I’m doing right now.

The author, Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Moss, was just on the Daily Show. Watch it above.

A short comment on the book: While it’s mostly great it’s also partly stuck in the failed dogma of yesterday. Natural saturated fat is still a villain. The main solution? FRUITANDVEGETABLES. Yawn. But if you ignore that the book is absolutely fascinating. Mostly for the insights we get into the minds of the people running the processed food industry.

Highly recommended: Salt Sugar Fat – How the Food Giants Hooked Us.

More: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

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Hip-Hop Video Compares the Food Industry to Drug Dealers

Are food industry executives thinking and acting like drug dealers? Just a couple of days after I made that exact comparison here’s this video.

Before anyone mentions that the industry is just selling what people want, consider this from a blog post at TreeHugger:

This is usually where someone chimes in with arguments about freedom of choice, free markets and personal responsibility. And this is where the analogy between fast food and hard drugs becomes particularly useful. We don’t allow drug dealers to pedal crack cocaine for a very good reason – and we certainly don’t let them put up billboards, advertise to our kids, or lobby congress.

Freedom of choice does not work for people who are addicted. Although I would prefer to compare junk food addiction to smoking, rather than crack cocaine. That may be slightly over the top.

Is it a fair comparison? What do you think?

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