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Thor Albro
Thor Albro
10 months ago

I haven’t finished the article, so bear with me, but the following group-think non-sequeter must be disabused forthwith:
“There’s little inherent financial reason for any given food producer to prioritise nutritional value, and those foods that do are usually more expensive or, at least, practically inaccessible to those who do not frequent farmers’ markets or upscale grocery stores.”

This is utter nonsense and just one of those tired cliches from the left that are repeated by otherwise sane people who don’t get out enough. As a married couple with all the resources to buy any food we want, but who cook for ourselves 98% of the time, I can assure you that the cost of food of ” nutritional value” costs NOTHIING compared to fast food or pre-processed junk. The availability of fresh veggies is just a few minutes from anybody (not living in the wilderness) but the failure to so forage for oneself is completely the product of behavioral disfunction or cultural malaise.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

I disagree, I can buy any number of frozen foods you simply bung in the cooker (pizzas, chips, pies etc) for much cheaper than I can buy the fresh ingredients to make similar meals. Another factor to consider is that these days most families need both parents working full time to pay the bills, and on average youngsters are working longer hours and facing longer commutes than previous generations. Understandably the thought of getting home late in the evening to then start chopping, peeling, preparing and cooking, and then the long washing up that’s usually comes with it doesn’t really appeal, and it’s much easier to simply chuck something in the oven or go to the chippy.
This isn’t to say that the obese don’t bear responsibility for their weight, but to compare your life where you and your wife are seemingly very comfortable to that of the youngsters who barely see their kids due to their jobs it’s apples and oranges. You can say that people should look after their weight while also acknowledging the current system is stacked against them

Last edited 10 months ago by Billy Bob
Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Look at someone like Oprah Winfrey. There’s a woman with willpower. There’s a woman with money to pay a full-time chef. But there’s a woman who can’t keep from getting fat.
We need to stop being so facile and face the fact that obesity is a complex problem that we do not know the cause of because there are many factors that work together to cause it. Most medical problems these days are like that, as the easy ones have already been solved.
In spite of that we still boil the problem down to distill out a simple solution only to be surprised when it doesn’t work. When dealing with complex systems we need to move from the reductionist approach that worked so well for physics and chemistry to a more holistic one. That’s true whether the problem is obesity, viral pandemics, or climate change.
Trouble is that people like to take sides and argue rather than admit that they just don’t know.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Agreed. Thor is right on prices in fairness, but on the occasions I go into the office, I’m not back till after 7pm so yeah, the thought of chopping, peeling and de-seeding stuff before I even put it in the oven is not one I would look forward to. Far easier and more convenient to bung something in the oven for 20 minutes or microwave and just put my feet up.

Another factor in my experience might also be limited kitchen space. If you haven’t got a big kitchen, it’s pretty hard to store much of the larger items you would need to make a family meal (or one that lasts a couple of days) on top of the essentials.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You make chopping, peeling and deseeding stuff sound a terrible labour not to be faced after 7 pm whereas there is little labour involved and plenty of healthy vegetables don’t even require any chopping, peeling or deseeding.

The problem is that convenience food has resulted in a couple of generations who simply never learnt to cook. We know innumerable families who have ample kitchens, indeed enviably large and luxurious kitchens, but who simply don’t know how to cook fresh food and have no inclination to learn.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, I see this a lot in the US: people buying massive family homes with luxury kitchens which they never use unless it’s to put something in the microwave.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes, I see this a lot in the US: people buying massive family homes with luxury kitchens which they never use unless it’s to put something in the microwave.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

For the price of a McDonald’s meal or a ready meal, you can get a nice steak from Aldi, along with mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s quick and easy to cook, and doesn’t require much space.

I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Exactly. To feed 4/5 people (depending on appetite):
A “Big Daddy” pack of 2 rump steaks (454g) for about ÂŁ5 rubbed with salt,pepper,garlic, and fried in butter plus some “wonky” mushrooms, and either fried tomatoes or gently simmered peas and carrots (from frozen as freezing retains freshness and nutrients).
Requires 2 hobs for ca 15-20 mins.
As you’re not using whole packets of mushroom/veg, total cost is around ÂŁ6.
It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Let’s not even start on using Slow Cookers for chicken thighs with stock, onions, carrots, etc.
Get home – food is ready and hot, house smells gorgeous, only one pot (+ plates/cutlery) to wash.
Very cheap, very nutritious, very nice.
It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Exactly. To feed 4/5 people (depending on appetite):
A “Big Daddy” pack of 2 rump steaks (454g) for about ÂŁ5 rubbed with salt,pepper,garlic, and fried in butter plus some “wonky” mushrooms, and either fried tomatoes or gently simmered peas and carrots (from frozen as freezing retains freshness and nutrients).
Requires 2 hobs for ca 15-20 mins.
As you’re not using whole packets of mushroom/veg, total cost is around ÂŁ6.
It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Goodhand

Let’s not even start on using Slow Cookers for chicken thighs with stock, onions, carrots, etc.
Get home – food is ready and hot, house smells gorgeous, only one pot (+ plates/cutlery) to wash.
Very cheap, very nutritious, very nice.
It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by I Am Phyddeaux
J Hop
J Hop
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You act as if getting a healthy meal on the able is so difficult. Tonight I threw some butter in a pan, fried up some wild caught trout, threw some asparagus in the pan afterward and cut up an avocado. It took all of 10 minutes and was a delish and healthy meal. You an also throw a steak and veggies on a grill and make a meal in short order. Our Thursday this week is tightly scheduled with kids activities so I’m throwing some ingredients for turkey chili in a crock pot that day. That should take an extra 10 minutes in the morning and allow us to dip in and eat whenever we can.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  J Hop

Wild caught trout, asparagus, both expensive! Good for you, but this solution sounds almost like a parody.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  J Hop

Wild caught trout, asparagus, both expensive! Good for you, but this solution sounds almost like a parody.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You make chopping, peeling and deseeding stuff sound a terrible labour not to be faced after 7 pm whereas there is little labour involved and plenty of healthy vegetables don’t even require any chopping, peeling or deseeding.

The problem is that convenience food has resulted in a couple of generations who simply never learnt to cook. We know innumerable families who have ample kitchens, indeed enviably large and luxurious kitchens, but who simply don’t know how to cook fresh food and have no inclination to learn.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

For the price of a McDonald’s meal or a ready meal, you can get a nice steak from Aldi, along with mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s quick and easy to cook, and doesn’t require much space.

J Hop
J Hop
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

You act as if getting a healthy meal on the able is so difficult. Tonight I threw some butter in a pan, fried up some wild caught trout, threw some asparagus in the pan afterward and cut up an avocado. It took all of 10 minutes and was a delish and healthy meal. You an also throw a steak and veggies on a grill and make a meal in short order. Our Thursday this week is tightly scheduled with kids activities so I’m throwing some ingredients for turkey chili in a crock pot that day. That should take an extra 10 minutes in the morning and allow us to dip in and eat whenever we can.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I worked very long hours with a long commute for many years. Just how hard is it to steam some vegetables and lightly fry some chicken fillets in olive oil? Such first world problems.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
10 months ago

Very hard indeed if (say) you have little money, poor access to a fresh food shop (this is a real problem, not an imaginary one), and work long hours and care for children. Your first world is very different from some very large urban population’s, even in the first world.

I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago

Iceland/Aldi/Lidl all sell chicken breasts and vegetables both frozen and fresh at prices FAR lower than processed crap.Knock it off with the Baizuo nonsense. It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

I live in Africa. Anyway, if you cannot afford children and cannot afford to feed them properly, don’t have children.

I Am Phyddeaux
I Am Phyddeaux
10 months ago

Iceland/Aldi/Lidl all sell chicken breasts and vegetables both frozen and fresh at prices FAR lower than processed crap.Knock it off with the Baizuo nonsense. It’s all about thought, planning, approach and culture.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

I live in Africa. Anyway, if you cannot afford children and cannot afford to feed them properly, don’t have children.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

You had that every night did you? It’s all well and good if you have plenty of kitchen space to store everything and no kids to deal with, if you’re in a cramped flat and having to deal with the rugrats then it’s a different ball game. Your life isn’t indicative of everybody else’s, so just because it isn’t an issue in your routine doesn’t mean it isn’t for somebody else

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I had a tiny kitchen and a full time job with a 1-hr each way commute. When I got home, veg prep was first, then put on/in oven, pan, whatever we were having. Fresh cooked meal every night except Fridays. It took until our 40s for my husband to declare that as he got home much earlier, he would take over and cook! We still cook from fresh most nights.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is no big deal. I was a single parent for years and managed it.
I shop late afternoon on a Saturday when I buy 90% of what I need for the week only shopping again for vegetables midweek.
I would get not long after 7pm and immediately put on the evening meal – meat/fish, carrots and broccoli/beans and rice/pasta/potatoes, taking 15 to 20 minutes to prepare and about 35 to 40 minute to get on the table and at a cost of about ÂŁ3 per serving.
I’d then do the washing up and make lunch for the following day ham and cheese sandwich/medium sized chicken breast, 4 baby plumb tomatoes, peeled and sliced kiwi fruit, handful of salad leaves, ramekin of cottage cheese/slice of malt loaf, small pork pie, small orange, small peach/plum, small handful of raisins/few blueberries at a cost again about ÂŁ3.50 per serving

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I read excuse after excuse.
No one needs a huge posh kitchen to store some potatoes, peppers, tinned pulses, rice and pasta (for example). All cheap ingredients, by the way.
If you live off ready meals you have a laziness problem.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Just excuses. Blame everything but yourself. You have become part of the nanny state.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes, that’s all I saw excuses to feed them mush.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Yes, that’s all I saw excuses to feed them mush.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Stop having children if you cannot afford to feed them properly.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I had a tiny kitchen and a full time job with a 1-hr each way commute. When I got home, veg prep was first, then put on/in oven, pan, whatever we were having. Fresh cooked meal every night except Fridays. It took until our 40s for my husband to declare that as he got home much earlier, he would take over and cook! We still cook from fresh most nights.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is no big deal. I was a single parent for years and managed it.
I shop late afternoon on a Saturday when I buy 90% of what I need for the week only shopping again for vegetables midweek.
I would get not long after 7pm and immediately put on the evening meal – meat/fish, carrots and broccoli/beans and rice/pasta/potatoes, taking 15 to 20 minutes to prepare and about 35 to 40 minute to get on the table and at a cost of about ÂŁ3 per serving.
I’d then do the washing up and make lunch for the following day ham and cheese sandwich/medium sized chicken breast, 4 baby plumb tomatoes, peeled and sliced kiwi fruit, handful of salad leaves, ramekin of cottage cheese/slice of malt loaf, small pork pie, small orange, small peach/plum, small handful of raisins/few blueberries at a cost again about ÂŁ3.50 per serving

Gorka Sillero
Gorka Sillero
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I read excuse after excuse.
No one needs a huge posh kitchen to store some potatoes, peppers, tinned pulses, rice and pasta (for example). All cheap ingredients, by the way.
If you live off ready meals you have a laziness problem.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Just excuses. Blame everything but yourself. You have become part of the nanny state.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Stop having children if you cannot afford to feed them properly.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
10 months ago

Very hard indeed if (say) you have little money, poor access to a fresh food shop (this is a real problem, not an imaginary one), and work long hours and care for children. Your first world is very different from some very large urban population’s, even in the first world.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

You had that every night did you? It’s all well and good if you have plenty of kitchen space to store everything and no kids to deal with, if you’re in a cramped flat and having to deal with the rugrats then it’s a different ball game. Your life isn’t indicative of everybody else’s, so just because it isn’t an issue in your routine doesn’t mean it isn’t for somebody else

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When exactly was this Nirvana when youngsters are working shorter hours and facing shorter commutes than previous generations? My ancestors at Short Bros introduced into their shipyards a 48 hour working week from the previous 53 hour norm during the 1890s. It is now illegal to require workers to work more than 48 hours and the average working week is 36.4 hours according to ONS statistics excluding part time workers.

Plenty work from home and have no commute and in previous generations walking into the office or bicycling in was not uncommon. If the current commute is longer it arises through choosing to live further from work.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The Millenials and Gen Z on average work longer hours and face longer commute (at least until the recent working from home development) than the generations that preceded them, namely their parents and grandparents. Trying to bring in the appalling labour practices of the Victorian age is simply a case of deflection as you’re well aware.
It also isn’t a case of choosing to live further from their work, it’s due to the fact that the only places they can afford are a long way away from where the jobs are, and this is despite both parents having to work full time

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Where is your evidence that Millennials work longer hours than previous generations? The evidence here:
https://ourworldindata.org/working-more-than-ever
suggests this is a myth. When I started working in the city in the early 70s I recall coming in on a Saturday morning – a practice that disappeared by the 1980s and has not been revived as far as I know. It is true that email and mobile phones can make workers more accessible outside working hours but that is not the same as suggesting that average working hours have been extended.

Commuting distance is a choice. You can live nearer work if you are prepared to sacrifice living space.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I am a boomer and also worked very long hours (sometimes 12 hours) with a commute either side.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

What an utterly privileged middle class response! I do think there is probably an issue about the cooking skills, but now just to add to this orgy of self congratulation, we have an absurd denial that house prices have risen hugely in real terms, and not just in London. No, this is not a matter of simply accepting slightly less space, housing affordable to many people on average wages is simply unaffordable for many people, except for the bank of mum and dad.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I am a boomer and also worked very long hours (sometimes 12 hours) with a commute either side.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
9 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

What an utterly privileged middle class response! I do think there is probably an issue about the cooking skills, but now just to add to this orgy of self congratulation, we have an absurd denial that house prices have risen hugely in real terms, and not just in London. No, this is not a matter of simply accepting slightly less space, housing affordable to many people on average wages is simply unaffordable for many people, except for the bank of mum and dad.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Losing weight is about eating simply, not overeating and eating the right foods. My mother used to say (not your silly Victorian times by the way), that if someone was overweight they needed to cut back on bread and potatoes. That is starch, carbs. Easy. You don’t need a big kitchen, you don’t need to be rich. Just don’t binge.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

https://ourworldindata.org/working-more-than-ever
The above article does not support the idea that the current generation is working longer hours than previous generations. It rather refutes it.

If you have contrary evidence I look forward to seeing it.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Indeed, I very much doubt this claim. So many things are asserted and allowed to pass without challenge these days.
It is possible that people are spending more time at work today than 40 years ago. But that is not the same at all as saying they are working harder. Work today involves a lot of quite frankly “non work” activities like wasting time on distractions like personal internet stuff and mandatory “compliance training” of various non-productive types.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Indeed, I very much doubt this claim. So many things are asserted and allowed to pass without challenge these days.
It is possible that people are spending more time at work today than 40 years ago. But that is not the same at all as saying they are working harder. Work today involves a lot of quite frankly “non work” activities like wasting time on distractions like personal internet stuff and mandatory “compliance training” of various non-productive types.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

More excuses!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sorry Billy you are wrong. Check out the ONS data, millenials actually will work 7 years less in their lifetime to reach the same standard of wealth as baby boomers. I do accept some of your points re the food issue. All this pseudo middle class virtue signalling and recipe flaunting is tiresome, the food sounds dull, not surprising people don’t want a bland chicken breast and pulses every night!
The secret is eat slightly less and acclimatise slowly, cut down on unhealthy stuff if possible, move around more…

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Where is your evidence that Millennials work longer hours than previous generations? The evidence here:
https://ourworldindata.org/working-more-than-ever
suggests this is a myth. When I started working in the city in the early 70s I recall coming in on a Saturday morning – a practice that disappeared by the 1980s and has not been revived as far as I know. It is true that email and mobile phones can make workers more accessible outside working hours but that is not the same as suggesting that average working hours have been extended.

Commuting distance is a choice. You can live nearer work if you are prepared to sacrifice living space.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Losing weight is about eating simply, not overeating and eating the right foods. My mother used to say (not your silly Victorian times by the way), that if someone was overweight they needed to cut back on bread and potatoes. That is starch, carbs. Easy. You don’t need a big kitchen, you don’t need to be rich. Just don’t binge.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

https://ourworldindata.org/working-more-than-ever
The above article does not support the idea that the current generation is working longer hours than previous generations. It rather refutes it.

If you have contrary evidence I look forward to seeing it.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

More excuses!

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Sorry Billy you are wrong. Check out the ONS data, millenials actually will work 7 years less in their lifetime to reach the same standard of wealth as baby boomers. I do accept some of your points re the food issue. All this pseudo middle class virtue signalling and recipe flaunting is tiresome, the food sounds dull, not surprising people don’t want a bland chicken breast and pulses every night!
The secret is eat slightly less and acclimatise slowly, cut down on unhealthy stuff if possible, move around more…

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

That’s true so far as it goes, but they a. likely lived no more than a ten-minute walk from the shipyard and b. had wives at home with t’meal on’t t’able at the moment they walked in the door at 5.10PM.

Nick M
Nick M
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes but many working men would have a wife who wouldn’t work and so do the shopping and cooking for them. When seen as a unit instead of the individual it feels like people have less free time now.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The Millenials and Gen Z on average work longer hours and face longer commute (at least until the recent working from home development) than the generations that preceded them, namely their parents and grandparents. Trying to bring in the appalling labour practices of the Victorian age is simply a case of deflection as you’re well aware.
It also isn’t a case of choosing to live further from their work, it’s due to the fact that the only places they can afford are a long way away from where the jobs are, and this is despite both parents having to work full time

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

That’s true so far as it goes, but they a. likely lived no more than a ten-minute walk from the shipyard and b. had wives at home with t’meal on’t t’able at the moment they walked in the door at 5.10PM.

Nick M
Nick M
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Yes but many working men would have a wife who wouldn’t work and so do the shopping and cooking for them. When seen as a unit instead of the individual it feels like people have less free time now.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“I disagree, I can buy any number of frozen foods you simply bung in the cooker (pizzas, chips, pies etc) for much cheaper than I can buy the fresh ingredients to make similar meals.”

All this means is that you don’t know food, ingredients and how to cook. I know because for 4 years my friends & I ate well on ÂŁ15 a week each, for breakfast and dinner, seven days a week (early 90s). We were young, and living in one of the most deprived council estates in Scotland, no car, no good local shops.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Was your deprived council estate perhaps in Glasgow or Edinburgh or another large town?
I used to live in Dumfries, which is not particularly deprived except in terms of it being almost impossible to find fresh fruit and vegetables apart from cabbage, neeps and tatties. Fried mars bars and tablet were always easy to find.
Even the most deprived parts of Glasgow, for instance, are a short walk from great shops.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Sandilands, Aberdeen. Farmfoods 1 minute walk, Tesco 20 minutes by bus – we visited the former, once, and then frequented the latter!

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Sandilands, Aberdeen. Farmfoods 1 minute walk, Tesco 20 minutes by bus – we visited the former, once, and then frequented the latter!

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Was your deprived council estate perhaps in Glasgow or Edinburgh or another large town?
I used to live in Dumfries, which is not particularly deprived except in terms of it being almost impossible to find fresh fruit and vegetables apart from cabbage, neeps and tatties. Fried mars bars and tablet were always easy to find.
Even the most deprived parts of Glasgow, for instance, are a short walk from great shops.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s not the “processed” food that’ making you fat, it’s your lack of exercise. No matter what your lifestyle, there are opportunities to be more physical. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk a few blocks rather than riding. Physical activity of some kind can be sneaked into any life.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Look at someone like Oprah Winfrey. There’s a woman with willpower. There’s a woman with money to pay a full-time chef. But there’s a woman who can’t keep from getting fat.
We need to stop being so facile and face the fact that obesity is a complex problem that we do not know the cause of because there are many factors that work together to cause it. Most medical problems these days are like that, as the easy ones have already been solved.
In spite of that we still boil the problem down to distill out a simple solution only to be surprised when it doesn’t work. When dealing with complex systems we need to move from the reductionist approach that worked so well for physics and chemistry to a more holistic one. That’s true whether the problem is obesity, viral pandemics, or climate change.
Trouble is that people like to take sides and argue rather than admit that they just don’t know.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Agreed. Thor is right on prices in fairness, but on the occasions I go into the office, I’m not back till after 7pm so yeah, the thought of chopping, peeling and de-seeding stuff before I even put it in the oven is not one I would look forward to. Far easier and more convenient to bung something in the oven for 20 minutes or microwave and just put my feet up.

Another factor in my experience might also be limited kitchen space. If you haven’t got a big kitchen, it’s pretty hard to store much of the larger items you would need to make a family meal (or one that lasts a couple of days) on top of the essentials.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I worked very long hours with a long commute for many years. Just how hard is it to steam some vegetables and lightly fry some chicken fillets in olive oil? Such first world problems.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When exactly was this Nirvana when youngsters are working shorter hours and facing shorter commutes than previous generations? My ancestors at Short Bros introduced into their shipyards a 48 hour working week from the previous 53 hour norm during the 1890s. It is now illegal to require workers to work more than 48 hours and the average working week is 36.4 hours according to ONS statistics excluding part time workers.

Plenty work from home and have no commute and in previous generations walking into the office or bicycling in was not uncommon. If the current commute is longer it arises through choosing to live further from work.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“I disagree, I can buy any number of frozen foods you simply bung in the cooker (pizzas, chips, pies etc) for much cheaper than I can buy the fresh ingredients to make similar meals.”

All this means is that you don’t know food, ingredients and how to cook. I know because for 4 years my friends & I ate well on ÂŁ15 a week each, for breakfast and dinner, seven days a week (early 90s). We were young, and living in one of the most deprived council estates in Scotland, no car, no good local shops.

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s not the “processed” food that’ making you fat, it’s your lack of exercise. No matter what your lifestyle, there are opportunities to be more physical. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk a few blocks rather than riding. Physical activity of some kind can be sneaked into any life.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
9 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

If you are reaching for the subjunctive, it looks as though it is usually spelled sequatur, rather than sequeter.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
9 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Thank you for that correction. A!though my dictionary spells it non-sequitur. No, I was not attempting latin! To be honest, non-sequitur is not quite the right word, but the passion of the moment combined with cocktails put it out there unedited.

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
9 months ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Thank you for that correction. A!though my dictionary spells it non-sequitur. No, I was not attempting latin! To be honest, non-sequitur is not quite the right word, but the passion of the moment combined with cocktails put it out there unedited.

Ross McLeod
Ross McLeod
9 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Correct. See marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/12/political-incorrect-paper-day-food-deserts.html

The Whole Foods class think their kale and kombucha are so obviously superior to what the poor eat that the only possible explanation for poor eating is that poor people are denied choice. Yet put an inexpensive but colorful produce stand next to a McDonald’s and you can be sure that the customers will differ by class. Why the poor choose to eat differently than the rich is an interesting and important question but one more amenable to answers focusing on culture, education and history than price and income. 

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

I disagree, I can buy any number of frozen foods you simply bung in the cooker (pizzas, chips, pies etc) for much cheaper than I can buy the fresh ingredients to make similar meals. Another factor to consider is that these days most families need both parents working full time to pay the bills, and on average youngsters are working longer hours and facing longer commutes than previous generations. Understandably the thought of getting home late in the evening to then start chopping, peeling, preparing and cooking, and then the long washing up that’s usually comes with it doesn’t really appeal, and it’s much easier to simply chuck something in the oven or go to the chippy.
This isn’t to say that the obese don’t bear responsibility for their weight, but to compare your life where you and your wife are seemingly very comfortable to that of the youngsters who barely see their kids due to their jobs it’s apples and oranges. You can say that people should look after their weight while also acknowledging the current system is stacked against them

Last edited 10 months ago by Billy Bob
Christian Moon
Christian Moon
9 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

If you are reaching for the subjunctive, it looks as though it is usually spelled sequatur, rather than sequeter.

Ross McLeod
Ross McLeod
9 months ago
Reply to  Thor Albro

Correct. See marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2017/12/political-incorrect-paper-day-food-deserts.html

The Whole Foods class think their kale and kombucha are so obviously superior to what the poor eat that the only possible explanation for poor eating is that poor people are denied choice. Yet put an inexpensive but colorful produce stand next to a McDonald’s and you can be sure that the customers will differ by class. Why the poor choose to eat differently than the rich is an interesting and important question but one more amenable to answers focusing on culture, education and history than price and income. 

Thor Albro
Thor Albro
10 months ago

I haven’t finished the article, so bear with me, but the following group-think non-sequeter must be disabused forthwith:
“There’s little inherent financial reason for any given food producer to prioritise nutritional value, and those foods that do are usually more expensive or, at least, practically inaccessible to those who do not frequent farmers’ markets or upscale grocery stores.”

This is utter nonsense and just one of those tired cliches from the left that are repeated by otherwise sane people who don’t get out enough. As a married couple with all the resources to buy any food we want, but who cook for ourselves 98% of the time, I can assure you that the cost of food of ” nutritional value” costs NOTHIING compared to fast food or pre-processed junk. The availability of fresh veggies is just a few minutes from anybody (not living in the wilderness) but the failure to so forage for oneself is completely the product of behavioral disfunction or cultural malaise.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

Not buying it.
Why aren’t the Japanese obese ?
If it’s down to highly processed foods, why isn’t everyone obese ?
Why, when I’ve been working in America in Silicon Valley, are almost none of the engineers obese when the stats quoted here suggest that 80% of the male US population is obese ?
I don’t buy Dimblelby’s claim that “exercise increases food cravings”. Not my experience at all. I eat better and drink less if I’m training for an endurance event like a marathon.
It doesn’t need a “pharmaceutical solution”. It just needs better choices.
We don’t need to “create a new food culture”. We had one which was better and abandoned it.
I’m not immune from poor diet choices/eating too much. I found an old diary a couple of weeks ago: 40 years ago I weighed 64kg. Today that’s 79kg. That’s my fault. And my responsibility. Nobody else’s.
I think it is fundamentally wrong and immoral to spend public money on programs which undermine people’s responsibility for their own decisions.
Now there may be a small subset of cases where there are fundamental genetic or medical causes. These should be treated and funded. But – exactly as in the discussion about Lionel Shriver’s article a few days ago – we really must split the 20% real problems and the 80% fake stuff and focus on treating the real stuff.
There really is no limit to the ability of supposedly intelligent people to make simple things complicated and difficult.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Japanese diet is a lot more fish based than ours, plus rice has far more calories in it than our predominantly wheat based diet does. That’s one reason why Asia was so far ahead of Europe for much of history.

Also, maybe I’m being naive, but I also imagine Japanese businesses in this area aren’t as morally grey on this matter compared to ours.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

“That’s one reason why Asia was so far ahead of Europe for much of history.”

Could you be a little more specific?

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago

H’d only have to be ‘more specific’ if he were arguing the opposite. China, Japan and India were economically well ahead of Europe from ancient times right up until about 1700. But then, the impact of firearms, seagoing technologies, the printing press and capital markets changed everything. Right up until about….now.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Perhaps economically but not culturally between say 500BC and 500 AD.

Even then paradoxically although the Chinese probably invented gunpowder, the printing press and the magnetic compass, the three key ‘ingredients’ for world domination they FAILED because they didn’t know how to apply them!

Additionally by the early 15th century they had a fleet capable of crossing the Pacific to America but rather fortuitously for ‘us’ turned right instead of left and so failed to find the place.

Thus did Columbus & Co snatch the ‘prize’ some 80 odd years later! And we’ve never looked back.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Perhaps economically but not culturally between say 500BC and 500 AD.

Even then paradoxically although the Chinese probably invented gunpowder, the printing press and the magnetic compass, the three key ‘ingredients’ for world domination they FAILED because they didn’t know how to apply them!

Additionally by the early 15th century they had a fleet capable of crossing the Pacific to America but rather fortuitously for ‘us’ turned right instead of left and so failed to find the place.

Thus did Columbus & Co snatch the ‘prize’ some 80 odd years later! And we’ve never looked back.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago

H’d only have to be ‘more specific’ if he were arguing the opposite. China, Japan and India were economically well ahead of Europe from ancient times right up until about 1700. But then, the impact of firearms, seagoing technologies, the printing press and capital markets changed everything. Right up until about….now.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Interestingly, Asians have less obesity, but relatively high rates of Metabolic Syndrome (that’s the rice diet). It’s just a different type of unhealthiness, based on diet.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

The Japanese find ‘western’ alcohol a bit of a problem despite considerable perseverance.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

“That’s one reason why Asia was so far ahead of Europe for much of history.”

Could you be a little more specific?

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

Interestingly, Asians have less obesity, but relatively high rates of Metabolic Syndrome (that’s the rice diet). It’s just a different type of unhealthiness, based on diet.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  John Dellingby

The Japanese find ‘western’ alcohol a bit of a problem despite considerable perseverance.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not everyone is eating highly processed foods – why would you assume that?

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

I’m not. I’m also assuming this is a choice and personal responsibility. And denying the “get out clause” – repeated in this article – which claims that people have no choice.
I think it is true that some foods don’t really satisfy your appetite and encourage you to eat more, while others do. And that this may be by design by the food industry.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

I’m not. I’m also assuming this is a choice and personal responsibility. And denying the “get out clause” – repeated in this article – which claims that people have no choice.
I think it is true that some foods don’t really satisfy your appetite and encourage you to eat more, while others do. And that this may be by design by the food industry.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Absolutely. I do still have sympathy for people that are obese and can’t exercise the required self control, it’s not easy and I don’t know what psychological issues anyone else is dealing with, but it does no-one any favors to say it’s not an issue of individual choice, when the evidence absolutely everywhere around you, demonstrates that it is.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jake Prior
Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

And I quite agree that this can be very difficult for some people and that we should have sympathy for those who are really struggling with obesity and do what we can to help. But we need to be certain that what we are doing really is helping. And pretending that obesity is normal (or even desirable) won’t help.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

And I quite agree that this can be very difficult for some people and that we should have sympathy for those who are really struggling with obesity and do what we can to help. But we need to be certain that what we are doing really is helping. And pretending that obesity is normal (or even desirable) won’t help.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Why did Mrs B tolerate such an astonishing weight increase!
Mrs S certainly wouldn’t have done.

ps.Only harmless banter no harm intended!

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

But not all people are as great as you Peter, silicon valley…. marathons? Couldn’t help dropping that in could you? A lot of people through no fault of their own lack education and experience in life and find it difficult to achieve the results that others find easy. Their is a lot of snobbery in the comments, disappointing really.

John Dellingby
John Dellingby
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

The Japanese diet is a lot more fish based than ours, plus rice has far more calories in it than our predominantly wheat based diet does. That’s one reason why Asia was so far ahead of Europe for much of history.

Also, maybe I’m being naive, but I also imagine Japanese businesses in this area aren’t as morally grey on this matter compared to ours.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Not everyone is eating highly processed foods – why would you assume that?

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Absolutely. I do still have sympathy for people that are obese and can’t exercise the required self control, it’s not easy and I don’t know what psychological issues anyone else is dealing with, but it does no-one any favors to say it’s not an issue of individual choice, when the evidence absolutely everywhere around you, demonstrates that it is.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jake Prior
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Why did Mrs B tolerate such an astonishing weight increase!
Mrs S certainly wouldn’t have done.

ps.Only harmless banter no harm intended!

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

But not all people are as great as you Peter, silicon valley…. marathons? Couldn’t help dropping that in could you? A lot of people through no fault of their own lack education and experience in life and find it difficult to achieve the results that others find easy. Their is a lot of snobbery in the comments, disappointing really.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

Not buying it.
Why aren’t the Japanese obese ?
If it’s down to highly processed foods, why isn’t everyone obese ?
Why, when I’ve been working in America in Silicon Valley, are almost none of the engineers obese when the stats quoted here suggest that 80% of the male US population is obese ?
I don’t buy Dimblelby’s claim that “exercise increases food cravings”. Not my experience at all. I eat better and drink less if I’m training for an endurance event like a marathon.
It doesn’t need a “pharmaceutical solution”. It just needs better choices.
We don’t need to “create a new food culture”. We had one which was better and abandoned it.
I’m not immune from poor diet choices/eating too much. I found an old diary a couple of weeks ago: 40 years ago I weighed 64kg. Today that’s 79kg. That’s my fault. And my responsibility. Nobody else’s.
I think it is fundamentally wrong and immoral to spend public money on programs which undermine people’s responsibility for their own decisions.
Now there may be a small subset of cases where there are fundamental genetic or medical causes. These should be treated and funded. But – exactly as in the discussion about Lionel Shriver’s article a few days ago – we really must split the 20% real problems and the 80% fake stuff and focus on treating the real stuff.
There really is no limit to the ability of supposedly intelligent people to make simple things complicated and difficult.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
10 months ago

Remember back in the day when smoking cigarettes was considered the most sophisticated thing since sliced bread? Hollywood showed us lots of hot actresses smoking with the utmost sophistication.
Today, of course, we regard smokers as lower than white male racist-sexist-homophobes, and smoking is down, way down.
I wonder why? It couldn’t be that we “shamed” smokers. No, we would never do that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
J Guy
J Guy
10 months ago

Shamed? More like taxed!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

And shamed!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

And there you have the answer: a ÂŁ1,000 tax – no, call it a Community NHS Support Premium – on being a fat bustard. This can go to pay for a comprehensive annual health MoT – including weighing – for all citizens.
Obese, but can’t pay? Don’t worry, it’ll be deducted from your benefits, helping you reduce your food consumption by that amount!
They’ll thank us for it, eventually.

tug ordie
tug ordie
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

This but without the irony lol. If we are gonna have a massive government we might as well wring a few drops of good out of it

tug ordie
tug ordie
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

This but without the irony lol. If we are gonna have a massive government we might as well wring a few drops of good out of it

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

And shamed!

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

And there you have the answer: a ÂŁ1,000 tax – no, call it a Community NHS Support Premium – on being a fat bustard. This can go to pay for a comprehensive annual health MoT – including weighing – for all citizens.
Obese, but can’t pay? Don’t worry, it’ll be deducted from your benefits, helping you reduce your food consumption by that amount!
They’ll thank us for it, eventually.

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

This example came to mind after I wrote my comment. We have – successfully – socially shamed public smoking and drink driving largely out of existence. These are activities where individual choice is constrained because it pushes unnaceptable costs onto the rest of society and society as a whole said “we’ve had enough”.
Is obesity – and it’s impact in denying essential public health resources to non-voluntary conditions – really that different ?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Something in that PB, but also we banned smoking in many places – it wasn’t just a ‘shame-strategy’. We also insisted seatbelts in cars and made them mandatory. We also make drug dealing illegal and devote law enforcement resources to combat that – otherwise one could just extend your ‘personal responsibility’ argument to that field too.
We’re grappling with what might be the equivalent interventions for the ‘obesity crisis’ in part because it doesn’t just have an impact on the individual. Not an easy one for sure

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Something in that PB, but also we banned smoking in many places – it wasn’t just a ‘shame-strategy’. We also insisted seatbelts in cars and made them mandatory. We also make drug dealing illegal and devote law enforcement resources to combat that – otherwise one could just extend your ‘personal responsibility’ argument to that field too.
We’re grappling with what might be the equivalent interventions for the ‘obesity crisis’ in part because it doesn’t just have an impact on the individual. Not an easy one for sure

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago

True, but another large part of it was the ban on advertising. I think banning advertising unhealthy food, and perhaps sponsoring adverts for ‘real’ food might have a good effect, and a tax on all UPF.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

anti smoking is a truly lower middle class obsession! oooh what will the neighbours think?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

ps- ” most sophisticated thing since sliced bread” Your mixed metaphors just say it all….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

ps- ” most sophisticated thing since sliced bread” Your mixed metaphors just say it all….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
9 months ago

Anti smoking is a profoundly lower middle class obsession, like anti betting on the horses, and is an alternative to having ” Mr Pooter” written in felt pen on ones forehead, and smoking does lose weight, quitting puts it on.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
9 months ago

Pass the vomit bucket for Mr Toylitte above…

J Guy
J Guy
10 months ago

Shamed? More like taxed!

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago

This example came to mind after I wrote my comment. We have – successfully – socially shamed public smoking and drink driving largely out of existence. These are activities where individual choice is constrained because it pushes unnaceptable costs onto the rest of society and society as a whole said “we’ve had enough”.
Is obesity – and it’s impact in denying essential public health resources to non-voluntary conditions – really that different ?

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago

True, but another large part of it was the ban on advertising. I think banning advertising unhealthy food, and perhaps sponsoring adverts for ‘real’ food might have a good effect, and a tax on all UPF.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago

anti smoking is a truly lower middle class obsession! oooh what will the neighbours think?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
9 months ago

Anti smoking is a profoundly lower middle class obsession, like anti betting on the horses, and is an alternative to having ” Mr Pooter” written in felt pen on ones forehead, and smoking does lose weight, quitting puts it on.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
9 months ago

Pass the vomit bucket for Mr Toylitte above…

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
10 months ago

Remember back in the day when smoking cigarettes was considered the most sophisticated thing since sliced bread? Hollywood showed us lots of hot actresses smoking with the utmost sophistication.
Today, of course, we regard smokers as lower than white male racist-sexist-homophobes, and smoking is down, way down.
I wonder why? It couldn’t be that we “shamed” smokers. No, we would never do that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Christopher Chantrill
Paolo Canonica
Paolo Canonica
10 months ago

I disagree that cooking from scratch has to take time. Sure, some dishes do but I always cook from scratch. If I know I have an evening or a week I will be home late I plan ahead and do some batch cooking at the weekend, then it keeps for up to 3 days, or longer if I freeze it. Also many dishes don’t take time. A pasta sauce takes 20 minutes, a rich healthy salad takes 10 minutes and you can include leftover meats from previous meals. Fish takes 20 minutes at most unless you’re baking it.

I also disagree that it’s more expensive to cook from fresh ingredients. My weekly shop is far more expensive if I include precooked and processed foods rather than buying the ingredients to make the same!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Paolo Canonica

Rich healthy salads mean buying fresh vegetables more often, which is can be difficult unless you live near good shops.
In other words, “hunting and gathering” time has to be added to preparation time.
It’s not a problem for me, as a lone widower whose kids have long since left home. Buying small quantities of fresh vegetables can be a challenge though, (it’s all bulk around here, if they have any at all) and I often have to throw unused veg out.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Roast and freeze your extra bulk veggies — you can either thaw and rewarm them, or use them to make a delicious nutritious soup. The French did that traditionally with their “potage”, which incorporated all the leftovers from the previous week. Extra soup? Freeze in easily reheatable batches.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Apo State

I’ll be sure to let you know how my roast mouldy spinach, parsley, lettuce, mushrooms and tomato potage turns out.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Sigh. You roast them before they spoil.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Sigh. You roast them before they spoil.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Apo State

I’ll be sure to let you know how my roast mouldy spinach, parsley, lettuce, mushrooms and tomato potage turns out.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago

cabbages last a long time in the fridge – = coleslaw plus whatever

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Roast and freeze your extra bulk veggies — you can either thaw and rewarm them, or use them to make a delicious nutritious soup. The French did that traditionally with their “potage”, which incorporated all the leftovers from the previous week. Extra soup? Freeze in easily reheatable batches.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago

cabbages last a long time in the fridge – = coleslaw plus whatever

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
10 months ago
Reply to  Paolo Canonica

Rich healthy salads mean buying fresh vegetables more often, which is can be difficult unless you live near good shops.
In other words, “hunting and gathering” time has to be added to preparation time.
It’s not a problem for me, as a lone widower whose kids have long since left home. Buying small quantities of fresh vegetables can be a challenge though, (it’s all bulk around here, if they have any at all) and I often have to throw unused veg out.

Paolo Canonica
Paolo Canonica
10 months ago

I disagree that cooking from scratch has to take time. Sure, some dishes do but I always cook from scratch. If I know I have an evening or a week I will be home late I plan ahead and do some batch cooking at the weekend, then it keeps for up to 3 days, or longer if I freeze it. Also many dishes don’t take time. A pasta sauce takes 20 minutes, a rich healthy salad takes 10 minutes and you can include leftover meats from previous meals. Fish takes 20 minutes at most unless you’re baking it.

I also disagree that it’s more expensive to cook from fresh ingredients. My weekly shop is far more expensive if I include precooked and processed foods rather than buying the ingredients to make the same!

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
10 months ago

“Your body might crave the sugar in apples, but you can’t sit down and eat an entire bag of them, because apples are highly fibrous, and fibre makes you feel full. In contrast, you most certainly can sit down and eat an entire king-size bag of M&Ms…”
That’s why I choose to eat the apple. This article is utter nonsense, as is our collective attitude. People today, speaking generally, have an appalling lack of self-discipline and common sense.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

You are right. The problem seems to be that if everybody is fat then it suddenly becomes OK. And it isn’t OK. It shows a lack of self-respect. Others above would argue that you lack self-respect because you are poor – something to blame. You lack self-respect because of you.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

You are right. The problem seems to be that if everybody is fat then it suddenly becomes OK. And it isn’t OK. It shows a lack of self-respect. Others above would argue that you lack self-respect because you are poor – something to blame. You lack self-respect because of you.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
10 months ago

“Your body might crave the sugar in apples, but you can’t sit down and eat an entire bag of them, because apples are highly fibrous, and fibre makes you feel full. In contrast, you most certainly can sit down and eat an entire king-size bag of M&Ms…”
That’s why I choose to eat the apple. This article is utter nonsense, as is our collective attitude. People today, speaking generally, have an appalling lack of self-discipline and common sense.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

As LvR has posted, losing weight is easy – you just cut carbs and the weight disappears.
But there are other problems. Firstly, (as they say in silly AA movies) you have to admit that you are fat, not just ‘a little overweight’. “Yes, I am fat,” My wife calls all strangers, people she doesn’t know, etc, FAT. For friends and family she would never use the ‘F’ word; she would say ‘a little overweight’. For family it is rude to say ‘F**’. This causes a problem, especially with fat children.
Secondly, in life you tend to compare yourself to other people. So, if everybody is fat, then you don’t have a problem. Your family is fat, your friends are fat and you can just laugh and go for a meal.
Thirdly, people don’t have any imagination. All family and friend celebrations involve eating and drinking. There is no other way to celebrate.
Fourthly, people are not used to working in long stretches. They work in spells and every spell deserves a ‘treat’. The world lives on treats, usually sweet treats.
Fifthly (unpopular and downticks), women suffer particularly after having children. Obviously, there are medical reasons for this but I also see groups of young mothers going out for lunch together and comparing babies. The mothers will then take the baby to visit other family members and have a snack or biscuit in the kitchen while they discuss the babies. This period after giving birth is deadly for women if they don’t want to put weight on.

Paolo Canonica
Paolo Canonica
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

To add to your point about women, there are cultural attitudes about putting on weight during pregnancy. My wife, in the UK, was told by the medical staff following her pregnancy to eat whatever she wanted, that the pregnancy cravings were just the baby letting her know what it needed. Her sister, in Italy, was told by medical staff to watch what she was eating lest she put on too much weight and found it hard to lose it afterwards.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Paolo Canonica

True. When I had my first baby I had put on exactly the right amount of weight and the midwife, my husband and others kept telling me to make sure I ate lots more than usual because I was breast feeding and I would ‘naturally’ be the right weight. The result of that was a weight gain that I have never managed to lose.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Paolo Canonica

True. When I had my first baby I had put on exactly the right amount of weight and the midwife, my husband and others kept telling me to make sure I ate lots more than usual because I was breast feeding and I would ‘naturally’ be the right weight. The result of that was a weight gain that I have never managed to lose.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I think you mean “biological” reasons rather than “medical” for why women tend to find it difficult to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
I agree about the “treats” thing. When i worked in an office with women of various ages, almost all of them had snacky stuff on their desks which they’d pick at after a spell of work – or sometimes throughout the spell of work. I got into a conversation about this and a couple of them maintained they started to get “light-headed” if they didn’t keep their carbs “up”. I asked if they did the same at home, which led to some puzzled expressions as they realised they didn’t, or to nothing like the same extent.
I suspect the male/female metabolism has significant differences, for perfectly good biological reasons, but this would only make weight reduction in the population as a whole rather more complicated since a “one size fits all” policy would be unlikely to work. With males, i suspect weight gain is more to do with having exercised during their sporting days, building muscle mass which then converts to fat as the activity declines – plus the boozing on large volumes of calories with mates.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The office snacking thing is comfort eating, through boredom and needing to socialise and wanting to share something with colleagues.
In the ‘good old days’ we would regularly stop for a fag when we would have a chat with colleagues and a short therapeutic break. (anyone remember Kathy Burke in the Harry Enfield show ‘I’m smoking a FAG’)
Of course we didn’t realise we were killing ourselves then, and now we are killing ourselves with cake.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The office snacking thing is comfort eating, through boredom and needing to socialise and wanting to share something with colleagues.
In the ‘good old days’ we would regularly stop for a fag when we would have a chat with colleagues and a short therapeutic break. (anyone remember Kathy Burke in the Harry Enfield show ‘I’m smoking a FAG’)
Of course we didn’t realise we were killing ourselves then, and now we are killing ourselves with cake.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I put some weight on after both my kids and it largely stayed on due to me finishing the meals they couldn’t because of not wanting to waste food. Tbh though, I’m not overweight as I was underweight to begin with, however I maintain as healthy a diet as I can, minimising sugars (can’t cut them out completely due to being only human). I also try not to obsess over food and diet so I can try to model a healthy attitude towards food and eating for my kids.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

I was fat. People used to laugh at me and call me names. I had moobs when I was young and was ashamed to go to the gym class. Luckily, I left home at 18 and got away from my mother. Then I lost the weight and felt normal for the first time. Whatever people say, being fat is horrible. IMO you have a great attitude but you can’t afford to lose concentration because it will catch you in a crisis in the future.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

I was fat. People used to laugh at me and call me names. I had moobs when I was young and was ashamed to go to the gym class. Luckily, I left home at 18 and got away from my mother. Then I lost the weight and felt normal for the first time. Whatever people say, being fat is horrible. IMO you have a great attitude but you can’t afford to lose concentration because it will catch you in a crisis in the future.

Paolo Canonica
Paolo Canonica
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

To add to your point about women, there are cultural attitudes about putting on weight during pregnancy. My wife, in the UK, was told by the medical staff following her pregnancy to eat whatever she wanted, that the pregnancy cravings were just the baby letting her know what it needed. Her sister, in Italy, was told by medical staff to watch what she was eating lest she put on too much weight and found it hard to lose it afterwards.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I think you mean “biological” reasons rather than “medical” for why women tend to find it difficult to lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.
I agree about the “treats” thing. When i worked in an office with women of various ages, almost all of them had snacky stuff on their desks which they’d pick at after a spell of work – or sometimes throughout the spell of work. I got into a conversation about this and a couple of them maintained they started to get “light-headed” if they didn’t keep their carbs “up”. I asked if they did the same at home, which led to some puzzled expressions as they realised they didn’t, or to nothing like the same extent.
I suspect the male/female metabolism has significant differences, for perfectly good biological reasons, but this would only make weight reduction in the population as a whole rather more complicated since a “one size fits all” policy would be unlikely to work. With males, i suspect weight gain is more to do with having exercised during their sporting days, building muscle mass which then converts to fat as the activity declines – plus the boozing on large volumes of calories with mates.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I put some weight on after both my kids and it largely stayed on due to me finishing the meals they couldn’t because of not wanting to waste food. Tbh though, I’m not overweight as I was underweight to begin with, however I maintain as healthy a diet as I can, minimising sugars (can’t cut them out completely due to being only human). I also try not to obsess over food and diet so I can try to model a healthy attitude towards food and eating for my kids.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

As LvR has posted, losing weight is easy – you just cut carbs and the weight disappears.
But there are other problems. Firstly, (as they say in silly AA movies) you have to admit that you are fat, not just ‘a little overweight’. “Yes, I am fat,” My wife calls all strangers, people she doesn’t know, etc, FAT. For friends and family she would never use the ‘F’ word; she would say ‘a little overweight’. For family it is rude to say ‘F**’. This causes a problem, especially with fat children.
Secondly, in life you tend to compare yourself to other people. So, if everybody is fat, then you don’t have a problem. Your family is fat, your friends are fat and you can just laugh and go for a meal.
Thirdly, people don’t have any imagination. All family and friend celebrations involve eating and drinking. There is no other way to celebrate.
Fourthly, people are not used to working in long stretches. They work in spells and every spell deserves a ‘treat’. The world lives on treats, usually sweet treats.
Fifthly (unpopular and downticks), women suffer particularly after having children. Obviously, there are medical reasons for this but I also see groups of young mothers going out for lunch together and comparing babies. The mothers will then take the baby to visit other family members and have a snack or biscuit in the kitchen while they discuss the babies. This period after giving birth is deadly for women if they don’t want to put weight on.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

The growth in girth has proceeded in lock step with the growth in abrogating responsibility. We live in freer times than ever before, and it seems that much of that latitude has been used to rebuild our cages and deny self-efficacy.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

There’s something in that. We are so comfortable with being victims now, it seems.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Probably we always were – at least many have noted a fear of freedom. For example, Erich Fromm:

As ‘freedom from’ is not an experience we enjoy in itself, Fromm suggests that many people, rather than using it successfully, attempt to minimise its negative effects by developing thoughts and behaviours that provide some form of security. These are as follows:
Authoritarianism: Fromm characterises the authoritarian personality as containing both sadistic and masochistic elements. The authoritarian wishes to gain control over other people in a bid to impose some kind of order on the world, but also wishes to submit to the control of some superior force which may come in the guise of a person or an abstract idea.Destructiveness: Although this bears a similarity to sadism, Fromm argues that the sadist wishes to gain control over something. A destructive personality wishes to destroy something it cannot bring under its control.Conformity: This process is seen when people unconsciously incorporate the normative beliefs and thought processes of their society and experience them as their own. This allows them to avoid genuine free thinking, which is likely to provoke anxiety.
Just yesterday I heard Andrew Sullivan lamenting that whilst Gay people fought for freedom (for themselves), trans activists are fighting for control over others.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Probably we always were – at least many have noted a fear of freedom. For example, Erich Fromm:

As ‘freedom from’ is not an experience we enjoy in itself, Fromm suggests that many people, rather than using it successfully, attempt to minimise its negative effects by developing thoughts and behaviours that provide some form of security. These are as follows:
Authoritarianism: Fromm characterises the authoritarian personality as containing both sadistic and masochistic elements. The authoritarian wishes to gain control over other people in a bid to impose some kind of order on the world, but also wishes to submit to the control of some superior force which may come in the guise of a person or an abstract idea.Destructiveness: Although this bears a similarity to sadism, Fromm argues that the sadist wishes to gain control over something. A destructive personality wishes to destroy something it cannot bring under its control.Conformity: This process is seen when people unconsciously incorporate the normative beliefs and thought processes of their society and experience them as their own. This allows them to avoid genuine free thinking, which is likely to provoke anxiety.
Just yesterday I heard Andrew Sullivan lamenting that whilst Gay people fought for freedom (for themselves), trans activists are fighting for control over others.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

There’s something in that. We are so comfortable with being victims now, it seems.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

The growth in girth has proceeded in lock step with the growth in abrogating responsibility. We live in freer times than ever before, and it seems that much of that latitude has been used to rebuild our cages and deny self-efficacy.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

This entire piece is filled with all the usual scare words: crisis, racism, capitalism, government, poverty – making excuses as if obesity is some grand conspiracy imposed on helpless people with no agency by evil food companies.
I went to K-12 in the 60s and 70s. There was just one “fat” kid in my entire experience, and she was only mildly overweight. We woke up to Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, cafeteria pizza and Ring Dings for lunch, (I personally had three bags of McDonalds fries every day after school for years), TV dinners, loads of pasta, frozen fish sticks, bologna sandwiches – and no one was fat. I’m still a Size 4.
Could it be that there is a general shift away from esthetic beauty in virtually everything? Our newer buildings are hideous, our big cities are toilets, art is deliberately ugly, women are tattooing their necks and piercing their faces, men are pretending to be women, obese performers don fake hair, lashes, and nails whilst flaunting their multiple flab folds in barely-there outfits. We’re all supposed to not just accept it, but shout our approval.
No wonder people are just sitting on their gigantic *sses and scrolling on their phones. If they look up, they won’t like what they see.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

Excuses. Either you take responsibility for yourself or you don’t. You don’t need to join the blame culture.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

Excuses. Either you take responsibility for yourself or you don’t. You don’t need to join the blame culture.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

This entire piece is filled with all the usual scare words: crisis, racism, capitalism, government, poverty – making excuses as if obesity is some grand conspiracy imposed on helpless people with no agency by evil food companies.
I went to K-12 in the 60s and 70s. There was just one “fat” kid in my entire experience, and she was only mildly overweight. We woke up to Cap’n Crunch for breakfast, cafeteria pizza and Ring Dings for lunch, (I personally had three bags of McDonalds fries every day after school for years), TV dinners, loads of pasta, frozen fish sticks, bologna sandwiches – and no one was fat. I’m still a Size 4.
Could it be that there is a general shift away from esthetic beauty in virtually everything? Our newer buildings are hideous, our big cities are toilets, art is deliberately ugly, women are tattooing their necks and piercing their faces, men are pretending to be women, obese performers don fake hair, lashes, and nails whilst flaunting their multiple flab folds in barely-there outfits. We’re all supposed to not just accept it, but shout our approval.
No wonder people are just sitting on their gigantic *sses and scrolling on their phones. If they look up, they won’t like what they see.

J Bryant
J Bryant
10 months ago

From my own observations, I’d suggest the most important thing is to teach kids healthy eating habits. Once your eating habits are set, it’s very hard to change them.

J Guy
J Guy
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not sure I agree with that after reading “The Dorito Effect“. There’s little doubt that our food has been engineered (nutritionally devalued) to keep us eating well past the point where we should stop. Changing to better quality food from local farms was definitely much more expensive for us, but I am eating less and losing weight in the bargain.

J Bryant
J Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

I see your point. I was thinking about the problem from the other end: if you teach kids bad eating habits it’s very hard to change to good habits.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

The Dorito Effect is an interesting book but I’m not buying it. I found Secrets from the Eating Lab to be more useful. Obesity is a complex problem. Trying to simplify it to lay blame is too facile and doesn’t work. We need to do more experiments — enough to do causal inference — and see what happens.

J Bryant
J Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

I see your point. I was thinking about the problem from the other end: if you teach kids bad eating habits it’s very hard to change to good habits.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
10 months ago
Reply to  J Guy

The Dorito Effect is an interesting book but I’m not buying it. I found Secrets from the Eating Lab to be more useful. Obesity is a complex problem. Trying to simplify it to lay blame is too facile and doesn’t work. We need to do more experiments — enough to do causal inference — and see what happens.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I spent 10 years in boarding school – our diets, eating time, access to food, was almost entirely managed by the adults. Exercise mandated most days. Obesity was exceedingly rare – I remember only 2 out of the 10,000 or so that passed through during my time – and one of those did the ‘impossible’ losing all his extra weight, and keeping it off. I still remember my surprise seeing the new him out on a run after the summer holidays.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

um – but dont you teach by demonstrating ??? and not giving in to ignorant children ?? parents are not behaving like grown ups – that may be the main problem. We ha ve not left highschool yet ??

J Guy
J Guy
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not sure I agree with that after reading “The Dorito Effect“. There’s little doubt that our food has been engineered (nutritionally devalued) to keep us eating well past the point where we should stop. Changing to better quality food from local farms was definitely much more expensive for us, but I am eating less and losing weight in the bargain.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I spent 10 years in boarding school – our diets, eating time, access to food, was almost entirely managed by the adults. Exercise mandated most days. Obesity was exceedingly rare – I remember only 2 out of the 10,000 or so that passed through during my time – and one of those did the ‘impossible’ losing all his extra weight, and keeping it off. I still remember my surprise seeing the new him out on a run after the summer holidays.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
10 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

um – but dont you teach by demonstrating ??? and not giving in to ignorant children ?? parents are not behaving like grown ups – that may be the main problem. We ha ve not left highschool yet ??

J Bryant
J Bryant
10 months ago

From my own observations, I’d suggest the most important thing is to teach kids healthy eating habits. Once your eating habits are set, it’s very hard to change them.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

The author lost me at ‘tried to lose weight but couldn’t’. Why can’t these people lose weight? Just cut way down on carbs. There – sorted it.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

Having lost weight by cutting carbs – I agree with you. BUT most of the people I know say to me that cutting carbs is unhealthy. When it was called Atkins, it got bad publicity and that is remembered.

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
10 months ago

It really is one of these tired cliches that comes up in every article about weight, and every comment section on such articles is full of people claiming their obesity is not their fault.

Statistics show that only a small percentage have any actual physical issues like thyroid problems causing their obesity, but it’s become an easy excuse for people wanting to avoid dealing with their weight issues, because mostly, obesity is a psychological issue that requires them to acknowledge things that they put huge amounts of energy into ignoring, to unlearn dysfunctional coping mechanisms involving eating, build up a whole new toolkit of healthy ones to replace them, and then spend the rest of their lives reinforcing those. It’s a hard process, thus, it’s always far easier to claim helplessness than face reality.

It’s really become another iteration of woke virtue signalling at this point, a way of tacitly acknowledging “thin privilege” in order to avoid the wrath of the obesity enabling activists, which only further entrenches the obesity epidemic.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
10 months ago

Sugar too! Not just the obvious sugar but hidden sugars in a lot of UPF.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Sugar is carbs


Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Sugar is carbs


Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago

Yes, that was badly worded. Research shows that almost anyone can lose weight with the ‘fewer calories and more exercise’ regime. The problem is that 95% regain at least what they lost and probably more within a year or so. The reasons for this are well-known and transcend any notion of will power.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Simple and I was seriously fat at one time. You don’t lose weight by going on a diet, being miserable, reaching a target and the bingeing it all back again.
You lose weight by having some self-respect and wanting to be thin. You then change your eating habits for LIFE. If that is boring, then you have no motivation.
You set a target. You go for a couple of weeks with zero carbs. Very slowly and in a controlled way you reintroduce cabs and take control. You reach your target and set a maximum beyond which you will never go again. When you reach that maximum you go for a couple of days without carbs. Etc, etc. Forever.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Simple and I was seriously fat at one time. You don’t lose weight by going on a diet, being miserable, reaching a target and the bingeing it all back again.
You lose weight by having some self-respect and wanting to be thin. You then change your eating habits for LIFE. If that is boring, then you have no motivation.
You set a target. You go for a couple of weeks with zero carbs. Very slowly and in a controlled way you reintroduce cabs and take control. You reach your target and set a maximum beyond which you will never go again. When you reach that maximum you go for a couple of days without carbs. Etc, etc. Forever.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Agreed, Lesley, but
I know one person who is mildly obese who defies the norm: as a teen, she went from slim to fat in a matter of a few months (!), and has remained fat since. I have spent whole weeks with her, and she walks a lot and eats moderately, but doesn’t gain or lose weight. Her diet is heavy on veggies and lean meats (low on carbs) and she’s celiac, so no bread/crackers, etc. She is not a big snacker and doesn’t really like sweets. Obviously, this type of case is very rare, but it can exist. BTW, she is very frustrated with it, but has learned to carry on regardless.
Her (rare) case does not, however, take away from the fact that many obese people are lying to themselves about what/how much they eat.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
10 months ago

Having lost weight by cutting carbs – I agree with you. BUT most of the people I know say to me that cutting carbs is unhealthy. When it was called Atkins, it got bad publicity and that is remembered.

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
10 months ago

It really is one of these tired cliches that comes up in every article about weight, and every comment section on such articles is full of people claiming their obesity is not their fault.

Statistics show that only a small percentage have any actual physical issues like thyroid problems causing their obesity, but it’s become an easy excuse for people wanting to avoid dealing with their weight issues, because mostly, obesity is a psychological issue that requires them to acknowledge things that they put huge amounts of energy into ignoring, to unlearn dysfunctional coping mechanisms involving eating, build up a whole new toolkit of healthy ones to replace them, and then spend the rest of their lives reinforcing those. It’s a hard process, thus, it’s always far easier to claim helplessness than face reality.

It’s really become another iteration of woke virtue signalling at this point, a way of tacitly acknowledging “thin privilege” in order to avoid the wrath of the obesity enabling activists, which only further entrenches the obesity epidemic.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
10 months ago

Sugar too! Not just the obvious sugar but hidden sugars in a lot of UPF.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
10 months ago

Yes, that was badly worded. Research shows that almost anyone can lose weight with the ‘fewer calories and more exercise’ regime. The problem is that 95% regain at least what they lost and probably more within a year or so. The reasons for this are well-known and transcend any notion of will power.

Apo State
Apo State
10 months ago

Agreed, Lesley, but
I know one person who is mildly obese who defies the norm: as a teen, she went from slim to fat in a matter of a few months (!), and has remained fat since. I have spent whole weeks with her, and she walks a lot and eats moderately, but doesn’t gain or lose weight. Her diet is heavy on veggies and lean meats (low on carbs) and she’s celiac, so no bread/crackers, etc. She is not a big snacker and doesn’t really like sweets. Obviously, this type of case is very rare, but it can exist. BTW, she is very frustrated with it, but has learned to carry on regardless.
Her (rare) case does not, however, take away from the fact that many obese people are lying to themselves about what/how much they eat.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
10 months ago

The author lost me at ‘tried to lose weight but couldn’t’. Why can’t these people lose weight? Just cut way down on carbs. There – sorted it.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
10 months ago

Poverty obviously causes obesity. And poverty causes smoking. And drug taking. And binge drinking. And anti-social behaviour. And criminality. And truancy. None of these things cause poverty, because that would be ‘victim shaming’, and many modern industries rely on victims, not least the poverty industry.

Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Well, actual poverty causes thinness because you can’t afford enough to eat, and have to work hard at physically demanding jobs to get what you do. You can’t afford take out and processed food.
Western faux poverty, where you sit on your ass all day on the dole, and your income net of benefits is higher than your average middle class Chinese or Indian, causes obesity.

Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Well, actual poverty causes thinness because you can’t afford enough to eat, and have to work hard at physically demanding jobs to get what you do. You can’t afford take out and processed food.
Western faux poverty, where you sit on your ass all day on the dole, and your income net of benefits is higher than your average middle class Chinese or Indian, causes obesity.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
10 months ago

Poverty obviously causes obesity. And poverty causes smoking. And drug taking. And binge drinking. And anti-social behaviour. And criminality. And truancy. None of these things cause poverty, because that would be ‘victim shaming’, and many modern industries rely on victims, not least the poverty industry.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
10 months ago

The article contains plenty of good truths. But the one truth that it really needs to mention is not there.

This is that every ingredient required to eat properly, safely, in a healthy way, avoiding obesity, is available at every single British supermarket – at very low cost. In fact most of these ingredients are among the least expensive items in any such shop

So, the rest is up to people when they buy their food, nothing else really needs to be said.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
10 months ago

The article contains plenty of good truths. But the one truth that it really needs to mention is not there.

This is that every ingredient required to eat properly, safely, in a healthy way, avoiding obesity, is available at every single British supermarket – at very low cost. In fact most of these ingredients are among the least expensive items in any such shop

So, the rest is up to people when they buy their food, nothing else really needs to be said.

Alan B
Alan B
10 months ago

At 320 pounds, I weighed about twice as much at age 22 than I do today, at 47. “Clinically” I remain “overweight” but just shy of “obese”. This exemplifies how the prevailing criteria in US medicine serve to gin up the obesity numbers, unhelpfully. Of course it would be sacrilege to suggest that the medical industry itself feeds, and feeds upon, such social pathology for the sake of profit…so I’m definitely not doing that.

For me the fix was in as a child: cheap ultra-processed foods, yes; but also a father who relied on eating as a palliative for his own sadness (not “depression,” please), and a culture so shallow, puerile and incipiently polarized over meaningless “values” (like “identities,” today,) that food was one of the few things people could gather around and enjoy without fear of rancor. I learned to be the “funny fat guy”. To this day I remain illegible and (I suspect) slightly discomfiting to friends I still know from back then.

Although its unspeakably more easily said than done, the fact is that anyone can lose weight. It does come down, largely, to eating less and doing more. We Aristotelians call this “habituation”. But not only must one change, one must accept it will change you as well. For heaven’s sake, don’t wait for society or culture to change, don’t count on medicine, and don’t expect to be congratulated; these things may happen, and so much the better, but probably they won’t and it doesn’t matter anyway.

The thing is, no firm turns a profit from people developing better habits. (Gastric bypass is but a sophisticated version of medieval torture that one could easily, well, bypass, by torturing oneself into better habits! As a bonus you won’t have to pay a priest of “healthcare” just to suffer penance.) DeBoer shills for Ozempic (he’s sincere, surely he’s not getting paid for it) but the bottom line is that obesity is a problem-at-scale which is not amenable to solutions-at-scale. In this respect it is too emblematic of many of today’s social maladies.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alan B
Alan B
Alan B
10 months ago

At 320 pounds, I weighed about twice as much at age 22 than I do today, at 47. “Clinically” I remain “overweight” but just shy of “obese”. This exemplifies how the prevailing criteria in US medicine serve to gin up the obesity numbers, unhelpfully. Of course it would be sacrilege to suggest that the medical industry itself feeds, and feeds upon, such social pathology for the sake of profit…so I’m definitely not doing that.

For me the fix was in as a child: cheap ultra-processed foods, yes; but also a father who relied on eating as a palliative for his own sadness (not “depression,” please), and a culture so shallow, puerile and incipiently polarized over meaningless “values” (like “identities,” today,) that food was one of the few things people could gather around and enjoy without fear of rancor. I learned to be the “funny fat guy”. To this day I remain illegible and (I suspect) slightly discomfiting to friends I still know from back then.

Although its unspeakably more easily said than done, the fact is that anyone can lose weight. It does come down, largely, to eating less and doing more. We Aristotelians call this “habituation”. But not only must one change, one must accept it will change you as well. For heaven’s sake, don’t wait for society or culture to change, don’t count on medicine, and don’t expect to be congratulated; these things may happen, and so much the better, but probably they won’t and it doesn’t matter anyway.

The thing is, no firm turns a profit from people developing better habits. (Gastric bypass is but a sophisticated version of medieval torture that one could easily, well, bypass, by torturing oneself into better habits! As a bonus you won’t have to pay a priest of “healthcare” just to suffer penance.) DeBoer shills for Ozempic (he’s sincere, surely he’s not getting paid for it) but the bottom line is that obesity is a problem-at-scale which is not amenable to solutions-at-scale. In this respect it is too emblematic of many of today’s social maladies.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alan B
Bruce Luffman
Bruce Luffman
10 months ago

While there are a very few individuals who are unable to lose weight, the truth is that obesity is controlled by ‘what you put in your mouth’. If one puts less in one’s mouth, one will not gain weight.
I retired from farming at 50 at 16st 12lbs, today 26 years later, I am 12st 13lbs. There is a lot of muscle loss but as my wife reminds me, I was fat. I have eaten a large portion of cold porridge (peculiar like) every morning and one does not want to eat after that until the evening. We also eat 2 times a day at 9am and before 6pm and drink a lot of coffee, tea and water.
People are both lazy and weak in intent. It is a lack of self discipline which is now rife in society. By the way, I also gave up heavy smoking in 1974 and been teetotal for 47 years and have a very happy disposition – too happy, my wife says!

Bruce Luffman
Bruce Luffman
10 months ago

While there are a very few individuals who are unable to lose weight, the truth is that obesity is controlled by ‘what you put in your mouth’. If one puts less in one’s mouth, one will not gain weight.
I retired from farming at 50 at 16st 12lbs, today 26 years later, I am 12st 13lbs. There is a lot of muscle loss but as my wife reminds me, I was fat. I have eaten a large portion of cold porridge (peculiar like) every morning and one does not want to eat after that until the evening. We also eat 2 times a day at 9am and before 6pm and drink a lot of coffee, tea and water.
People are both lazy and weak in intent. It is a lack of self discipline which is now rife in society. By the way, I also gave up heavy smoking in 1974 and been teetotal for 47 years and have a very happy disposition – too happy, my wife says!

Lana Hunneyball
Lana Hunneyball
10 months ago

A lot depends on where you live. I am in the UK where, on a living wage, I can eat fresh, healthy food every day without a problem. My only regular processed indulgence is non-dairy milks in UHT packaging. I have always eaten like this because when I eat processed stuff I get sick. I am particularly sensitive, but I suspect everyone is on the continuum. We are what we eat, in every sense. Deep down, we know this.
So what’s the solution? Number one – education. Calories counting is archaic. High GI foods cause insulin resistance and foods are made to be addictive – people can’t stop eating but are essentially starving. Our brains evolved on high quantities of good fats. They’re screaming at us for attention but we keep throwing substandard fuel at them and wondering why we’re losing the plot. Etc.
And don’t get me started on the highly deleterious effects of normalized alcohol consumption. People just do not want to hear.
But even if one could educate the masses somehow, especially in the USA, the odds are stacked against Joe Average. I was horrified to see one lettuce cost more than a huge packet of Reese’s. How does a family eat healthily unless they’re big earners?? My daughter and her family do great on paper, but I still feel a bit guilty asking if we can eat vegetables every day when I visit.
Something is wrong with that.
OK, so what then? Well it may be simpler than we think: we have to start growing stuff. We did it for millennia before the arrival of Big Everything. Bottom line: no one is going to rescue us. We either take control of our health or we don’t. We either swallow the company line of passivity or we don’t. We have to hold Big Everything accountable in Big Ways, but we also have to look at ourselves in the context of the last 10 000 years, understand ourselves as biological entities, and say no to the things that are killing us.

Lana Hunneyball
Lana Hunneyball
10 months ago

A lot depends on where you live. I am in the UK where, on a living wage, I can eat fresh, healthy food every day without a problem. My only regular processed indulgence is non-dairy milks in UHT packaging. I have always eaten like this because when I eat processed stuff I get sick. I am particularly sensitive, but I suspect everyone is on the continuum. We are what we eat, in every sense. Deep down, we know this.
So what’s the solution? Number one – education. Calories counting is archaic. High GI foods cause insulin resistance and foods are made to be addictive – people can’t stop eating but are essentially starving. Our brains evolved on high quantities of good fats. They’re screaming at us for attention but we keep throwing substandard fuel at them and wondering why we’re losing the plot. Etc.
And don’t get me started on the highly deleterious effects of normalized alcohol consumption. People just do not want to hear.
But even if one could educate the masses somehow, especially in the USA, the odds are stacked against Joe Average. I was horrified to see one lettuce cost more than a huge packet of Reese’s. How does a family eat healthily unless they’re big earners?? My daughter and her family do great on paper, but I still feel a bit guilty asking if we can eat vegetables every day when I visit.
Something is wrong with that.
OK, so what then? Well it may be simpler than we think: we have to start growing stuff. We did it for millennia before the arrival of Big Everything. Bottom line: no one is going to rescue us. We either take control of our health or we don’t. We either swallow the company line of passivity or we don’t. We have to hold Big Everything accountable in Big Ways, but we also have to look at ourselves in the context of the last 10 000 years, understand ourselves as biological entities, and say no to the things that are killing us.

Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago

Sorry, it has to be behavioral and diet based. 50 years ago people were much thinner even though they ate more red meat, dairy, and fat. The culprits almost certainly are the increase in processed foods, including a massive overemphasis on carbs as part of the anti-fat hysteria, and the turn to almost completely sedentary lifestyles
When I eat only home cooked dinner for a week, and do a bit of walking, pounds start melting off. Eat take out or restaurant food three times in four days and I start gaining weight.

Last edited 10 months ago by Arthur G
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
10 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Red meat, dairy, and fat is basically a very low carb or keto diet which is very effective. I’ve controlled my weight and blood sugar for years with high protein, high fat, and low carb. Processed food is the problem and an economy that doesn’t allow time for mom ( or someone mom-like) in the kitchen. People don’t know how to cook and shop and the schools have time to teach them perversions and CRT but not basic home economics.

Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

Cooking at home doesn’t take much time if you know what you’re doing. I’m certain the average adult in America could reduce their screen time by 30 minutes and have time to make dinner. The current generation does not work more than their grandparents did when you consider all the drudgery of household chores before modern appliances. Our grandparents just didn’t spend 6+ hours a day on screen time.
From Compartech:
“Worldwide, the average person spends a total of 6 hours and 37 minutes looking at a screen each day (for internet-connected activities). This includes 2 hours and 31 minutes scrolling through social media channels,1 hour and 38 minutes of streaming music, and 1 hour and 12 minutes of listening to podcasts. And the majority of this (3 hours and 46 minutes) is spent on mobiles.”

Last edited 10 months ago by Arthur G
Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

Cooking at home doesn’t take much time if you know what you’re doing. I’m certain the average adult in America could reduce their screen time by 30 minutes and have time to make dinner. The current generation does not work more than their grandparents did when you consider all the drudgery of household chores before modern appliances. Our grandparents just didn’t spend 6+ hours a day on screen time.
From Compartech:
“Worldwide, the average person spends a total of 6 hours and 37 minutes looking at a screen each day (for internet-connected activities). This includes 2 hours and 31 minutes scrolling through social media channels,1 hour and 38 minutes of streaming music, and 1 hour and 12 minutes of listening to podcasts. And the majority of this (3 hours and 46 minutes) is spent on mobiles.”

Last edited 10 months ago by Arthur G
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
10 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Red meat, dairy, and fat is basically a very low carb or keto diet which is very effective. I’ve controlled my weight and blood sugar for years with high protein, high fat, and low carb. Processed food is the problem and an economy that doesn’t allow time for mom ( or someone mom-like) in the kitchen. People don’t know how to cook and shop and the schools have time to teach them perversions and CRT but not basic home economics.

Arthur G
Arthur G
10 months ago

Sorry, it has to be behavioral and diet based. 50 years ago people were much thinner even though they ate more red meat, dairy, and fat. The culprits almost certainly are the increase in processed foods, including a massive overemphasis on carbs as part of the anti-fat hysteria, and the turn to almost completely sedentary lifestyles
When I eat only home cooked dinner for a week, and do a bit of walking, pounds start melting off. Eat take out or restaurant food three times in four days and I start gaining weight.

Last edited 10 months ago by Arthur G
j watson
j watson
10 months ago

We tax products that create negative externalities. We should do that with UPFs and make it v explicit.
We can’t remove personal responsibility either, but we can better educate and support.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

We tax products that create negative externalities. We should do that with UPFs and make it v explicit.
We can’t remove personal responsibility either, but we can better educate and support.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

I suspect the ‘answer’ will depend on many factors, and everyone is likely to seize on the one that pleases them the most.
My own modest suggestion is that if food labelling works (and it does to some extent) then instead of only quoting ‘sugars’ as part of the carbohydrates the sugars should specifically show ‘fructose’ (and its analogues) as this seems to drive abdominal fat creation. Although fructose is ‘natural’ (and half of table sugar) manufacturers add it in huge quantities to processed foods to make them palatable and shelf stable.
The manufacturers are particularly prone to do this in America and the ‘obesity epidemic’ seems worst there. I imagine that food manufacturers would fight against fructose food labelling…

Last edited 10 months ago by AC Harper
AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

I suspect the ‘answer’ will depend on many factors, and everyone is likely to seize on the one that pleases them the most.
My own modest suggestion is that if food labelling works (and it does to some extent) then instead of only quoting ‘sugars’ as part of the carbohydrates the sugars should specifically show ‘fructose’ (and its analogues) as this seems to drive abdominal fat creation. Although fructose is ‘natural’ (and half of table sugar) manufacturers add it in huge quantities to processed foods to make them palatable and shelf stable.
The manufacturers are particularly prone to do this in America and the ‘obesity epidemic’ seems worst there. I imagine that food manufacturers would fight against fructose food labelling…

Last edited 10 months ago by AC Harper
Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
10 months ago

> hundreds of millions of people injecting themselves every week for the rest of their lives doesn’t seem particularly sensible or sustainable to me.
Best to stop before the “but”. Drugs are not the answer.
We need to tackle the root causes.
For an interesting examination of the problem, look up “A Chemical Hunger”, by Slime Mold Time Mold.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
10 months ago

> hundreds of millions of people injecting themselves every week for the rest of their lives doesn’t seem particularly sensible or sustainable to me.
Best to stop before the “but”. Drugs are not the answer.
We need to tackle the root causes.
For an interesting examination of the problem, look up “A Chemical Hunger”, by Slime Mold Time Mold.

Susanne Schwameis
Susanne Schwameis
10 months ago

using just another pharmaceutical intervention as propagated at the end of this article isn’t the solution either, as when you research into these drugs that the author names, they carry a high risk warning of possibly triggering tumors/cancer… and as with obesity – treating people with these health conditions is a very expensive risk to run in my opinion and doesn’t solve the root problem at all. Rather it creates the illusion of a solution to a problem but with probably lots of ancillary negative effects.

also buying real food and cooking can be a much healthier alternative to buying convenience/frozen/junk food and has much higher nutritional value without the problematic ingredients of these problematic food choices. And also you can eat rather cheaply a good meal without spending a ton of money as you would on those convenience foods that have a lot of negative downstream effects on health.

Susanne Schwameis
Susanne Schwameis
10 months ago