November 2008

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The newspapers really do love to shock the public with more extreme diet tales which range from diets don’t work through to the most recent scare which is that very low calorie diets will kill you.

Very Low Caloire Diets have been shown to help some people and  can be the only real affordable option available for rapid weight loss.  Barriatric surgery is another possibility but at £5,000 to £8,000 a pop it is hard for many people to justify.

What was disappointing in the recent article is that there was no real debate about the options open to people.There is an assumed belief that one diet will suit all.  How superficial is that? We are all different and therefore the diet we chose to help us lose weight or get fit of improve our health must suit us both in terms of lifestyle and metabolism.

As a passionate believer in real food as a permenant weight loss solution, I may not promote the use of shakes or meal replacments but i understand that for some this is an option that will work for them for short term success.

Lets have a proper debate about all the options available to the public without being extreme or misleading.

17 November 2008

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I have been privilaged enough to read a copy of the draft recommendations for clincal guidence on the managment of obestiy in Scotland.  This document ,the work of the NHS. is supposedly based on best evidence.  Naturally I read it with interest particularly in relation to dietary guidelines and exercise.  This draft document assures its readers that it is based on recent studies and each recommendation has been seperately rated for the strength of supporting evidence. 

All this seems very encouraging until you start to look closely at the section on diet and exercise.  As usual the low fat, low calorie message is repeated frequently in the main body of the report but when it actually looks closely at the comparitive diets it actually recognises that low carb is as effective as low fat. Indeed the most recent significant studies show that low carb is more effective both in the short and long term. Funny that such important reports which were published in leading journals across the world  fail to be properly reflected in not only the main part of the documetn but also in the specialist section.

The report makes it clear that there is robust evidence to show that exercise is very important to weightloss but actually the largest study on exercise did not indicate this at all.   The largest child obsity and exercise study in the UK showed quite the contrary and infact lost its government funding when it failed to show that exercise mattered.  Could it be that the results were not to the report writers liking?  

In fact the actual text of this apparent Scottish Report is actually a complete copy of an American report as they refer to diets we do not have in the UK. They refer to the Ornish Diet and the Zone Diet. 

What can one say other than Ho Hum. Yet another expert report which repeats the same mantra of the past 20 years – low fat low cal. Yet in the same period obesity has risen at alarming rates even while we eat less fat and less calories.

10 November 2008

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