From Dick Puddlecote’s link tank,
Obesity: Selling smaller food portions could solve crisis, say scientists
Radical changes to the way food is served and sold in Britain in order to encourage smaller portion sizes will be needed to tackle the growing obesity crisis, senior nutritionists have warned.
Smaller servings in restaurants, take-aways and canteens, as well as smaller plates, cups and glasses and even smaller cutlery that hold daintier mouthfuls, can all help to prevent overeating, the scientists said.
Packaging sizes also need to be made smaller, with an end to price reductions on larger food and drink products. Typical food portions should revert to those commonly seen in the 1950s, before the era of “supersizing”, they said.
Studies have consistently shown that people consume significantly less food and drink when served smaller portions. The trend towards larger portions is considered to be a major factor in the obesity epidemic.
“The 1950s were healthier in part due to smaller food portions, packages and tableware prevalent at the time,” said Theresa Marteau, professor of behaviour and health at Cambridge University, who led the study.
The average size of portions, packages and tableware has increased significantly over the past 50 years, while the proportion of people diagnosed as overweight or obese has mushroomed, the scientists said.
Measures designed to eliminate larger portion sizes from the diet could reduce the average adult’s daily energy intake through food by between 12 and 16 per cent in Britain, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal.
The 1940s and 1950s (an era of rationing in the UK, which continued after the war) are regularly given as shining ideals of when people lived oh-so-much ‘healthier’ lives. I remember it well (although not the rationing), as it was in this era that I grew up. Typical breakfast started with porridge oats swamped in milk and syrup, followed by bacon and eggs and tomatoes and black pudding and fried bread (known these days as a Heart-Attack-on-a-Plate), and followed by marmalade on buttered toast, all washed down with cups of hot sweet tea. Lunch a few hours later would be something like lamb chops with boiled potatoes and brussels sprouts and gravy, followed by apple pie and custard. Tea would be lots of cups of tea plus biscuits and cakes and toast and marmalade. And most adult males smoked, of course. These were the people who now live to over 80 or 90 years of age.
But we lived very active lives. The coal-fire-heated (lots of sooty smoke that would get blown back down the chimney on windy days) houses in which we lived were cold and draughty. And we walked for miles to shop or go to school.
I probably eat half of what we ate back then, given my car-borne life, and insulated and double-glazed, low-energy residence, which is mostly so warm that I don’t even bother to turn on any heating at all. If people have been getting fat, it’s probably because many of them don’t get enough exercise, and have stopped smoking.
People were thin back then. I remember my grandfather as a gaunt figure. And my mother was fairly skinny too. As was I. But nobody talked about a ‘Thin Plague’ or ‘Undernourishment Crisis’. Why not? Because it wasn’t a crisis or an epidemic. Epidemics are what happen when communicable diseases spread in communities. And if people now are a lot fatter than back then, it isn’t an ‘obesity epidemic’. Fatness isn’t a communicable disease. And it isn’t a ‘crisis’ either.
What these interfering bastards want is the return of rationing. They’ll start out with demands for smaller plates and cups and glasses, but what will they do when people get round these mini-meals simply by ordering two or three of them? They’ll start demanding that people only be allowed one helping. They’ll demand rationing.
And it won’t be rationed lamb chops and eggs and bread and butter and marmalade and milk and sugar. None of those things will be obtainable (except from a black market). The government-approved healthy diet will be oats and rice and cabbages and turnips. And it will be rationed.
Who are all these self-appointed ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’? What makes them think that they know better than millions of people who have been cooking and eating for themselves, and smoking cigarettes, for their entire lives? I think it’s vast conceit of theirs to think they know what’s best for everybody else. Why can’t they just mind their own fucking business?
These ‘scientists’ and ‘senior nutritionists ‘ can all go to hell, as far as I am concerned. And so can the British Medical Journal.