The Men Who Made Us Fat – Part 3

The first episode was great. Then it went downhill.

This third and last episode of the BBC series The Men Who Made Us Fat contains some interesting insights into the food industry’s massive lobbying against any effective political regulation. But otherwise it’s just too stuck in the old simplistic fear of calories (and fat). It gets a bit boring too. Sad.

If you haven’t already I suggest you watch the first part instead. That’s truly worth seeing.

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11 Comments

  1. Tooticky
    Ditto. I had high expectations for the last episode based on the two previous ones. I don't quite understand why Paleo/LCHF movements haven't taken off here in the UK. Any explanations anyone?
  2. Lomac
    SO so boring! For a much better, briefer and to the point series i highly reccomend this series by the university of california http://www.uctv.tv/skinny%2Don%2Dobesity/
  3. Tooticky - I believe that the low carb movement is slow to take off here because of the media. There are just not enough people (experts - doctors) who are willing to highlight the issues involved and the media have no interest in it. I do believe that a grass roots movement is starting to take off, but it is not helped by the fact that eating low carb in the UK is difficult.

    Take this as an example - I go into a branch of M&S cafe ( a famous well respected chain of stores here in the UK). I choose to ignore the fact that I can't eat anything - no nuts, no cheese, no suitable snacks at all...I decide to get an iced coffee. I specifically state "no sugar". What arrives is a flavoured coffee with a sugar syrup. I complain and am told it doesn't have any sugar "just the syrup".

    My point is that education is missing in establishments which sell food. they don't realise there is a market for no sugar and low carb and until we start to make it obvious that is what we want, the whole thing will fail to take off.

    Everything is driven by money. until Tesco starts selling no sugar products, noone will even realise that us low carbers are here.

  4. Yes!!! I totally agree with this post. After watching the first episode I could hardly wait to get the people I care about to watch it in a hope of opening their eyes. The second episode was verging on the same old dietary advice and the last one was a real disappointment.

    Exposing the truth about the unsuccessful 'traffic-light' system on packaging entirely goes against the 'revelations' made in the first episode. As the traffic lights would (and are, where it is being used) be red for a food which is high in FAT as well as (rightly so) foods high in sugar. So basically people will still be eating the wrong food with the notion of the conventional wisdom being correct. It would just be reinforcing the old low-calorie rubbish. I MUCH prefer seeing the snapshot of the RDA's on the front of packets... that is factual. I can quickly see how much sugar is in a food. I like to check that foods have as few carbs as possible and as much fat as possible with the protein being variable!

    I realise the point of the final episode was about the politics behind the advertising and packaging that the consumer ends up seeing on the shelf. Which was also a valid topic. But the fist one focused so correctly on the nutrition beliefs people have (which are coming from the food and medical industries), which are so obviously wrong. I was SO hoping for more debunking 'proof'. But it wasn't there and I found myself getting frustrated watching it :-(

    Megan... I know exactly what you are talking about with M&S!!! I've been there a few times recently with my mum, since starting a gluten-free diet, and have been totally and utterly dismayed that there was barely a single item on the entire menu or in the fridges that was gluten-free, let alone carb free! I just thought... 'this sums up the entire problem'. I had a herbal tea and that was it! In fact I considered buying a salad from the food hall and bringing it to the cafe but didn't want to make a big fuss with my mum there.

    Oh it's all so disappointing. The information is all here online from so, so many different, reputable sources... why do people still believe in low fat, low calorie?

  5. Justin B
    Aw! I was looking forward to watching this one! Maybe I'll skip it now. No need to frustrate myself. When I saw the commercial for it, I had high hopes, because it appeared they were going to talk about the lack of regulation on what can be labeled as "healthy", "natural", "smart", "weight control", etc. That kind of reporting only works if you know actual science-based nutrition. Those foods are "healthy" according to the general consensus on nutrition.
  6. Justin, it is still worth a watch. Sometimes frustrating, but it still questions so-called health claims on certain foods. it does highlight the fact that we must use our common sense rather than rely on what the packaging tells us. that - at least, is a good message.
  7. Yes, Justin, I would also say it's worth watching. There are some points of interest in it and I'm still glad I watched it because there are people interviewed who are genuinely trying to do good in terms of health and obesity. And some who explained ridiculous facts about the thinking behind what the general consumer buys and eats depending on the packaging and health claims (ie organic= healthier = less calories = eat more of it).

    What was disappointing was the misguidedness (is that a word?!) about fat/sugar/calories and weight loss. This is where episode one satisfyingly 'hit the nail on the head'.

  8. SharonV
    However frustrating this series was, it is still a step or two ahead of Weight Of The Nation. The parts that I disliked were the focus on regulation as the only way to fix the obesity epidemic, and the same old calories-in-calories-out rhetoric. I wasn't too disappointed though, since this is a broadcast program, on a government owned station.
  9. Laura
    I finally watched from the dietdoc site (It was gone from BBC iplayer so soon).
    I agree with most people. The author has been consistent with his blame on the food industry and as a consequence on the governament. In doing so he has indeed exposed a lot of worng doing on the part of the food industry and lots of conflicts of interest on teh part of the current governament (Our current minister of Health is an acting consultant for Unilever I think). This is of course one facet of the problem but neverthe less it must do some good for people to know that just because a food is on the shelf and is being sold and presented as good for us it does not mean that at all and we the consumer need to be more selective, crytical and cynical...in fact the message of the lchf/paleo phylosophy to eskew all processed food and go back to raw ingredients is indeed the best! But for those who still depend on the ready meals at least there is warning there that the food industry is out to make money not healthy people...

    I enjoyed the bit about how we humans seem to have stopped listening to our body and judge the food and its filling/nutritional potential by what we think we know about it...for example labelling some M&Ms as light meant that most people offered them consumed up to 50% more thinking that there were less calories in them.
    This is in contrast to someone living a lchf/paleo lifestyle whereby we re-learn to listen to our body natural messages of satiety and hunger rather than relying on labels....another plus! Animal like grazers in theory could eat themselves to death but they do have natural physiological signals to stop eating when they need to devout time to processing what is already in there.....
    Overall it is a beginning a one sided view of the problem of obesity which is cultural/social/economical/political but also biochemical/physiological ....

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  11. Margaretrc
    You are joking, right, @gerald?
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