Unhealthy eating is new fad in US

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Story Link

Unhealthy eating is new fad in US
By SIMON DAVIS in Los Angeles

In what is being termed "food porn", American food manufacturers are capitalising on a backlash against low-calorie and diet foods by marketing treats that boast a high fat content and good artery-clogging potential.

Obesity has doubled during the past decade and doctors and nutritional experts say that if the number of heavyweights continues to grow at the current rate, almost the entire population will be obese by 2010.

"It is the responsibility of food manufacturers to support a healthy diet, not promote dangerous eating habits," declared the Medical Institute of California.

The baker Sara Lee has created a series of products called Calzone Creations (Calorie-zone). This includes microwave sandwiches that proudly display the message: "Contains 12 grams of saturated fat, at least 60 per cent of the recommended daily intake for an average person."

Kraft is also capitalising on America's unusually cynical reaction to the so-called "food fascists", who have spent years telling people to eat healthily. It has created a cheesecake snack bar that glories in containing three times as much fat as a regular cheesecake.

The product inspired the critical Centre for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, to come up with the phrase "food porn".

There is also a chocolate bar from Nestle that has eight times as much saturated fat as a normal bar.

"I don't watch my fat intake at all," said Glen Murphy, of Mississauga, Ontario, as he sampled one of the full-fat Calzone Creations, a croissant-like pocket stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables.

"I like what I buy and I eat it and enjoy it."

Michael Sansolo, senior vice-president of the Food Marketing Institute, which represents the supermarket industry, said consumers had been "deluged with conflicting, sometimes misleading claims" about nutrition and diet, and they have reacted by "tuning out".

Researchers claim that the motivation for the obese to lose weight has dramatically decreased since one in five people they come across is either as large or larger.

According to New Product News, a publication that tracks the industry, the number of new food products bearing low-fat or low-calorie claims more than doubled from 1993 to 1996, from 847 items to 2,076 items, but had dropped by half two years later.

- The Daily Telegraph


Thought I best post this before wrapping the Friday night fish-n-chips...with salt!

Regards from OZ where we read the strangest stuff...

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), May 12, 2000



If you are still eating 'fish' on a Friday night then some people will think that is a hopeful sign! Yes, the diet bit is out of control, but although I may be wearing blinkers, it is only slightly worse in the USA and Europe than it is in Oz. As a matter of interest, do you ever look at 'women's' magazines or movies like 'The Matrix'? The females are so THIN that they make me feel like an elephant. I am 172cm and weigh about 60kg.

I simply don't understand tbis emphasis on weight in our society. I agree that if you are overweight for your frame/height that you should try to do something about it. Otherwise, you'll probably have a very short life span. But there must be a healthy medium???


-- Kerry (masz@southcom.com.au), May 12, 2000.

The low-fat craze has made us fatter than ever. People need to eat fat, especially "good fats" - those with Omega-3's, and some monounsaturates, and it satisfies hunger. It seems like the body is waiting for the fat to arrive and isn't satisfied until it does. When there is no fat in a food, guess what there is that much more of - carbohydrate! Especially in the highly processed "low fat" denatured foods, which are full of refined sugars. Who doesn't know that this is bad for a person? So bring on the backlash! Better to be happy splurging on full-fat desserts once a week, than try to be "virtuous" with [yecch] Snackwells every day.

That said, some people thrive eating healthy low-fat; I definitely don't, although for a long time I tried. I feel much better and control my weight much better as a fat-eating carnivore, staying low on the carbs. And it improves my lipid readings.

IMO, we are all different metabolically. It seems to be highly individual as to who does best on what ratio of the three macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein.

Once you (generic "you") find which is optimum for you, your cravings will subside and your weight will tend to normalize, without deprivation. The scientific method works here.

Rebellion against the food police - I'm all for it, but for different reasons: one size does not fit all!

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), May 12, 2000.

Jeeze Pieter, us skinny folks up North of you have been wondering
if you had dropped off the face of the earth. Ya bin a bit quiet
of late mate, but so has the list! Got frostbite yet down there? Scarlet

-- Scarlet Breasted (scarletbreasted@hotmail.com), May 12, 2000.

Ozzie food must be pretty vile as well if its based on brit fare

I suppose Roo steaks are pretty much fat free though but they keep hopping off the plate

-- richard (richard.dale@onion.com), May 12, 2000.

I can't condemn this backlash either. I was SHOCKED when my daughter was about 8 years old, reading the labels on packaging to find the lowest fat content. It was probably true that adults should have cut back on their fat, but when young, growing children think it's necessary, the craze has gone too far. I think the pendulum will swing back, and hover more closely in the middle this time.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), May 12, 2000.

I am not overweight and I don't watch WHAT I eat, but I do watch HOW MUCH I eat. I think this is the main problem in the US. People in general eat too much. Everything is "supersized" in convenience stores and restaurants, from a simple cup of coffee or soda (Big Gulps), to overflowing mounds in restaurant plates, to Burger Kings "quadruple cheese double patty bacon burgers". Over time, this supersizing gets kids and adults used to huge portions, and couple that with the guilt associated with food; moms admonishings "finish your plate", and you see there's a problem in the amount of food ingested at meals. Plus the junk food snaking between meals that seems part of American culture.

In France, a country that does not have a problem with obesity but who's food is rich in fats, portions are much smaller in restaurants and there's no "supersizing". Culturally the people don't snack between meals, and they don't "horde" food in fridge and pantries, they shop for fresh food everyday for that day's meals (a typical family's fridge is the size of a dishwasher and contain butter/milk and maybe some leftovers.)

-- (y@x.x), May 12, 2000.

yeah french food is the best, though even the germans, spanish, and italians eat really good "proper" food prepared from fresh ingredients, though the anglo-US junk food menace is spreading across the channel

yes british food is REALLY BAD before anyone says so

-- richard (richard.dale@onion.co.), May 12, 2000.

Eating my canned Y2K stash is unhealthy eating at it's finest!

-- Debra (...@....), May 12, 2000.


"It is the responsibility of food manufacturers to support a healthy diet, not promote dangerous eating habits," declared the Medical Institute of California."


Bulldung! It is the responsibility of food manufacturers to maximize profits by selling the consumer what he/she wants. The only people who have any responsibility are the ultimate consumers, to themselves.

I know someone who pays money to go to an organzition to get wieghed each week. What a racket!! I'll charge you half as much and be more proactive. I will shout at you, "you're fat, stop eating so much, get off your ass and exercise". "you're fat, stop eating so much get off your ass and exercise". etc etc etc.

If you intake more calories than you burn the excess will be stored. Over time you will get FAT!!!

Why is this such a difficult concept? Why do people have such a hard time controlling themselves?

-- Outta beer (East of the smoke stack@usa.here), May 12, 2000.


I'm not convinced that canned food is all that unhealthy. Studies have shown that commercial canning preserved the vitamins and minerals of the fresh plants. PREFERENCE is another story. Since I was raised by immigrants, my preference is to purchase fresh foods every two days. If I'm too lazy to shop, we eat from the pantry.

Throughout European countries the refrigerators are small. Garbage cans are small as well. Canned/packaged foods make more garbage, and many areas of Europe have a limit on how much garbage is allowed.

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), May 12, 2000.

HMMM; food. Menu for tonight:

Steamed Mussels in wine/vegetable broth

Braised eggplant and fennel

Dilled asparagus

Fresh-baked herb bread

Home made berry ice cream

Love this Merican junk food

Only takes an hour to make. From the garden: except the mussels, they don't grow in the garden; and of course the cream, technically from a cow. Have these light banks that allow me to grow stuff year around.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 12, 2000.


I am with you in looking at the three components of fat, carbs, and protein. Are you familiar with Zone? This is 40% carbs, 30%protein, and 30% fat with every meal, with an emphasis on vegetable sources for carbs. When I am doing this, my energy level is at its best.

The Atkins diet is the biggest, most unhealthy popular diet in American. Anyone who eliminates almost all carbs and increases protein exponentially is looking for trouble.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), May 12, 2000.

richard, I'm shocked. I've heard all my life how bad British food is. Yet when I've been in England I've had delicious food; in fact, some of the best food I've eaten. I fell in love with Eccles cakes, and I guess my only complaint is that "Boy are they stingy with ice!"

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), May 12, 2000.

Future Shock, I'm amazed at how many people are on that awful Atkins Diet. As my friend said, "I want instant results."

I'll just keep my extra 15 pounds rather than even consider Atkins, or buying special food, or going to Slim Fast.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), May 12, 2000.

Z - yum!

FS, I too find the Zone is a very energizing way to eat. Usually I resist following it to the letter (weighing and measuring the food blocks) and don't seem to need to, to feel the benefits. So I often use the "eyeball" method. If it's dense carbs, I eat the same size portion as the protein. If it's fresh veggie carbs and salads, then double the portion. Using my Y2k stockpile has made following the Zone easier. I'll use my beans, rice, peas and lentils making pressure-cooked veggie, bean etc. soups, served with some protein, or else the protein cooked with it as a one-pot Zone meal.

I agree, Gilda, I have about 20 more pounds I'd like to get rid of but I know better - the only permanent weight loss is so slow you barely notice it. I did lose 20 on the Zone, over about a year. I like to keep eating this way because it feels good. (It's easy to get short-term "instant" results with Atkins, which is mostly water loss but means nothing.)

I had tried Atkins and whoa! that is NOT for me....after 2 weeks, I felt so weak, I could hardly get up out of a chair, much less do my workouts.

Yet it does seem that some people do well on Atkins, long-term. It boggles me that this is so. They seem to have none of the problems I did. This is another thing that convinces me we are all different. For the people who do well on Atkins, the only thing that troubles me about it is they might not get enough vegetables and other healthy carbs - although at 60g per day you can eat a fair amount of vegetables. The test is are they staying with it long-term, and do they feel better?

As for all that fat? Go here The Cholesterol Myths for a fascinating read about another set of memes.

The media has played a large part in creating this idea of "artery clogging meat fat" as being the unhealthiest thing out there. Some ideas are very easy to formulate and swallow, but that doesn't make them true. (Sort of like "it's systemic - Y2k can't be fixed!!" Ayup.)

Besides, cholesterol-lowering medications are a multi-billion dollar business. Cholesterol-lowering drugs deplete the body of the nutrient Coenzyme Q10, which is essential to heart function. Too, low cholesterol is correlated with increased incidence of cancer and strokes. In the middle is where we want to stay.

From everything I can gather, it appears that the eating style that contributes to degenerative disease (and weight problems) the most, is eating high fat AND high carbs at the same time, esp. if the carbs are processed foods; but this describes the Standard American Diet. Linus Pauling felt that sugar is the most implicated in degenerative diseases esp. heart disease. And heart disease has an extremely high correlation with incidence of Type II diabetes - a sugar disorder. High triglycerides are much, much more correlated to incidence of heart disease, than are any of the cholesterol readings. Even cutting carbs moderately, as with the Zone, triglyceride levels do respond, unlike cholesterol levels, which are hard to budge at all without drugs! - yet it seems that is not so important after all.

Then there is Metabolic Individuality - which I think is a new frontier. It's been little explored, but may do a lot to account for the often-baffling findings in the field of nutrition, health, and supplementation. ....

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), May 12, 2000.

gilda, Richard is right, English food is BAD...but what he didn't mention (or might not know) is that American food is WAY worse. So ofcourse Americans will find English food an improvement.

-- (US@porn.food), May 12, 2000.


I am American. I just described tonights meal. It is typical of one strain of American cooking [this would be New England]. You don't like Creole, Cajun [I could go on and on]. What do you consider American "cookin". Seems to me that you are just whining while you go out for a Big Mac. Learn to cook!!!!!!!!

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 12, 2000.

Gilda, You liked Eccles Cakes ????Actually I think the best of British food is usually the local specialities such as your Eccles Cakes.A cornish pasty is a totally different creature from the supermarket version and Welsh laverbread(seaweed)cooked in bacon fat is to die for..about twice a year because it is so rich!

Fresh fish fried in batter with chips made from new potatoes..what could be better? Unfortunately most of us & the restaurants who have to maximise the turnover of bottoms on seats have changed to using convenience foods enlivened by the odd herbal sprig & artistic swirl of sauce or cream.

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), May 12, 2000.

My dinner: 2 peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches and a can of Chunky Soup (chicken noodle). I'm too tired to fix anything more complicated.

-- (kb8um8@yahoo.com), May 12, 2000.

All right. I was never going to admit it but this thread salivates the memory glands so I confess - I used to own a restaurant that specialised in game.

After a few dozen official game dinners I reckon I've participated in some exotic stuff. I've served up croc and fox and hare. Another dish was possum that dresses like a cat but tastes so-so.

My favourite is galah and pigeon. Wild stubble quail is great too. I've tried all ducks and swan will present whitish floating in orange sauce.

Native hen is very good but the greatest dish is bustard and scrub turkey. They are rich and oh so delicious. They are protected now.

Roo is like deer, but roo tail should round off a soup every day. Emu is bit oily and so is mutton bird, only much more so.

I got into deep trouble by advertising on the truckie channel for a road kill koala and wombat for a really special to-do. It wasn't appreciated by the National Parks Rangers who failed to see the delectable side.

Pheasant is pretty good but blandish, unlike chukar partridge which is just wild man.

Yup, I've eaten my way arounds Australia. Once I was stumped though - I've talked to a bloke in the Colac bar who has had a brolga. Never had brolga, but I've had an ibis and magpie goose. The Cape Barren goose was pretty good also.

I used to cater for hoity-toity shows for politicians and such freakie dudes. They are so different.

Personally I am partially to a campoven teal duck or two in port wine, just ticking along by the big drain to Lake Hawdon. For entree I'd cherish fresh gar fillets caught that morning slightly oiled and lightly grilled in a mesh frame over the coals. A hunk of damper would be nice too.

The gundogs reckon it's close to heaven as they steam by the fire beneath the melaleuka paperbark. We were going out this wet dismal day, but the bitch is in season and the dogs have no concentration at all.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), May 12, 2000.

Garfish, is best cooked by gutting it and rolling an old fashionaed (standard sized) beer bottle up and down it. Doing this, breaks up all the tiny bones. I suppose you could use a rolling pin if you have one. Then throw it on the BBQ for a very short time and it makes a superb meal!

Have you ever been to the Pink Duck (I think it is actually called the 'Black Swan' in NSW?) They have a way with roo!

-- Kerry Maszkowski (masz@southcom.com.au), May 15, 2000.

gilda, Richard is right, English food is BAD...but what he didn't mention (or might not know) is that American food is WAY worse. So ofcourse Americans will find English food an improvement.

my god, i thought you had some good food over there aside from the burgers and processed stuff

BTW the only good restaurants in Britain are the foreign ones, Indian, Chinese, French, Italian etc, you don't get English Restaurants abroad (except for the brits)

there's nothing wrong with the raw materials we get over here, its just that the average brit does not have a clue when it comes to cooking, its not in our blood, many pubs just put stuff in the microwave cos thats what they do at home and people don't expect much

-- richard (richard.dale@onion.com), May 15, 2000.

richard, I'm shocked. I've heard all my life how bad British food is. Yet when I've been in England I've had delicious food; in fact, some of the best food I've eaten. I fell in love with Eccles cakes, and I guess my only complaint is that "Boy are they stingy with ice!"

There are a few places that do fairly good food, but on the whole we haven't got a clue (that includes what people prepare at home) we don't really regard food as important (just something to shovel down) we also don't demand high standards, inspead of complaining we just whinge afterwards, beacuse of british politeness people who complain are regarded as social outcasts, it would create bad feeling in a restaurant if someone did the irony is that any good restaurant can actually clean up, people would flock to it, i would employ a couple of french chefs let them get on with it I suppose british dishes can be good if prepared properly (but they usually are not)

yes we are a stingy race but we have very small fridges compared with yours

-- richard (richard.dale@onion.com), May 15, 2000.


I just wanted to say hello to you, down under. I havenot seen you post before. Welcome.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), May 15, 2000.

Hello Kerry,
Getting rained on today. It's been awhile.

Roo, like buffalo and shevron, deer and hare, has layers of skin that are best trimmed off. Otherwise it can make it a bit tough. Slightly underdone is best with a wild mushroom sauce that has just a dollop of peanut butter paste added with the hot peppers. Oven baked spuds and ever so lightly wok-ed veg and it's a provincial fare-n-feast.

Howdy FS,
Barramundi is fantastic...you haven't lived until you get a taste of freshest Southern crayfish. I can recommend a plate of yabbies straight from hanging to drip off the cooking pot rim. Peeling them is a breeze when you've got the knack. Dunking them in heated frothy honey does wonders to the flavours. Bliss!

Just thought to share...hehehe...

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), May 15, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ