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

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by arewenearlythereyet, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    yes I think its supposed to be due to mineral depletion due to intense farming over centuries from memory...Magnesium is often sited to be low in veg because of this. Not sure whether this is speculation or linked to other things though?
     
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  2. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have a feeling it was based on tests done by the govt on veg at the time and today......what I read gave actual percentages of different nutrients in a given veg. I'll try to remember where I saw it.

    ETA - I've had a quick look but can't see it in the bookshelves. A lot of books are double stacked tho' and arms can't cope with moving 'em about at the today. Will look again when not so sore.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  3. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Let's not forget sugar (and sugary drinks) as contributors.

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/top-sugar-consuming-nations-in-the-world.html

    A sugar-heavy diet is linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, poor dental health, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity

    Top sugar consuming countries:

    #1. USA -consumes the most-consume 126.4 grams of sugar daily
    #2. Germany- consume 102.9 grams per day
    #3. Netherlands- consume 102.5 grams of sugar daily
    #4. Ireland-consume 96.7 grams of sugar daily
    #5. Australia- consume 95.6 grams of sugar every day
    #6. United Kingdom- consume 93.2 grams of sugar daily
    #7. Mexico- consumes 92.5 grams of sugar daily
    #8. Finland- consumes 91.5 grams on average

    #10.Canada-consumes 89.1 grams daily

    I wonder how accurate this is.
     
  4. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    and sulphur

    Not been following this thread but reminded me of something from way back; my brother and his wife had a barbeque for his birthday and all the family were there. My 'job' was to film it on my bros video camera. At the end of the day, my sister in law (who had been doing some of the cooking) was telling everyone that she had hardly managed to eat a thing...........then we watched the video and every shot of her she was stuffing her face!
     
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  5. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Couldn't find the booklet I had in relative nutritional values but I found this PDF. It discusses the Historical Changes in the Mineral Content of Fruit and Veg grown 50 years apart. Document appears to be from 1997.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=7&ved=2ahUKEwjKp_yVi7XZAhVIK1AKHQVSCosQFjAGegQICRAB&url=https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/4612/520834c1043b76e1f475cedfdba5a208ef3a.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2rcj8W7oldUv2QxtmLK9nk

    The conclusion seems to be a significant reduction in both fruit and veg and veg of various minerals.

    The main table showing the differences is on page 3.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  6. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This came into my mailbox today so thought I would post this with regards to "processed food" and obesity. I think it argues some points fairly well (seems to be relevant to the thread)

    https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/A...supplement&c=ctnELE8k8TtQidxXcIR/yK22wphN/SGV


    Basically some scientist has drawn some generic correlations with processed food and obesity...along the lines of obese people eat processed food therefore processed food causes obesity and possibly cancer. This seems to be the sort of sloppy research that draws cause and effect correlations based on opinion rather than facts from what I have been able to see. Rightly I think the British Nutrition Foundation and the Institute for Food Technology have slammed it saying that:

    • Processed is too generic a term and when you look at the detail of the "findings" its high calorie products that are being over eaten against portion and healthy eating advice that's the issue (milk is processed, bread is processed, bacon is processed, minced beef is processed blah blah)
    • The facts are there is no nutritional problem with processed food generally despite popular belief otherwise

    here is the more sensationalist version for balance:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science...ssed-foods-may-be-linked-to-cancer-says-study

    but even this challenges the notion that the type of food is bad and lacking in nutrition and the researchers admit that "more work is needed"


    Personally I think this seems to be the sort of woolly research that aims to create a popular headline rather than being based on a properly thought out and informed hypothesis with a good experimental design.

    They would have been better off focusing on markers such as amino acids that indicate high processing in meat or nitrates\nitrites sulphur dioxide etc or anything of that sort. Trying to say eating food gives you cancer is a bit of a strange objective...its like trying to prove that aging causes cancer.

    However my main concern is that, say they eventually do find a correlation with a type of food (as oppose to this study which is generic). How do you unpick quantity consumed (along with the calories) vs the multitude of other variables that are linked to eating those foods (such as they are convenience time saving...so that could mean the subject is stressed, or using a mobile phone more frequently or moving less than average).

    What are people supposed to do with this generic information? Stop eating food? Only eat food that isn't processed? What is processed? Personally I enjoy eating heated and separated protein that uses biotechnology to cause an enzymatic reaction in a tank and then have it pressed into a lump and then have additives added to preserve it (that's the basic process for the centuries old cheese making process btw).

    This is at the heart of most things food...there is more than one variable at play and trying to simplify things to an artificial philosophical construct (processed food is bad) will always be troublesome.
     
  7. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You do know that's going to kill you, don't you ;)

    My general comment is that you can't go too far wrong if you eat a lot of vegetables, light on the carbs. I mean a lot of vegetables. That's a very cliched thing to say and of course it's oversimplistic, and allergies and sensitivities etc should apply but there seems to be an obsession with food in western culture. Eating too much, variety, snobbery, cooking programmes, dieting, - could go on. Our culture has few boundaries on what we eat and how much and where. It's weird when you think about it so no wonder we have people losing sight of what they actually eat and then people researching it.
     
  8. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I was going to add a picture of a cheese mite and headline it..."sinister food manufacturer deliberately contaminates food with pests to improve flavour and save on costs" :)

    Nowadays I do weigh my cheese though...strictly only 20g at a time (30g if it's a treat) so I guess I'm obsessing about portion sizes? ;)

    They say in Britain that the healthiest our diet was was when it was rationed during th1940s and 1950s...funnily enough we ate a lot of veg then too.
     
  9. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :laugh: Ugh, don't. There's also a cheese with maggots, to be eaten when it's 'fresh' (ie when the maggots are alive) Came across that recently but can't remember where or what it was called.

    I don't eat dairy now and feel better for it, but do sometimes sneak about 5g (teaspoon equivalent?) There's nothing like the taste of a mature cheddar.

    eta It's casa marzu
    Now that's processed!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casu_marzu
     
  10. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yuck...that's in the same league as the civit cat coffee beans :sick:
     
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  11. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I didn't know about those.. People will consume anything!

    Shame about the civet cat farming, that looks cruel.
     
  12. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry Just got around to properly reading this.

    It's at this point I have to admit to owning not one but two copies of the mentioned "composition of foods" How sad I'm I ? :bag:

    these tables of data are the basis for most of the calculated nutritional labelling for food in the UK (equivalent to USDA in America), although nowadays retailers insist that anything associated with a claim, or that is processed and prone to natural batch to batch variability is also independently analysed to confirm the figures. You then have to show a history of analysis for each product and amend the product composition labelling if these change significantly over time (due to change of supply of ingredients, tweaks to process etc).

    Most of the time manufacturers use the analytical figures and sense check against the theoretical. This is partly because the composition varies so much but also because processing changes some heat labile vitamins and has a concentrating\diluting effect (driving off and injecting water with steam). Theres more to it than that but those are two things that can happen from many. Theoretical book values are mainly used on things like produce that has minimal processing (eggs, nuts, raw meat, fruit and veg).

    The two copies I have are 15 years apart in terms of updates and both a lot newer than the data used in the study. These figures aren't static and are updated every 15 years. I think it would be interesting to look through the two versions I have of "the composition of foods" and compare some of the fresh produce to her older versions ...but so far I haven't been quite that interested ;) She annoyed me anyway but not tabling the difference and P value per item. I noticed for example that many went up over time. Magnesium was lower on a few items but up on others which is interesting in itself. However most of the fruits and vegetables she looked at are not particularly good sources of magnesium anyway.

    The latest version of the tables I have, incorporated a new method for the determination of fibre. This change to fibre also changed some of the other figures significantly (e.g. Carbohydrates). Some of these method changes over the years have changed the data significantly. When I used to analyse fats for example in the 1980s this involved a completely time consuming method that lasted days. However this was an advanced method at the time compared to the 1930's and 60's. Nowadays we have rapid methods for most of the key nutritional table. It stands to reason that newer methods sometimes uncover previously reported errors (the fact that some of the figures in the paper go up and down sort of suggests the difference may be due to this....really needs more analysis!). I am not convinced that what she is looking at isn't just method related and I don't think she answers this properly in her discussion. We have a reference to this ... Popeye and spinach ...this was actually based on an embarrassing error that lead to it being wrongly reported as being 10 times higher in iron than it really was.

    I also know from experience that when you spot analyse fruit, the nutritional content varies a lot across species, variants and also countries of origin. This last difference can be due to climate, agricultural treatment of the land or simply that an apple tree is grown in stony soil vs one with more clay from somewhere else. There is always going to be variance then and now, so any study needs to look at averaged rolling trend not a one off analysis.

    Finally scanning through the data differences the ones she has chosen to look at actually means that we don't lose out much anyway when you look at it in an overall balanced diet. You never have enough calcium magnesium or sodium or potassium in a piece of fruit or a vegetable to meet your RDA in one sitting you are lucky if you get 5%, so these differences are not really going to make a major difference on its own (vitamins are a more important measure for fruits and vegetables than minerals). I would be more interested in the mineral consumption of the main drivers like grains, milk/dairy, meat/fish, seeds and nuts. The exception to that is beans and legumes which annoyingly she only looked at peas?

    In summary, I think the paper is interesting but just seems to pose questions without answering them. It doesnt come across as really wanting an answer or putting her neck on the block and stating what she thinks is going on.

    The key question it doesn't really answer is how to get to the bottom of methodology changes over time (lack of research on her part being the main problem) or answer what other natural variation may be at play as oppose to supply chain handling\intensive farming\yield optimisation (like growing fruits bigger than they grow naturally by irrigation and selective breeding).

    Regional produce varies a lot in my experience and this is subject to drought and harvest problems as well as the retailer wanting to buy a certain grade (sorted) of product.

    I'm sure that there is probably something to the mineral composition argument, although an analysis of existing literature and posing unanswered questions rather than properly looking at the variables doesn't seem to move us on very much in this paper.

    The author is an academic that specialises in nutrition with her own business. I've never heard of her and had to look her up. The food industry is quite small so it is quite surprising, that her name didn't ring any bells. Nutritionalists compared to food technologists is a bit like comparing psychiatrists to any other proper medical professional...its the "wet flip floppy" end of the industry...this is probably why she skirted around the issues to do with methods and doesn't seem to grasp much of the day to day variation that happens.

    She is possibly using this paper to infer credentials and it does sometimes feel like an advertorial rather than anything of substance. Her "analysis" might be there just to help her create a problem that she can then help her prospective clients to solve? I have met plenty of food consultants that are a bit like this sadly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018

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