Despite the absurdity of Hannah Sutter’s proclamation in Saturday’s Daily Mail, that government advice to ‘exercise more and eat fewer calories’ is making people fat, I felt I had to respond.
She claims that our advice to base meals on carbohydrates isn’t right for the sedentary lifestyles we lead today. She explains exactly how the white rice, pasta and bread we are filling up on is converted into fat around our middles, whilst providing very little in the way of nutrients.
Well yes, if we stuff ourselves with pasta and don’t take any exercise, then of course we’ll put on weight. Any energy that we take in – not just that from carbohydrates – will be stored as fat if we don’t burn it off. That’s why we recommend people eat less and move more. The problem is that people aren’t eating the right amount of food for how active they are.
However, I should also point out that we advise people to choose wholegrain over refined carbohydrates, because they contain more nutrients and provide a slower energy release.
Interestingly, the Mail failed to point out that Hannah Sutter, a lawyer and not a scientist by trade, has a vested interest in this subject – she has her own website selling a weight loss programme based on the theory of ketosis. This is yet another example of a fad diet that won’t lead to established healthy eating habits because it’s unrealistic and difficult to stick to for any length of time.
Government advice to eat a healthy balanced diet based on a range of foods, in roughly the right proportions, is however realistic for the long-term. I’m surprised that Ms Sutter didn’t consider that perhaps it’s the people who aren’t following government advice are ones who are getting fatter.