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Public The big fat lie: Britons eat 50% more than they say

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by arewenearlythereyet, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "Britons are eating 50 per cent more food than they admit, according to the first official use of a biological test to measure calorie intake.

    The scale of people’s lying and inaccuracy about what they eat undermines dietary recommendations based on shaky research, experts said. The findings show that the average person in Britain is exceeding official health recommendations by the equivalent of a Big Mac a day.

    Men are consuming 3,119 calories a day, not the 2,065 they own up to; women are consuming 2,393 instead of the 1,570 they confess to, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates."

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/the-big-fat-lie-britons-eat-50-more-than-theysay-cpxcgnh8p

    I thought this was interesting in the context of self reported questionnaires. As a rule of thumb you kind of assume a bias of 10-30%, but this shows that when it comes to some things the bias can be a lot higher.

    I would suggest that social stigma is driving this. If this is true, then bias on questionnaires would be expected to be higher with subjects that are tainted by the more 'socially unacceptable' stigma such as perceptions around greed (calorie consumption, eating healthily, alcohol consumption) or laziness (amount of exercise etc) than something more benign such as getting enough sleep or water consumption.
     
  2. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    I love the way the unit of measurement is a Big Mac. Perhaps we should adopt our own unit of measurement, for example "Results in this study were inflated by a Wessely". Which leads to the question - which is bigger, a Wessely or a Crawley? Perhaps we need a sliding scale.
     
  3. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think Wessely would be the hamburger...but I prefer a "Whopper" for him

    Crawley I would say is more of an ever increasing portion of fries...

    White....Pure lard
     
  4. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

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    Will that be a Wessely-Whopper or a Whitey-Double-Whopper? Pork pie with that?
     
  5. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    its tricky ....bias is one thing...made up results another...perhaps made up results can be the tripe picture and for bias we can use a food scale based on unhealthy calories so:

    Mini Pork Pie 192 kcal

    full Pork Pie 323 kcal

    Big Mac 550kcal

    Whopper 670 kcal

    Gala Pie 1596kcal

    for those not familiar with a gala pie lovely picture for you:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Frogger

    Frogger Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    When you have ME/CFS, you often don't have a clue about how much you are over eating. Heck, I can't remember what I ate yesterday, or even just a few hours ago. But when there is no food in the house, well that's a different problem.
     
  7. Keela Too

    Keela Too Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    The added benefit of the Gala Pork Pie is that you can also end up with egg on your face. :laugh:
     
  8. Valentijn

    Valentijn Guest

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    Is there a link to the evidence for the claim that they're under-reporting? Researchers have been known to make a helluva lot of assumptions to come up with some spectacular conclusions :p

    All I can find is https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopula...ectiveonofficialestimatesofcalorieconsumption

    Which is based on data from http://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/16-07-12-Counting-Calories-Final.pdf

    In that they literally assume everyone is lying because people are too fat to be eating so few calories. So if that is the only basis for this news blurb, they may be over simplifying the problem as calories in versus calories burnt, which is only a part of the actual equation.
     
  9. large donner

    large donner Guest

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    Oh did you have to go and do that, I have just found a local butcher who makes his own "individual" steak and kidney pies, enough for two and deep as hell with huge chunks of meat and perfect pastry. On top of that I've spent three days trying to perfect a Lorne sausage recipe, which means lots of sausage tasting and now I want a gala pie and there happens to be a local shop with a small deli that does a local made ones and scotch eggs etc.

    My recent hobby has been watching this guy on youtube.



    Looks like I'm going to be over eating by 50% today.
     
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  10. Liv aka Mrs Sowester

    Liv aka Mrs Sowester Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I love how we PwME pass the time! Watching food preparation makes me hungry, so I try really hard to avoid it.
    You'll not tempt me to eat all the pies @large donner, but the hard boiled egg in the middle of @arewenearlythereyet's Gala pie is calling to me, I can't resist a posh scotch egg!
     
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  11. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, I wouldn't take the Times as gospel, but this does seem to correlate with other studies I've seen where calorie consumption perception is tested against actual food diary calculations. Unfortunately the stuff of interest is on a hard drive that isn't available to me anymore.

    The interesting thing to me is how the Times jumps to the conclusion that people are deliberately lying rather than something more subtle. I wonder whether they judge greedy people as worse or better than liers in their black and white world?

    Any way gala pies with or without egg? as a regional bias is the question I would really like an answer to :p
     
  12. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Does this help?

    Link : https://datasciencecampus.ons.gov.uk/2018/02/15/eclipse/
    Title : Evaluating Calorie Intake
     
  13. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They'll also find most underestimate serving size, so they are not necessarily lying.
     
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  14. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes and from memory poor portion control for the high density calorie foods (butter, cream, nuts and seeds etc) are just as responsible for underestimating calorie consumption as the so called "empty" calorie foods (fizzy pop, confectionery etc)
     
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  15. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Absolutely.

    When my sister visits I make ricotta pancakes and reassured her that I tweaked the recipe to make a 'healthier' version so not to worry her because she's over weight. So one morning she asked how many calories for one tiny pancake, I looked it up . . . 528(!!) She ate 6!
     
  16. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    New ...Lower in fat! You should have added some blueberries to make it "healthier" ;)
     
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  17. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Did you tell her the truth, or try and hide it? I would have been like your sister. If the pancakes were tiny I could easily have eaten six.
     
  18. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I substituted coconut oil for butter and found out recently that coconut oil is higher in saturated fat. Another secret I didn't reveal :nailbiting:
     
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  19. Valentijn

    Valentijn Guest

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    Looks like pretty much the same thing, with some fancier language :p But basically the same presumption - "you can't possibly weight as much as you do if you eat as little as you say do."

    So they're making a lot of assumptions instead of doing the real work and tracking what is actually being eaten.
     
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  20. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My late mother weighed an enormous amount for her (tiny) height. And I would keep tabs on what she ate when I visited - and they weren't flying visits. She really did eat very little. In her case I think her problems were caused by polypharmacy. She was on lots of drugs that had weight gain as a known side effect.
     
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