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Isn’t this glorious?

Summary:
Susie Orbach tells us of what ails modern society:In the 1980s, when low-fat products and desserts flavoured with sugar and artificial sweeteners first entered the market, they were deemed healthier than their full-fat alternatives. But what first appeared helpful caused confusion: evidence showed that the body didn’t metabolise these products in the same way as full-fat alternatives, and people who consumed low-fat foods were likely to replace the lost fat with calories from carbohydrates.So why did low-fat products storm the marketplace? Because government’s food strategy told us all to eat less fat. Now Ms. Orbach is calling for a food strategy from government which we do think is rather glorious. More policy to correct the errors of earlier policy might not be quite the way to do it

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Susie Orbach tells us of what ails modern society:

In the 1980s, when low-fat products and desserts flavoured with sugar and artificial sweeteners first entered the market, they were deemed healthier than their full-fat alternatives. But what first appeared helpful caused confusion: evidence showed that the body didn’t metabolise these products in the same way as full-fat alternatives, and people who consumed low-fat foods were likely to replace the lost fat with calories from carbohydrates.

So why did low-fat products storm the marketplace? Because government’s food strategy told us all to eat less fat. Now Ms. Orbach is calling for a food strategy from government which we do think is rather glorious. More policy to correct the errors of earlier policy might not be quite the way to do it though. Bug out and leave us all alone could be closer to a sensible, erm, policy.

Henry Dimbleby also tells us today that:

The poorest people suffer most from this diet, the report says. It notes that 36% of the most deprived people are obese.

The basic human problem, certainly from the beginning of agriculture some 8,000 years ago and near certainly before that - otherwise why would agriculture have arisen? - was gaining enough calories not to die from not enough calories. The entire Malthusian construct - which, recall, was correct right up to the date the Reverend sat down to write - doesn’t work if this were not so. It is only in this past few decades that we have solved that problem down there at the bottom of the income distribution.

We do regard this as glorious. We’re even willing to mull over the idea that there are a few wrinkles that still need ironing out but that basic problem across the aeons has been solved. There’s enough food for all. As to how to do that ironing, see above - those who have been telling us the wrong things for decades might like to bug out. Well, OK, they wouldn’t like to but perhaps we should insist they do.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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