Anorexia Nervosa Institutionalised

Many years ago, running an audit of my own energy consumption, I worked out the energy content of all the food I’d eaten in a typical day, and came up with a figure (in kiloJoules) that was about three-quarters of what it was supposed to be for a young man of my age and height and weight.

I wondered if I was living a far less active life than I imagined, even though in those days I used to walk everywhere, thinking nothing of walking for miles.

I was about to give up the enterprise when I suddenly realised that I’d neglected to add in the copious amounts of sugar that I added to the numerous cups of tea I drank every day. And when I added that, I came up with the right energy consumption figure.

It was a bit of a shock to find that I was getting a quarter of my energy requirements from sugar in tea. And I began cutting down on sugar. Not because I thought the diet unhealthy, but because it was doing no good for my teeth.

I ran the audit because I’d begun to think about more or less everything in terms of energy. I was myself a sort of engine, that burned glucose and oxygen. My veins were filled with this binary fuel. And the air in my lungs provided me with the oxygen, and the food in my stomach provided me with the glucose. And sucrose in sugar is very nearly the same thing as glucose.

So I find the growing War on Sugar rather disturbing. Sugar is almost pure energy. If the sucrose were replaced by glucose (and you can buy glucose – in fact I believe that Lucozade™ and some other energy drinks contain glucose which is very readily absorbed into the blood stream), would the health experts object?

Only a few days ago Chris Snowdon was reporting:

NHS England warns that unless health trusts reduce sugary drinks sales will be banned from hospitals.

Followed by:

Sugary drinks will be banned from sale in NHS hospitals across England from July, the health service has announced.

This week NHS England released an updated contract for hospitals, which for the first time included a clause prohibiting the sale of sugar sweetened beverages.

And today via Walt on Facebook I read:

Advertising junk food to children would be banned, sugar-sweetened drinks taxed, and unhealthy vending machines removed from all medical facilities under an all-out assault on poor nutrition being pushed by the Australian Medical Association.

In a new position statement, the powerful doctors’ group says a suite of measures needs to be adopted by governments and businesses in 2018 to reduce the large-scale damage being wrought by over consumption of sugar.

Taxing sugar means taxing energy. For that’s what sugar is. The little 500 gm pack of sugar I’ve only just opened contains 1,700 kJ of energy, and zero protein, and zero salt.

And when I put it back on the shelf I’d got it from, I performed work as I lifted it about 1.1 metre against the gravitational accelaration of 9.81 m/s². And the exact amount of work was 0.5 x 9.81 x  1.1 Joules, or 5.3955 J. So there was enough energy in the pack of sugar for me to do that amount of work 315,000 times. (In fact I had to do a lot more work than that, because I also had to lift my arm and hand as I raised the packet, and I had to walk to the kitchen).

Alcohol also contains energy. Ethanol contains 29 kJ/g. A bottle of whisky is a high-energy drink. A litre bottle of whisky, 40% ethanol with a density of 0.789 g/mL, contains  0.4 x 1000 x 0.789  gms of ethanol, or 315.6 gms, which is 9152 kJ – over 5 times as much energy as a 500 g pack of granulated sugar. Perhaps that’s why they once used to send soldiers into battle fighting drunk?

Since the average human daily energy requirement is about 8800 kJ, a litre of whisky a day would be about exactly right.

Cigarettes contain zero energy. But because they are appetite suppressants, they might be regarded as energy-saving devices. And this might be one reason why in Britain more or less everybody smoked during WW2: more or less everybody was half-starving thanks to food rationing, and cigarettes made the starvation bearable. And if people didn’t smoke, they’d probably get a good dose of tobacco smoke from those who did.

The other thing that healthist busybodies want people to do is get more exercise. But exercise – if only in the form of going for a walk – always entails an increased expenditure of energy.

So the healthists want to increase people’s energy expenditure (more exercise) while reducing their energy consumption (reduced sugar, alcohol). A few weeks ago they were calling for food energy consumption to be reduced to about 70% of its former recommended levels. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that they want to starve everyone.

The healthists seem to want to recreate WW2. Some of them more or less say as much, pointing out how slim and fit and healthy everybody was during the war. So they want to effectively re-introduce rationing, plus lots of exercise – only this time minus the appetite-suppressing cigarettes.

But the reality of wartime was that people were starving. They were starving just like prisoners in concentration camps were starving – and those prisoners were even more delightfully slim and fit.

Perhaps that’s all that healthism is: an aesthetic preference for slim, wiry, active people rather than plump couch potatoes. It’s like preferring women to look like Twiggy (or Ann Coulter) rather than Mae West or Mamma Cass. It’s personal appearance that matters. It’s the tyranny of fashionable slimness. But it’s a tyranny that has spread from fashion magazines and gymnasiums into Public Health, who are going to force everyone to slim down, whether they want to or not. From Wikipedia:

Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by low weight, fear of gaining weight, and a strong desire to be thin, resulting in food restriction. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are in fact underweight. If asked they usually deny they have a problem with low weight. Often they weigh themselves frequently, eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods. Some will exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit, or use laxatives to produce weight loss.

Maybe Public Health is just anorexia nervosa institutionalised? But the anorexics in Public Health are not obsessed with their own weight: they’re obsessed with the weight of everybody else.

About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to Anorexia Nervosa Institutionalised

  1. nisakiman says:

    A couple of people have pointed out in comments (on the hospital ban on sugary drinks) that diabetics sometimes suffer from a sudden and dangerous drop in sugar levels, and that the quickest and most effective (not to mention easiest) way to address that problem is by drinking sugary fizzy pop. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but I would imagine that the highest concentration, at any given time, of diabetics who may suffer sudden drops in sugar levels would be in hospitals. Which are now forbidden from selling those sugary drinks.

    Is this another example of a lack of joined-up thinking from ‘Public Health’?

  2. sexton16 says:

    Re. Glucose. I was once on an epic bike ride from the UK to Greece and burning lots of energy. After thinking about glucose tablets and lucozade I decided to cut out the middleman and go straight to glucose, of which I bought a carton in the chemist. Big mistake. After shovelling down a few tablespoonfulls I collapsed like a drunk and lay there throwing up to the disgust of the Germans around me in the park.

  3. John, UK says:

    One of the worst times of my life was when I was visiting a close relation with type 1 diabetes in a centre for the treatment of anorexia. Insulin misuse is by no means unknown amongst teenage female tyoe 1 diabetics and is very difficult to pick up. Thankfully after a long battle my relation overcame her problem but others she got to know were not so lucky.

  4. buckothemoose says:

    Many years ago when you were a young man? Had calories been discovered back then? :-)

  5. Rose says:

    I have been wondering about the wisdom of banning sugary drinks in hospitals, instinct is a wonderful thing and every now and then, I suddenly feel the need to down a bottle of orange juice or even a small glass of original coke, this is so very unusual that I always take the hint.

    The Public Health obsession with the food we eat is creating new illnesses. As usual their habit of presenting risks without putting them in any kind of context seems to be causing casualties.
    I say this as a bystander, having never been on any kind of diet regardless of how fashionable it might have been to do so.
    As an aside, I still wear the same size jeans as I did when I was 19.

    Orthorexia: when healthy eating turns against you

    “Orthorexia is an obsession with only eating food the sufferer believes to be healthy. But while the condition can have damaging health implications, experts are divided over a diagnosis”

    “Dunn sees the differentiation in the motivation of patients: “People with anorexia restrict their intake by following healthy diet fads to be thin. People with orthorexia restrict their intake by following a healthy diet to be healthy.”

    “In our current food-obsessed culture, healthy eating can take on a quality similar to religious fervor, in which certain foods are sinful and eating in a certain rigid way is godly and rewarded, says Sondra Kronberg, a nutritional therapist and spokeswoman for the National Eating Disorders Association.

    But it’s a slippery slope from trying to eat right to developing an eating disorder. People start to restrict certain food groups with the best of intentions. “First vegetarian. Then vegan. Then raw, then they run out of things to eat,” says Dunn.”

    How my obsession with clean eating landed me in hospital

    “It’s oddly disturbing that the ingredients that fed our country through two world wars (and Margaret Thatcher’s time in office) have become vilified, sneered upon and, in some, evoke real fear.

    I’m talking about white rice, potatoes, cow’s milk, pasta, eggs, butter, BREAD.”

  6. beobrigitte says:

    Thank god for REAL sugar, otherwise we’d be even more exposed to aspartame than we are now!

    Actually, trying and finding lemonade withoutaspartame added proved an almost impossible task. Eventually I did find one! 1l costing £3.

    I am tired of healthists; firstly fat was the devil for almost 50 years until it was found, that we do need to eat fat. Then full milk became the devil for the last 30 years. In the meantime it has been discovered that semi- and skimmed milk is not healthy…. Now sugar is the devil…

    Healthism is not healthy. Full stop!

    • nisakiman says:

      I hadn’t heard that semi and skimmed milk weren’t healthy. I’ve always used full cream milk because I prefer it – I could never understand what people saw in that watery muck they call semi-skimmed.

      • RdM says:

        The few times I buy milk these days it’s always only full fat, preferably not homogenised. But for the last few years I mostly skip milk and just buy cream – for coffee, tea, adding to food (mashed potatoes along with butter, ditto mashed hard/soft boiled eggs, soups, etc.). Although a few times I got some fresh from the vat raw milk from an organic dairy farm via a friend – now that was really full cream milk!
        Re healthiness, see

        • nisakiman says:

          Back in 1970 I lived in Salisbury for a while, and there was a small dairy just down the road from me where I bought my milk. They would ladle it straight out of the churn into the bottles and put the foil caps on by hand. Unpasturised and full cream. Delicious!

    • Rose says:

      They do seem to have a long standing aversion to the natural.

      “I attended General Motors’ press conference this morning for Sir Richard. He should have had on a GM blue blazer.
      Doll said it is a mistake to attribute cancer to recent developments in industrial countries. “I don’t expect much trouble from chemicals – introduced in the last 30 years,” he said.”

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Just before Christmas, I felt like I was starting to come down with that cold bug which had been going around. My OH had had it and it was a very nasty one. One of the first symptoms I had was a very stuffy nose resulting in a sinus-y headache. Not wanting to miss out on the celebrations, I duly dosed myself up with one of those over-the-counter hot lemon drinks. The decongestant in it certainly worked to relieve the stuffiness, but what I hadn’t realised, although it was incredibly sweet, was it contained no sugar at all – only lots and lots (from the taste of it, a small mountain!) of Aspartame. Now, I have a bad reaction to both Aspartame and Saccharine – both give me a very nasty headache. Not as bad as a full migraine, which I’ve only ever had once or twice, but similar in style – sort of like a sharp, throbbing pain in just one very concentrated area of my head. So, having taken the drink to get rid of a sinus headache, I then had to take Ibruprofen to get rid of the Aspartame-induced one! How ironic. As it turned out, a long sleep after Christmas dinner followed by a (relatively) early night did the trick nicely, and by the next day I had pretty much shifted the cold completely. So I won’t be bothering with any of those cold remedies any more …

      • beobrigitte says:

        Now, I have a bad reaction to both Aspartame and Saccharine – both give me a very nasty headache.
        It took me a long time to link sweeteners to my devastating headaches. Over time I did notice that I didn’t have “migraine attacks” (which I thought I had) in the times I cooked from fresh and didn’t drink lemonade. Since I prefer old fashioned meals cooked from scratch I stuck with them ever since.
        A couple of month ago I was given a lovely home brew which was quite strong, so I bought lemonade. The headache returned…. Drinking the home brew neat made me tipsy but I didn’t get a “migraine” headache the morning after.
        That’s why I started to look for REAL lemonade. Sugar only. And, sure enough, I did find one (rather expensive and quite a drive away). No headache the next day at all!

        Not sure about saccharine but I avoid that stuff now, too.

        Rose pointed out:
        They do seem to have a long standing aversion to the natural.

        “I attended General Motors’ press conference this morning for Sir Richard. He should have had on a GM blue blazer.
        Doll said it is a mistake to attribute cancer to recent developments in industrial countries. “I don’t expect much trouble from chemicals – introduced in the last 30 years,” he said.”

        Isn’t it the same “yuppie” (perhaps the first one ever?) who brought us the ‘smoking-causes-lung-cancer’ scare?
        Being competent involves long term thinking and a lot of common sense. I see neither in this guy. I must say developments in the last 50 years lead to the assumption that politicians are as dumbed down as the public is.

        Can I please ask for the requirement of intelligence, fearlessness and a backbone for a requirement to be a politician? I’m not looking forward to receiving state pension as IU will be taxed on 80% of it at 40%, so I will only be able to heat or eat for half the Winter.

        Anti-smokers, I wish your life will be prolonged by 50 years – your body may do 10 “more” years, your mind might even do 20 (that if your family is clear of old age dementia) and then you have anothet 30 years of time to rot and be treated like a toddler. Enjoy!!!

  7. Vlad says:

    As a smoker, one doesn’t expect anything good coming from ‘public health’. So their war on sugar comes as no surprise. What is surprising though, at least to me, is the reaction of companies that produce the likes of Lucozade or IrnBru…why change recipes and make them ‘low sugar’ when that alternative is already on the market? Are the chemicals used to sweeten the new beverages really healthier than sugar?

    It reminds me of the reaction of Big Tobacco in the 50s and afterwards…the introduction of filters and other changes to the cigarette design, all in the name of tar reduction. And the result? ‘public health’, prohibitionists as they are, have moved the goalposts, while the consumers are offered an inferior product.

    I do believe that sugar, in quantities consumed by many today, IS a problem. But ‘public health’ with their overemphasis of a fruit&veg (the famous evidence free ‘5 a day’) and grains based diet and demonizing more or less of real food (meat, eggs, dairy) are adding to the problem, not the solution.

  8. Rose says:


    Chicken fillets now footstools.

    One million smuggled cigarettes found hidden inside foot stools seized at Manchester Airport
    8 JAN 2018

    “The cigarettes had been hidden inside foot stools and were in six separate consignments. Now Border Force staff have released images of the haul, which were branded Lambert and Butler, but are believed to be counterfeit.”

  9. waltc says:

    Diet “recommendations” often backfire: Salt is a necessity yet despite evidence that low salt diets a) don’t help most people with seriously high blood pressure and b) harm everyone else, causing a range of physical problems, the fad and the faith in it, and the promotion of it–often by law–continues unabated. And the famous prescription to shun meat and other high fat protein, replacing it with carbs has allegedly led to an explosion of obesity.

    Btw, the link to Fire and Fury is now blocked by google with a flag that says ( correctly, in fact) that it violates copyright. As a writer whose work is constantly pirated– meaning I Lose money from legit sales–I have to applaud that. See if you can get on the waiting list for it at your local libraries.

  10. Clicky says:

  11. Tony says:

    I think Chris Snowdon recently mentioned figures showing UK per capita sugar consumption was twice as high in the 1930s as it is now. Unfortunately I can’t find the article now.
    Aside from sustained contact with teeth risking tooth decay, I very much doubt that high sugar consumption poses any danger at all to a healthy person. Provided, of course, that their diet provides enough nutrients of other kinds.
    I strongly suspect that this sugar hysteria is just a copy of the smoking hysteria. And is a further power grab by healthists. I know several otherwise intelligent, educated people who are scared stiff of both tobacco and sugar. As others have mentioned, I think it’s worrying that they seem to be trying to shift people away from natural sugars and towards aspartine which, even ignoring the health scares around it, has no nutritional value whatsoever.

    • Vlad says:

      Just like a broken clock is right 2 times a day, I think ‘public health’ is right about the fact that high sugar consumption is a problem. I recommend looking up Gary Taubes on YouTube, read one of his books or Yudkin’s Pure White and Deadly (there’s a .pdf version on the net).

      • Tony says:

        Will do. Thanks.

      • beobrigitte says:

        I think ‘public health’ is right about the fact that high sugar consumption is a problem.
        I agree that the sugar consumption per head has increased since WW2 but I do not think it’s consumption is the main, less even the sole, cause for obesity.
        Although there have always been a small number of obese people around anywhere and at any time; their numbers began to sharply increase when sweeteners, such as saccharine and aspartame were added to soft drinks and to some foods. As sugar also preserves food (i.e. jam) it’s use in the food industry also increased when convenience foods started to do well on the market. Some incredibly short-sighted people put 1+1 together and ended up with 3 and put all efforts into blaming sugar for people’s weight gain. After all, sugar are “empty” calories.
        The artificial sweetener industry was born, causing damage levels above excess sugar consume:
        Research published in PLOS One also found regularly consuming artificially sweetened soft drinks is associated with several disorders of metabolic syndrome, including:

        Abdominal obesity
        Insulin resistance
        Impaired glucose intolerance
        Abnormally elevated fats in the blood
        High blood pressure
        The study found drinking aspartame-sweetened diet soda daily increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 67 percent (regardless of whether they gained weight or not) and the risk of metabolic syndrome 36 percent.

        Considering the cost of public health to the tax payer. Quote Frank:
        Public Health England Annual Report

        On page 119, in Statement of comprehensive net expenditure

        Total expenditure: £4,508,874,000
        it is high time to just dissolve public health and the WHO, cut all funding to tobacco control&friends, and use this money more wisely in the communities. This time of the year there will be a LARGE number of pensioners wrapped up in blankets (some of them will die of hypothermia), simply because they have the choice to either eat or heat. Their budget does not cover both.
        After all, PUBLIC HEALTH is about LIVING LONGER, isn’t it?

      • Tony says:

        Some initial thoughts on Gary Taubes.

        I found a few youtube videos and watched a short one. In it he railed against sugary soft drinks but then blamed the fructose in them for harm. Liver converting fructose to fat etc. But as far as I’m aware, and I haven’t really studied this, the only soft drink with lots of fructose is fruit juice. Most soft drinks just use sucrose (or even glucose in the case of Lucozade). So I wasn’t particularly impressed.

        Chris Snowdon has a rather low opinion of him:

        The last link in his blogpost is the key one.

        Nevertheless I will take a look at more videos tomorrow and I am aware that he appears to have authored a few sensible articles debunking other health scares.

        • waltc says:

          See my post below

        • Vlad says:

          Sugar table is 50/50 composed of glucose and fructose…so a 500ml bottle of Coke will give you 25g of glucose and 25g of fructose. Now that’s a very high amount, considering that it comes in liquid form (hits the body and liver very fast) and when compared with fruits. For instance you’d have to eat 400g of bananas for the same amount of fructose, in which case the fiber in it will slow the absorption. Glucose by itself in high amounts is a problem because the body can only store limited quantities in muscles and liver, the rest being transformed in fat.

          In your first link, Snowdon states: ##Obesity is caused by an excess of calories. If people reduce their calorie consumption (or increase their energy expenditure) they are less likely to be obese.##. He makes the big mistake of assuming that a calorie is the same, never mind where it comes from…does he really think that 2 diets, both 2.000 cals, but the first composed of bread, coke, crisps and Mars bars and the second composed of eggs, cheese and meat will have the same effect on the individual? Not only on his weight, but his general health and energy levels.

          Now, Gary Taubes or Robert Lustig (he has some very good videos too) are not perfect individuals…I cringe every time they make comparisons with tobacco, because they’re merely parroting the official line. As a trivia fact, Taubes is an ex-smoker who still chews a lot of nicotine gum, because of the positive effects of nicotine. So here’s a smart guy, who did a lot of research on diet but fell hook line and sinker for the anti-smoking propaganda and became a customer of Big Pharma.

  12. Frank Davis says:

    Public Health England Annual Report

    On page 119, in Statement of comprehensive net expenditure

    Total expenditure: £4,508,874,000

  13. Darryl says:

    “Cortisol is involved in a broad range of biological processes, including metabolism, body composition and the accumulation of body fat,”

    “Stress sets off alarms in the brain that trigger the nervous system to release hormones (Cortisol) to sharpen the senses, tense the muscles, speed up the pulse and deepen breathing. Commonly called a flight or flight response, this biological reaction helps us defend ourselves in threatening situations.”

    The link between chronic long term stress and obesity is something that isn’t mentioned a lot but from my own experience there is a link.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Darryl, Cortisol is a stress hormone – that means it provides the “fight or flight” response that can only be maintained by our body for a VERY SHORT period of time.
      Long term stress (I personally blame the yuppie culture surfacing back in the 1980s for the induction of long term work stress) has devastating effects. Weight gain is one of it.

  14. waltc says:

    Gary Taubes wrote a terrific and very readable book (“Good calories, bad calories”) exploding the cholesterol-is-a-problem myth, explaining how it started (amazing parallel to the secondhand smoke thing) and busting it with scores of cited studies to the contrary. Then he got on the equally faddish sugar-is-killing-you ship, and went overboard. Beats me how it could be the same guy.

  15. Joe L. says:

    So the healthists want to increase people’s energy expenditure (more exercise) while reducing their energy consumption (reduced sugar, alcohol) … The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that they want to starve everyone.

    It’s certainly not a new concept. It dates back at least to the early 1800s and Sylvester Graham, whose beliefs also inspired future eugenicist whackjobs like John Harvey Kellogg.

    Here’s a quote about Graham from “The Death of Humane Medicine”:

    Sylvester Graham, a Bostonian health eccentric taught the importance of abstinence, bran and chastity. His followers, because of their gaunt, sickly looks, were locally known as the Bran and Sawdust Pathological Society. Nowadays the message is not preached from soap boxes, but transmitted through official governmental channels.

    Oh, and Graham, as obsessed with health as he was, died at only fifty-seven years old. Enough said.

  16. RdM says:

    You’re absolutely right about copyright.
    ( I must have been drunk, after midnight, when I thoughtlessly downloaded it! )
    So I think I’ll delete it unread (I haven’t opened it yet) and unsent to others.

    God forbid that I should view some new content leaked or revealed in breach of copyright, without paying for it!

    It reminds me of the old joke about the bloke who tape-recorded the BBC for the pleasure of erasing it without listening to it.

    Good Riddance!

  17. Clicky says:

  18. Frank Davis says:

    Doctors are the new children

    Tameside hospital in Greater Manchester has banished fizzy drinks, chocolates, sweets and biscuits from its canteen and vending machines as it encourages overweight staff to set a better example to patients.

    Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, is planning to ban the sale of sugary drinks in hospitals this summer… However, Tameside is going further, saying that in its staff canteen there will be no more sweet treats except the odd dessert and sugar for hot drinks. It is also trying to persuade its Costa Coffee outlet to get rid of cakes and muffins.

    • DP says:

      Dear Mr Davis

      And in next week’s news, doctors don sackcloth and ashes and self-flagelate.

      The religion of ‘public health’ will know no bounds and run the whole gamut of schisms, deviations and heresies.

      Alternatively we cut their funding and return the money to the taxpayers who will consume or invest it far more wisely than any bunch of parasitic ‘public servants’.

      With a bit of luck the redundant parasites will get proper jobs and start to add value to society, instead of subtracting it.

      One can but hope.


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