Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tory peer: solution to obesity epidemic is to eat less

The simple solution to Britain’s obesity epidemic is to eat less, an eminent medic has claimed

Lord McColl of Dulwich, a Tory peer and former Professor of Surgery at Guy’s Hospital, warned that millions are dying from being too fat and that their health problems will “wreck” the NHS. But he said that it was “misleading” for politicians to claim that taking exercise will help people lose weight, when all they really need to do is eat less food.

Lord McColl said in a Lords debate on Thursday: “In order for an obese person to lose weight - bearing in mind that most of them can't exercise because they are so overweight - all he has to do is eat less. “I recognise it's not the job of politicians to tell people how to live their lives but it's surely the duty of government to speak the truth and give a lead. “By continuing to stress that exercise is the answer, politicians are misleading the public.

“The message is absolutely clear. This is the most serious epidemic to affect this country for 100 years. It's killing millions. It will wreck the NHS for sure. The answer is simply to eat less.”

But Baroness Murphy, speaking "on behalf of well-rounded people", argued it is as hard for obese people to lose weight by eating less as for heroin addicts to stop taking the drug. She said: “What we need is population solutions, we need to support people to eat less and we will need to tackle the food industry.”

Diane Abbott, a Labour health spokesman, claimed that the Government has made the problem worse by cutting school sports while allowing fast food giants and the drinks industry to write public health policies.


There is one sure-fire way not to become obese – just eat less

Rose Prince

Coming from a line of curvy women, I possess no skinny jeans. Nor indeed skinny genes, according to the latest research. Thinness may be inherited from your parents, says a study by University College London’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, much like Jerry Hall and her model clan.

Pah! Don’t give me that old excuse: “I can’t help it – I am hereditarily doomed to have a large bottom, so I may as well eat cakes.” The only thing I have inherited from my ancestors is the ability to eat a lot and a joy in feeding others. I was stuffed with big helpings as a child – so much so that the dogs put on weight when I left home. None of this is to do with genetics.

It all seems fairly obvious – except to those who need to act to stop the obesity epidemic. The Government is dragging its feet on the issue, when lives and money (to the tune of billions) must be saved. This week, Lord McColl, a former professor of surgery at Guy’s Hospital, warned that unless we become decisive about the causes of obesity, it could wreck the NHS. It is misleading to claim lack of exercise is the cause, he said during a House of Lords debate, when all an obese person has to do is eat less. Hear, hear. Unless this glaringly obvious fact is exposed, the cost of obesity is certain only to fly out of control.


Want to cure that snack habit? Eat more protein as too little makes you hungry

This was a very small study over a very short time period so may be right but is far from conclusive

Too little protein in your diet makes you feel hungry and reach for fattening snacks, an international study shows. Eating more than the average amount of foods such as meat, fish, eggs and nuts can stop you gaining two pounds a month.

Researchers found that those whose meals were ten per cent protein consumed 260 more calories a day than those on 15 per cent protein. Eating more protein in the form of meat, fish, eggs and nuts can stop you gaining two pounds a month, say researchers

Not only did they eat more but 70 per cent of the extra calories they ate were between snacks between meals rather than at mealtimes. Raising consumption to 25 per cent – as advocated by the Atkins Diet – was no extra help in halting over-eating.

An average British adult eats around 12 per cent protein, but for many people this has gone down as a result of diluting their protein intake with lots of carbohydrates from processed foods.

The researchers from Cambridge University and the University of Sydney recruited 22 volunteers, all of a healthy weight and aged between 18 and 51, to live and eat in a science facility.

While the foods looked the same, they had different protein levels. Typical meals were a savoury muffin for breakfast, and tuna bake with salad for lunch and beef pasty or spaghetti bolognaise with vegetables and a dessert for dinner.

The amount of fat remained constant at 30 per cent of the total calories in a meal but the carbohydrate was adjusted to either 45, 50 or 60 per cent of the meal.

Volunteers all took the same amount of exercise – a one-hour supervised walk per day – and did the same activities to avoid them eating out of boredom or stress.

People who consumed ten per cent protein a day ate on average an extra 1,036 calories over a four-day period compared with those who ate a 15 per cent protein diet. Over a year that would be enough to gain two stone.

Each was asked to rate how hungry they felt at one-hour intervals and those who ate 15 per cent protein felt fuller two hours after a meal than those on the 10 per cent protein diet while at 25 per cent the difference was no higher.

Lead author Alison Grosby, of the University of Sydney, said: ‘The results show humans have a particularly strong appetite for protein, and when the proportion of protein in the diet is low this appetite can drive excess energy intake.’

For weight loss, nutritionists recommend arranging your plate so a quarter of your food is protein, a quarter is carbohydrate and half is vegetables.

Co-author Dr Susan Jebb, head of the Human Nutrition Research Unit at Cambridge said: ‘Eating a large amount of carbohydrate and fat, such as in fizzy drinks are a major risk factor for obesity and they dilute your protein content, so there is a case for a modest increase, although we are not advocating eating huge amounts of protein or cutting out carbohydrates altogether.

‘If what we found translates into the real world a 15 per cent protein intake would certainly be enough to prevent people over-consuming and help them lose weight.

The study is published today in the journal PLoS One.


No comments: