Friday, December 04, 2009

Smaller food packets under British Government plans

When will they ever learn? Doing this INCREASES consumption of the foods concerned. People buy two packets instead of one

Crisps, traditionally sold in bags weighing 40g (1.41oz) or 35g (1.23oz), should be sold in 30g packs or smaller. Manufacturers of pies, sausage rolls and pasties should offer smaller versions of their snacks. Also, supermarkets should sell far more low-fat ice cream, skimmed milk and low-fat cheddar.

The recommendations have been put forward by the Food Standards Agency, which has started a consultation. It is part of its long-running battle against saturated fat, the most dangerous form of fat, which is linked to obesity, which in turn is the main cause of diabetes and heart problems.

The consultation said: "It has been estimated that reducing saturated fat intakes to within recommended levels could result in approximately 3,500 UK deaths averted annually and should improve the quality of life of many more people." It warned that consumers alone could not stop the obesity crisis. Food manufacturers needed to "reformulate" their products to affect people's diet. "The scale of public health issues requires concerted action and we cannot rely solely on commercial pressures to influence reformulation," the document stated.

Any changes the FSA formally recommends, following the consultation, will be voluntary. However, most people in the food industry believe the power and influence of the FSA, which is both regulator and policy adviser to the Government, will mean the recommendations will be adopted by all the major manufacturers.

The consultation on savoury foods follows a similar exercise undertaken earlier this year, when the FSA suggested popular chocolate bars and fizzy drinks should be sold in smaller pack sizes.

Julian Hunt at the Food and Drink Federation said he had serious concerns about how practical some of the changes would be and that many consumers would not be happy. "Not one of our members ever receives a single complaint if they increase the size of their portions. But if they take out so much as one gram from a product they are inundated with complaints. "Consumers want choice and they want value for money," he said. He added that taking fat out of products, without consumers noticing a change to their favourite snacks, would be "very challenging".

The consultation suggested sausage rolls, pork pies and other savoury snacks cut at least 10 per cent of their saturated fat content, possibly by offering less pastry.

The FSA also suggested changing the legislation to allow low-fat ice cream to be called ice cream. The current rules state that if there is not enough fat in the ice cream it has to be called "frozen dessert" or "iced glace".


Obesity comparison

Note that the figures below for the USA and New Zealand could mislead. American blacks are on average much fatter than American whites so the figure for whites alone would be much lower. Similarly, New Zealand has a large number of Polynesians (Maori), who are everywhere very fat -- as we see below

TWO South Pacific [Polynesian] nations, American Samoa and Kiribati, have been crowned the fattest countries in the world. The latest obesity report released by the World Health Organisation found that 93.5 per cent - more than nine in 10 - of American Samoans were overweight or obese. Kiribati came second on the dubious honours list, with 81.5 per cent of inhabitants tipping the scales.

In third spot was United States with 66.7 per cent, followed by Germany, with 66.5 per cent, and Egypt with 66 per cent. New Zealand also made an appearance in seventh place, with 62.7 per cent, while the United Kingdom came 10th, with 60 per cent.

Explaining the trend in the Pacific, the WHO said islanders were suffering from a drastic change in diet. Traditionally they ate native foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat, such as bananas, yams, taro root, coconut and fish. But since the Second World War, inhabitants have increasingly migrated to the US, New Zealand, France and Australia and introduced those back home to fatty Western foods. [Rubbish! Polynesians have ALWAYS been fat. It's genetic]

The smaller, less developed countries like Kiribati, which comprises 33 tiny islands clustered around the equator, food imports have fuelled the obesity boom. The Food and Agriculture Organisation, a United Nations agency established to fight world hunger, estimates food imports to these nations increased six-fold between 1964 and 2001. This exposed inhabitants to extremely cheap fatty food and processed meat, such as Spam and mutton flaps.

These countries are not alone in their battle, however. Research has shown the world is facing a "globesity" epidemic, with one in three adults now overweight and one in 10 obese. By 2015, WHO estimates the number of overweight adults will balloon to 2.3 billion, equal to the combined populations of China, Europe and the US.


1 comment:

Lena said...

This "noble savage" idea from so-called health experts idea is almost embarassing.

They forget that coconut is actually quite high in saturated fat. And a particularly useful form of fat too, containing lots of lauric acid. And islanders' traditional diets had lots of it. Pork is also the most popular meat and has been since introduced throughout the Pacific islands over 1500 years ago. Plenty of lard in the diet. One theory is that islanders' health troubles start when they eat Western *low fat* diets high in carbohydrates. It's not the sugars that are bad, it's the lack of saturated fats.