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How Many Calories in Coca Cola: Do Kids Care?

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What is in Coca Cola? Click image to find out...

How Many Calories in Coca Cola?

Everyone seems to have gone a little calorie mad recently. Attempts to dissuade kids away from fizzy drinks by including nutritional value and total calories have not had much success of late, however it seems scaring them with the implications related to physical activity might do the trick.  Though is the science right? Should we be focusing on how many calories are in fizzy drinks or any food for that matter?

Researchers posted three different signs outside corner shops to see which was best at putting teens off the soft drinks.

One asked if they knew that the average fizzy drink contained 250 calories, another asked if they knew it was equivalent to ten per cent of their recommended daily intake. 

A third asked ‘Did you know that working off a bottle of fizzy drink or fruit juice takes about 50 minutes of running?”

Results showed that providing calorie-related information did cause sales to drop by over a third (40 per cent), but that the physical activity equivalent was most effective, reducing soft drink sales among teens by half.  – Source ‘Daily Mail’

Of course the researchers have missed the point on several levels, firstly to focus on calories is misleading as not all calories are created equal, it depends on the source as a 500 calorie steak is far different from 500 calorie chocolate bar. Considering total sugars (Watch video: Big Sugar) along with many other additives contained in these types of drink is the evil it is this we need to concentrate on. It is a very big mistake indeed to simply refer to calorific values as a measure of the level of exercise needed to counter act the effects.

As well as this it is equally unhelpful to look to physical exercise as a means to address the balance. Although exercise is a fantastic tool to increase fitness, mental health and well-being, used solely as a weight loss tool it is doomed to fail. You can read more on this in an earlier published article: Best Exercise For Fat Burn: A Paleo Solution 

How To Diet and What Are Healthy Foods

Latest research shows that in England over 60% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese.  I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone who wants to be overweight, let alone obese.  Let’s cut to current UK Government advice on how to lose weight.

“if you need to lose weight, aim to lose about 0.5kg (1-2lb) a week until you reach a healthy weight for your height.  You should be able to lose this amount if you eat and drink about 500 to 600 calories fewer a day than you need …..Combining these changes with increased physical activity is the best way to achieve a healthier weight..”“

So I am to increase my body’s need for fuel at the same time as cutting down on the fuel I eat.  Er…won’t I be hungry?  Is it me?  That’s like putting less fuel in my car and flogging it even harder to get more out of it?

Then why do we have an obesity problem?  Why do we have an epidemic?  When I don’t know anybody who wants to be fat?

In short the answer is that the current dietary advice does not work.  Take a look at the Government’s “Eat well plate” for example (click on the image to go see what else they say is ‘eating well’). I see sugar, cornflakes, weetabix, white flour, bagels, white pasta, sugary baked beans, fruit ineatwell-plate syrup, battenburg cake, sweets, coca-cola: in short, processed food.  Man is the only chronically sick species on Earth and the only one processing (making) his own food.  Incidentally do you know where the advice to create a deficit in calorie intake comes from?  Can you prove it?  No and neither can the Government – this theory is not substantiated by any scientific literature.

And look at anecdotal evidence.  The theory does not work.  If it did, there would not be a problem with obesity! 

Dietary advice changed in the early 1980’s moving away from “carbs are fattening” to “base your meals on starchy foods” and “eliminate saturated fat”.  Open your eyes: do you see the connection with the current obesity epidemic?  I don’t recall this level of obesity growing up, do you?

The prediction of the Foresight Report is that 90% of our children will be overweight or obese by 2050.  Do you want this for your children? Obese children become obese adults, because of the genetic triggers of processed food and obesity these children then become obese parents with obese children. We’re presently on a collision course with our own destiny and need to change it fast.

The key is to work with your body never against it.  Eat real food.  Eat food as nature intended and eliminate processed food.   Sustainable weight loss and optimal health are possible through a paleo or caveman style diet.  Get a little knowledge about what is causing you to be fat, because it’s not what you thought it was!

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Coalition Turns it’s Back on Obesity

fat-cat

Fat Cats

A specialist panel set up by the government to look into the problem of the obesity epidemic including possible solutions has been disbanded (British Medical Journal – article).  It seems the government didn’t like the advise it was getting and so has decided to silence the out spoken committee by sacking all it’s members.  Opting instead for the softly softly ‘nudge’ tactics –  Healthy lives, healthy people: a call to action on obesity in England

The group set up by the last Labour government as part of recommendations coming out of the Foresight Report, which went far beyond education about personal food choices but included legislation, taxes and tighter controls on the food and drinks manufacturers.  The panel was only too aware of the scale of the obesity problem, describing it as ‘akin to global warming’.

Ex member Klim McPherson said “Ministers were more inclined to involve food and drinks companies than scientific experts”.

Panel experts also expressed disappointment at Andrew Lansley‘s announcement for anti obesity measures to focus on eating less and exercising more.

Shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott, said: “It is becoming clear that Andrew Lansley’s number one priority is pleasing his friends in big business”.

TV chef Jamie Oliver said of the policy ” This whole strategy is worthless, regurgitated, patronising rubbish

Prof McPherson also went on to say “I think it was just naive frankly. People are controlled by their environment and the food industry has discovered it can make quite a lot of money selling junk food all over the place.”

Other panel members Professors Tim Lang and Geof Rayner, wrote in the BMJ that the policy is a “smokescreen” for “publicly endorsed marketing”. The strategy could become “collusion between the state and corporations to hoodwink consumers. At least nannies are overt.”

Professor Lang goes on to explain:

The closure of the expert advisory group is bad news all round, bad politics, bad policy, and bad science. It shuts the door on an important attempt by the state to recognise the systemic nature of what drives obesity…It’s plain as a pikestaff that obesity requires systems change, not a tweak here and there, yet that is what is being offered.

Well what is becoming absolutely clear is that real help for the overweight, as well a real solution to the obesity epidemic is coming no time soon, pretty frustrating for us though expected given previous and current policy.

This is a real shame as the solution at least in principle is a simple one.  Combat sugar addiction born in processed foods and the problem will become a thing of the past.  However when you consider who has their fingers in whose pies the solution can never be simple.

We are not saying the the obesity panel had it all right as they were in favour of legislation over education.  It cannot be right to withhold information about the addictive and damaging effects of a food and then make it harder or more expensive to obtain.  Simply increasing costs or telling them to eat less is a policy waiting to fail.  The majority of the population has a problem that they are totally oblivious too.

The man (or woman) in the street is simply not aware why he gets tired in the afternoon, why he’s hungry shortly after eating, why he gets brain fog, why he get’s depressed, why his libido is low, why despite eating low fat, low calorie he continues to gain weight, why he’s ended up with type II diabetes…or worse!

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