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Bernard Levin told us to beware the Single Issue Fanatics

Summary:
Not that we intend to pose as experts upon diet but:Analysis of the government-funded National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed that 11 per cent of males aged 11 to 18, 54 per cent of females aged 11 to 18 and 27 per cent of females aged 19 to 64 consumed less than the minimum recommended level of iron. Only 2 per cent of males aged 19 to 64 consumed less than the minimum recommended level of iron. Red meat is a source of iron, though it is also found in beans and nuts.Givens said iodine deficiency was particularly worrying in young women approaching child-bearing age because it was essential for foetal health.He said milk was the biggest source of iodine for most people but relatively few plant-based milk alternatives were fortified with the mineral.We do grasp that idea that many have,

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Not that we intend to pose as experts upon diet but:

Analysis of the government-funded National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed that 11 per cent of males aged 11 to 18, 54 per cent of females aged 11 to 18 and 27 per cent of females aged 19 to 64 consumed less than the minimum recommended level of iron. Only 2 per cent of males aged 19 to 64 consumed less than the minimum recommended level of iron. Red meat is a source of iron, though it is also found in beans and nuts.

Givens said iodine deficiency was particularly worrying in young women approaching child-bearing age because it was essential for foetal health.

He said milk was the biggest source of iodine for most people but relatively few plant-based milk alternatives were fortified with the mineral.

We do grasp that idea that many have, that meat - or dairy - contributes to climate change and so vegetarianism or even veganism is warranted. Or on moral grounds and so on and on.

The point we do want to make is that one that Bernard Levin made for so many decades, beware of the Single Issue Fanatics (SIFs). Life is complex, it’s a series of more or less difficult trade offs. There is no one single true and pure answer to most of the questions that afflict us.

Take this nutrition thing, what we suppose would be called micronutrients. The iron problem is one that’s well known and it’s even true that certain vegans are, because of their problems, prescribed liver to eat in order to boost their intake.

Lack of iodine in the diet leads to goitre, that itself potentially leading to cretinism - no, not the insult, the diagnosis - in children. The usual population wide cure for this is to add iodine to salt. But we have those Single Issue Fanatics demanding that our diet be cleansed of salt as well.

We have so many SIFs shouting about - and with power over unfortunately - our diets that we are, as noted above, seeing falls in population health in some areas.

Our point is that this is testable and thereby proven in this area of diet. But that SIFs problem applies to all things. We have those insisting that climate change simply must be dealt with however - at whatever cost to life, living standards, liberty or anything else. Or that fracking cannot be allowed because earth tremors. Or that inequality must be fought with every available weapon no matter what those costs to liberty and so on again.

Life’s complicated, it’s a series of trade offs and those who become Single Issue Fanatics need to be either dialled back into an acceptance of that or ignored.

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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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