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The Men Who Made Us Fat: Are you TOFI?

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Jacques Peretti Jacques Peretti | 10:00 UK time, Thursday, 14 June 2012

At London's Hammersmith Hospital a suave gent by the name of Dr Jimmy Bell is ushering me into his MRI scanner.

I'm here for a scientific trial as part of the television series I'm making for the BBC - The Men Who Made Us Fat.

I came up with the idea for the series a while ago as I was watching the original version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971.

I was struck by how the character Augustus Gloop, the supposedly obese child, now looks perfectly ordinary.

I wondered how in the space of 40 years we could have changed our idea of what is fat so drastically.

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Jacques Peretti has his hidden obesity levels checked

So having authored the series and worked in partnership with FreshOne Productions and the BBC to get the series made, here I am in the above video clip - at Hammersmith Hospital about to discover how fat I really am.

Dr Bell specializes in analysing not the external fat of patients but the internal fat, and the shocking truth is that it's not just the obviously obese who are in trouble from their diet.

It could be all of us.

I'm not particularly worried as I put on my blue gown and am lowered into the space-age chamber.

I cycle to work, I walk up escalators and play the odd bit of football in the garden. I'm by no means a health nut but I do enough physical activity to remain relatively fit, or so I think.

For half an hour I must lie perfectly still as a scanner moves up and down my body creating a detailed image of every last inch of fat.

"There will be no hiding place for your fat," Jimmy tells me ominously.

Then it's all over, I take off my headphones and re-join the world, sitting in Jimmy's office to go through my results.

On the outside, Jimmy says I am fit.

"There is very little external fat," he tells me.

"But on the inside," he says, gesturing to the scan ominously "your liver is swimming in fat - four to five litres."

Four to five litres!

In all honestly I was so shocked by the results of the test that I found it difficult to continue interviewing the professor properly.

On average we are all three stone heavier than we were in the 60s, and for the vast majority of us the fat is internal.

Jimmy calls us 'TOFI's' (Thin Outside Fat Inside).

Worrying as this realisation is, on reflection it makes sense.

It shows the degree to which sugar, which as many of the programme's contributors explained to me can be a major contributor to obesity, is present within our everyday diet.

Having just discovered I was a TOFI I want to quiz Jimmy on what I could do to reduce the amount of internal fat I was carrying.

He reassures me that there is a solution - firstly we should eat less processed food and instead opt to cook from scratch and reduce our sugar intake.

Secondly, short, sharp bursts of sprinting, 30 seconds at a time three or four times a week. It mimics what we did as hunter-gatherers and burns off the internal fat.

Forget jogging and lay off the midweek Chardonnay in front of re-runs of The Killing: the sugar in the alcohol turns to fat. Unfortunately.

Now if only I had the willpower to put that advice into practice!

Jacques Peretti is the presenter of The Men Who Made Us Fat.

The Men Who Made Us Fat is on Thursday, 14 June at 9pm on BBC Two.

Note: Due to the extended Wimbledon coverage, the third and final episode of The Men Who Made Us Fat has been rescheduled for Thursday, 12 July at 9pm on BBC Two. It will be available to watch in iPlayer for the following seven days.

Update 4 July: Episode one and two have unfortunately now expired in iPlayer because of a break in the run of the series due to the unavoidable schedule changes.

However, all three episodes will be available in iPlayer when they're repeated as part of the Sign Zone starting on Wednesday, 11 July at 2.30am on BBC One. Please see the episode guide for further times.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I'm looking forward to your programme with baited breath. I'm a personal trainer and low carb food coach, based in Shropshire, and have been banging on about the sugar/obesity link for ages. I've taken 50 women through a low carb high fat diet. Every single one of them lost weight but also reported feeling so much better. Incidentally they all know you're programme's on this eve. I really feel the penny starting to drop but as long as there's money to be made by teasing the gullible public with tasty food I just can't see and end to this.

  • Comment number 2.

    Brilliant programme - well done - have Facebooked it and told everyone to iPlayer it (is it available on the iPlayer) and to watch the next 2 episodes.
    One not to be missed.
    Thanks

  • Comment number 3.

    Is there any evidence of links between the food manufacturers and the drug companies? I am thinking of sugary foods and type 2 diabetes and the manufacturers of drugs used to control diabetes? It would not surprise me if there were.

  • Comment number 4.

    At last, sugar exposed.... and the food industry. Hopefully this programme will start a movement equivalent to the exposure of the tobacco industry. We nutritionists have been swimming against the tide for a long time on this one. Well done Mr Peretti!!

  • Comment number 5.

    I figured & worked out all you are saying way back in January after hitting my 40's, seeing how fat I was ... I chose a vegan lifestyle .. and I'll never go back .. to hormone laden fat meat dairy & eggs .. remarably loosing 3 stone without the need for sugar laden diet foods ... just good old wholesome fruit, veg and leguimes .. perfect .. I really enjoyed tonights viewing .. ty

  • Comment number 6.

    As SI SHORROCK says, the penny is starting to drop. Bottom line: the food industry is powerful, much more powerful than the tobacco industry. Did you know there are 15,000 lobbyists in Brussels? Admittedly, not all of them are lobbying for the food industry, but the chairman of the Committee which decides about which food additives should be restricted/allowed/not allowed has just left her post and become... a lobbyist. From corn syrup to fructose, now there's an interesting story. And whether we like it or not, we're about to find out. The food revolution is about to start. It's back to basics I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 7.

    Brilliant. It could have been tedious but it was so well presented. Looking forward to the rest of the series and should be compulsive viewing.

  • Comment number 8.

    Interesting stuff. All for criticism of the food/sugar industry but will this series look at the other end of the equation - the fact that we exercise less now.

  • Comment number 9.

    I am probably like many people featured in the programme. I have dieted for years, mostly low fat diets. I've tried low sugar diets (with normal amounts of fat) and I've always got good results. However, the general attitude of 'society' puts a lot of pressure on you to revert back to a low fat diet.

    The food industry have too much power and to see how the industry has changed over the years, I've finally realised that it's all gradually happened over the years. Even the education system was fooled - we were always told to avoid fat, but nothing said about the 'hidden sugars' (in many cases named to something sounding more innocent).

    Hopefully many people watch this - the more people who see it will realise the lie we've all been 'fed' (pun intended).

  • Comment number 10.

    At last a program that "dares" to tell the truth about the biggest nutritional con of my lifetime. Fat in food does not equal fat on your backside. It's the sugar that does it. It won't be long until we take the next step and link the excess of sugar in the blood with heart disease too.
    This should be compulsory viewing to every child at school.
    It's actually quite simple, eat whole, non processed food.
    Perhaps Jaques can look into why we are not allowed to buy delicious, healthy raw milk next.

  • Comment number 11.

    Gripped by tonight's episode. Nothing completely unknown to me in there. I know low fat means high sugar and that ultimately we are headed one way in the UK - but to have it spelled out in such detail was a great reminder (and kick). Whilst watching (in the Kitchen) I did a sweep of the cupboards. Most meals are cooked from scratch here so I'd say 80% good food, but even basic ingredients can have hidden sugars and other undesirables. First 2 products on my radar had glucose syrup high up on the ingredients list - of which innocent snacking crackers were one. Not sure I'll sleep tonight! Pretty sure tomorrow's meal plan for the forthcoming week will consist almost entirely of basic ingredients rustled up into something! Looking forward to next Thursday's episode... ps - have a feeling I might be a TOFI :-(

  • Comment number 12.

    until the program focused on sugar it was almost identical to michael pollen's talks (the corn story etc).

    amazed the personal trainer in the first comment is getting people to eat a high fat diet!

  • Comment number 13.

    I recently sent Ed Balls a plan to restore EMA and funding this by taxing sugar. It is clear that sugar is addictive. I would go as far as saying that sugar has the same addictive characteristic as class drugs.
    raise VAT on foods that contain high levels of sugar to 30% and watch the likes of Kraft panic

  • Comment number 14.

    I am so releived that this programme has been made, especially by so illustrious a TV company. I have been an addiction specialist for 20 years and have created a programme for people who struggle with eating which exactly targets the addictive qualities of food. It works. Is the NHS interested in something that tackles the single, most overwhelming threat to both the public and the NHS itself - obesity? Nope. Because the medical fraternity and the British Dietetic Association appear to refuse to acknowledge that foods are made to be addictive. Thank you BBC and Jacques Peretti for this desperately needed expose.

  • Comment number 15.

    Just watched the programme and found it very interesting. I've travelled to Asia on vacation on a few occasions, and one thing which I found remarkable was the fact that even though they eat a lot, the majority of the population is relatively thin compared to Westerners. However the diet is considerably different. Asians eat a lot of roughage and green vegetables and use a lot of chillies in their cooking. When I asked why this was, their reply was that the spices and peppers raise the temperature, resulting in a higher Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). They also consume very little dairy and wheat products. Whether or not this will remain the case with the ubiquitous proliferation of Western fast-food outlets remains to be seen. Looking forward to the next part of the series.

  • Comment number 16.

    Finally somebody is exposing the damage sugar is doing to our health and it would be great to a programme about all the hidden sugar in good food and juices as well. Great that some one is using the LCHF (low carb high fat) concept in UK thanks Si Shorrock, I'm sure you recommend cut in both sandwiches (all the white bread), baked beans and crisps (high glycemic potatoes and fat). Eggs is a great food source and should never be dismissed. We all need to lower our intake of carbs and change to more complex carbs.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am a dietitian who qualified in 1970 and I am still working in the NHS. I attended a lecture by Professor John Yudkin when I was a student and what he said stopped me taking sugar, and I coverted my family to no sugar, consequently don't like sweet things and have never drunk cola. The family are all slim. I am staggered that he was discredited by both politicians (USA and UK) and even scientists by the power of the sugar manufacturing lobby. Did no one have the honesty, commonsense and strength of purpose to so the right thing - obviously not. It is too late for many but starting with families from conception, through school age, teaching people what is in food, how to read food labels and portion size is essential for the next generation. Look at the Welsh Government's Dietetic Capacity programme - that's what we are doing - it might just work - in fact it has to! Dr Pauline Rigby

  • Comment number 18.

    Brilliant!...and as many are saying here, what some of us have been batting on about for many years, against the mainstream's incorrect reasoning and dietary advice.Please....repeat this program on BBC1 and lets start getting the myths of saturated fat etc causing the problems, dispelled once and for all.Everything in this country is 'low fat' ..except the population....HELLO!

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Jacques,
    Welldone on a top program, nice to see someone looking at these things without sugar coating it. As a Chef, Pastry Chef and Baker. I have strong feelings on all the issue in the program. I wait with hope that more information on sugar, trans fats and other chemical additive are exposed. People need to get back to traditional cooking and baking. Welldone keep up the good work.
    Your Old Chum, Grimsby

  • Comment number 20.

    I am a group exercise instructor and sports masseus. Watching this programme is a breath of fresh air. I wish that the masses would think for themselves and be driven enough to make their own decisions to eat or not to eat processed foods.
    Bring back national service and get an army sergeant to whoop their arses back into shape.
    A very well presented and much required programme. Well done Jaques and Beeb. X

  • Comment number 21.

    Riveting programme. Are you going to mention aspartame or sweeteners? I have always been highly suspicious of them and thought people who eat a big slice of cake and then have a sweetener in their tea are deluded.

  • Comment number 22.

    Riveting and compelling material - thank you, this is quite shocking. however, to blame a nation on why England is fat is simply outlandish and absurd.

    I'm an American living in England for 5 years. It's discouraging to see McDonalds or Burger King at every car park and 50% of my closest friends overweight, but come on. What was England's reaction when Americans were trying sue McDonalds for being fat? It wasn't favorable. This is the same lack of accountability and character to respect and take care of our actions, body and lifestyle.

    I have many friends who were active and sporty in school, but have never picked up a ball or set foot in a gym since. There is a lack of competition here to be fit, healthy, slim, and even a sense of humiliation that takes precedence to caring too much about oneself!??!!!?!!!!

    And let's not forget about the acceptable alcohol intake. Poor diet and high levels of alcohol account for 30% of all diabetes cases. i've never met a nation that drinks more than in the UK. Any given sunny day and most people are bee lined for the pub. In most American cities, you'd find the majority of people on their bike, running, playing tennis, etc. but this is something they do even when it's not sunny. Big difference.

    I loved your show, but I lost a great deal of respect putting full blame on a couple of crooked crop growers/chemist turned greedy, at blame for the UK's obesity!!!! Corn syprup? Fructose? come one, any person with any knowledge knows these are like heroin.

    And, again, i'm sorry, but I've never come across a more lazy nation in all my life. i'm sorry, but it's the facts.

    In all, the corporations have a responsibility, just like the tobacco companies. I agree with you there. but we all know if something is too good, it's probably not good.

    Stand up UK and don't buy packaged meals and fish and chips. i blame our farming too! this is prime, fertile land to be producing gorgeous veg. there's not enough importance on food here. every organic shop in the 3 neighborhoods i've lived in have gone out of business!!!!!

    EDUCATE - don't blame the US!

  • Comment number 23.

    Applause for the Beeb and Jacques Peretti. I agree that this should be compulsive viewing and the food industry should be made accountable... I'd quite like to see people like Kraft panic!! 'o)

  • Comment number 24.

    I actually read John Yudkin's book "Pure, White and Deadly" back in the 70s - and many books since. I've been following the story of sugar though I'm more of a FOFI, than a TOFI - Fat Outside Fat Inside. I find sugar incredibly addictive and have spent my life battling to reduce my intake. One thing that really amazed me: I went to Hungary in 2008 to visit relatives. I saw no fat Hungarians, not one. They're not tall slender people, they tend to be stocky and broad. But not fat. And they eat rich fatty food (with dumplings and bread) three times a day. But. They never eat between meals. They don't eat in the street. And there are hardly any sweets in their shops.

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    Nearly dead from sugar and its impact, particularly when mixed with high stress levels. Had to rely on my homeopath (who has given me a remedy to stop my sugar addiction - successfully) and my kinesiologist (who recognised that my adrenal system had packed up altogether due to my sugar intake and fixed it). So THANK YOU for making a programme I wish I'd proposed years ago, when I first saw the connections. Looking forward to the next two. And then what can I do to help with the series on the pharmaceutical companies and their stranglehold over the NHS, which is why ANY sort of reform is bound to fail.....

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    At last!, a proper, useful programme about the obesity epidemic. Well done!

  • Comment number 29.

    Terrific show but please place the blame more accurately on the bullying practices of big industry and the power they held over the few people you pointed out as being pivotal to this situation.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jaque Peretti's programme "The Men Who Made Us Fat" was one of the very best documentaries I have ever seen on this subject. I am looking forward to the next two programmes. Mr. Peretti is performing a huge public service. Well done to all involved in making these films and thank you Mr. Peretti. Danielle Furci

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    It makes a refreshing change that someone has exposed the scandal of the "convenience" food industry.
    As a sportsman for the last 30 years, I am constantly asked how I keep body fat low without dieting. The answer is many fold - but the main one is, eat food which is closer to nature and educate your palette to accept the right foods.
    There are plenty of reports in the media which proposes the healthy effects a whole grain diet with low to zero processed foods. The media also links the lack of fibre to various health problems in the west, such as heart disease, arthritis, etc. Anderson et al, reported that "Foods that are rich in dietary fiber, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain cereals, also tend to be a rich source of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other micronutrients. Each of these factors may be independently contributing to the cardiovascular protective effects of fiber-rich foods". A high fibre diet is also shown to trigger the satisfied feeling the general public crave.
    The answer is simple. Educate the public to eat a healthy diet. However, the public need to have these foods available in a convenient form which we have enjoyed in the west.

  • Comment number 33.

    P.S. And thanks for the exercise advice - the dogs will be quite startled on their walk tomorrow!

  • Comment number 34.

    Excellent programme. No one is 'blaming' America though. We're not the only country to baa like sheep and follow the US down the fast food/cheap food route.
    But JanieWestCoast - Don't buy fish and chips?? Don't knock a great British dish. That's good 'real' British food and certainly doesn't come out of a packet, a tin or a factory. Something to eat in moderation though, obviously. Just like our great grandparents did - and they weren't obese. . . because fish and chip doesn't (shouldn't) contain SUGAR. . .
    Enough of the farmer bashing too - our farmers will be feeding us all when we finally see the light. Not the food processing giants (hopefully!). And our farmers grow and rear the best meat, eggs and dairy produce in the world, to the highest quality and welfare standards. Standards that are envied and emulated across the world, I might add.
    Not sure that Vegangirl was even watching the same programme as the rest of us. . .
    British meat, eggs and dairy are NOT hormone laden. I can't stress that enough and I really don't know why that myth perpetuates. . . And eating fat is important - vital in fact - to a healthy diet. It is, indeed, the sugar and other manufacturer additives and chemicals that are so many processed foods that is the problem.
    Like I said, 'real' food is what we should be eating and we're extremely fortunate to be living in a country where that's grown on our door step.

  • Comment number 35.

    Jacques...what a fantastic programme! I've been getting texts and emails throughout the programme from my gym members who know how long I've been banging on about this. The problem we've got now, however, is how to tackle it. If there are lawsuits approaching, who are they going to attack first? McDonalds, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Haribo, Cadburys, Kraft and Kellogg's all produce food high in sugar and food which has become highly addictive. Disney have made the unbelievable decision to ban these companies from advertising on their channels. It's a start. But they'll never be able to bring one company down.

    Trying to convince people to go back to the way we all used to eat pre-1970's is going to be really hard. Think how many people are employed by these companies. Think of the revenues they bring to the tax-man. Governments are too short-sited to get involved in increasing tax on sugar and processed food. They know how unpopular it would be with the people who have become addicted. The cost of Diabetes and obesity to the UK is currently £4bn. The revenue from sugary and processed food is £8bn. Sooner rather than later one will match the other and then we'll be forced to address this madness!

  • Comment number 36.

    I was truly elated to see this program being broadcast on the BBC, covering a topic very dear to my heart (both literally & metaphorically!). There have been many authors who have been fighting an uphill struggle to convince the public about the risks of sugars / excessive carbohydrates - and so it was wonderful to see Gary Taubes given the opportunity to explain his views.

    Personally, my health & wellbeing were massively improved after I read his book 'Why We Get Fat', and I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand more about the science underpinning the arguments given in the programme.

  • Comment number 37.

    no farming bashing at all cowgirl! no one is a bigger fan! we need to keep it as local as possible w/ the highest awareness... that's what i was stating. all the organic and local shops go under while the Tescos and Sainsbury's spread. tragic.

    i'm in London which should be much more sophisticated and aware of healthy food and take advantage of these resource...... maybe in time and more education and well, social acceptance.

  • Comment number 38.

    Yet another food scare. What a waste of an hour. If this nonsense is true and people are obese because of sugar consumption, would somebody please explain how, when eating my through more than 2 kilos of chocolate every week plus countless other cakes and sugary treats whilst taking as little exercise as possible, I still only weigh just over 7st ? If this documentary were true and sugar was to blame for obesity then I would be fat too but I'm not. Obese people are fat because they eat too much, simple.

  • Comment number 39.

    Fantastic documentary, and wonderful to finally see a rational intelligent approach to human nutrition, and how its changed, to our collective detriment over the past 30-40 years, by putting into perspective how shifting dietary trends lead to the state we're in now. Well done Jacques & the BBC. I look forward to watching parts 2 & 3.

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm struggling to see how NOT to draw the conclusion that the good ol USA is to blame for the total mis direction and mis information of the last 40 years. That seems to be a fact to me. I think janiewestcoast is confusing her anecdotal opinion with facts.
    For sure we (I gave up a few years ago) drink too much in this country, but that's a different issue to what this program was about.
    As an Englishman who lived in the US for 4 years, I couldn't wait to get away from the artificially large (genetically modified), artificially flavoured foods. Give me fish and chips any occasional day!

  • Comment number 41.

    N-I-C-K....if you are really eating these foods then good for you. What I'd be worried about is what's going on inside your body. You may only be 7st but you may also be a TOFI. Also your high sugar intake will catch up with you. There are some slim type-2 diabetics you know...

  • Comment number 42.

    also for consideration is the harmful effect of half a century of diet deficient in 'essential' saturated fat replaced by high consumption of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, ie the
    cholesterol issue and the growing dementia epidemic

  • Comment number 43.

    One of the key facts not really put across in the programme was that there is a wide variability between people (mostly genetically governed) in their bodies ability to deal with excess carbohydrates (especially refined sugars). Some people are predisposed to deal with excess carbohydrates by ramping up their metabolic rate, raising core body temperature, increased wakefulness, non-stop fidgeting, etc. They have no control over this, and cannot put on any significant amount of fat whatever they do. Others don't have that genetic predisposition, and it manifests itself more as they pass into middle age. Excess carbohydrates raise their insulin levels too high for too much time. Then their bodies can only store fat, not burn it, until they sharply cut their carbohydrate intake. It's the latter group who try to fix the situation with the mistaken idea that cutting fat intake will cause them to lose weight - when they actually need to get their insulin under control by restricting carbs - and ONLY then they can lose a significant weight in the long term.

    Our bodies are governed by hormones, and for many people, insulin control is the key to weight loss. Blaming obese people for 'getting fat by eating too much' is way too simplistic - they are eating the *wrong* primary calorie food source for *their* body type.

    It's convenient for someone who is thin because their body can handle carbs to blame others for being obese due to 'lack of willpower', or similar personality faults. Using that logic, it makes a much sense for me (at over 6ft) to criticise someone who only reached 5ft tall due to lack of willpower to eat the right foods while they were growing up. Their genes determined how they processed Human Growth Hormone as they grew, and *most* obese people simply cannot handle to volumes of carbs they are currently ingesting. Cutting their fat intake instead is just as much wishful thinking as a middle-aged person going to bed and hoping they will be taller in the morning...

  • Comment number 44.

    Great program and easy to follow - well done BBC.
    Programs like this should be shown earlier so that my 9yr old could watch and appreciate what a manipulative world we live in!
    No surprise, though, that the food industry is in it for themselves - isn't everyone nowadays? (Has anyone else noticed that since the tobacco industry has been banned from advertising, our favourite TV soap has nearly every sceen with someone holding/smoking a fag?)
    A few personal comments-
    1) My parents were brought up on cheap available saturated food, in the 1920's
    onwards, but only got fat themselves in the 1970's.
    2) I wake up, in the middle of the night, craving chocolate- my doctors laughed at me when I said this! (P.s. Dieters meals have, sometimes, MORE calories than the ordinary equivalent and they're more expensive!)
    3) I read an article, in a well known mag, of a study on rats that were given extra calories and it made them old and ill (cancer etc) and the doctor/author recommended that we all should cut our calories to stay healthy and stop/REVERSE our bodies aging!
    4) The most worrying aspect for me - I have been actively seeking out foods that include Aspartame, Acesulfame K and Sodium Sacchrine so that I could reject them in favour of foods including the 'natural' ingredients Sucrose, Glucose and Fructose (to give to my growing child). I was under the misconception that Sugar had no side effects compared to the artificial ingredients previously listed.
    Pesticides, colourants, sulphites, GM, MRM, high salt, hydrogenated fats, monosodium glutamate, antibiotic chickens, hormone pumped meats, mercury laden fish - help, my head is spinning - what should I feed my child?
    Well done to 'Ordinary bloke' for writing to Ed Balls with his great suggestion but don't hold your breath - the Government should be looking after its public, especially the next generation, but they're the ones closing all the local swimming pools down and selling off school playing fields for new housing!
    Me thinks " the end is nigh - goodbye SWEET world!"

  • Comment number 45.

    An excellent programme and great to see more and more people learning the truth. I would second the earlier comment about Gary Taubes. His book "How We Get Fat" is essential reading. It goes further than this first programme did and shows how starchy carbs from wheat (bread and pasta) and potatoes are also to be mistrusted. The "food pyramid" that came out in the 1970s, which advises us to base our diets on starchy carbs, has been a disaster. It was the same people, i.e. government backed by powerful lobby groups, who put this forward and have kept it as the mainstream advice ever since.

    As for the person who eats tons of cake and chocolates and is still only 7st, I would just point out that my father is a slim man with a taste for cakes and biscuits who was never overweight and had never been to hospital until he suffered a massive heart attack last year. He survived (thank God), but his coronary arteries were furred up terribly and he has had stents put it. The visceral or internal fat you can't see is the dangerous stuff.

  • Comment number 46.

    Brilliant documentary - been to the US several times & found it very difficult to find real basic food to eat, not from chains or smothered in sauces - even toast comes pre-buttered! Suggest also reading Eric Schlosser's book - Fast Food Nation for an insight into the food industry. Basically the populace has no idea what they are eating when they buy processed food.

  • Comment number 47.

    Brilliant Program. I think the only solution is either grow your own or buy from the man who grows it. That might even reduce the carbon footprint of out of season produce that every supermarket stocks.

  • Comment number 48.

    There is a new discussion taking place in our LinkedIn discussion group today on this subject. The discussion group is for food and drink industry professionals to discuss law, industry best practice and general industry news and events. Please visit http://linkd.in/LqMAUm to join the group and have your say.

  • Comment number 49.

    Fascinating programme, have thought for a long time that sugar is not the benign food stuff that it is made out to be. However the programme has thrown up a question I would like someone to answer. It said that fructose found in high-fructose corn syrup can suppress leptin the hormone that carries the "stop now you're full" message to the brain. I know fruit contains fructose but have always thought that because it is a naturally occurring sugar it is a "good" sugar. As a result I try to eat as much fruit as possible. But do I now have to stop eating fruit as part of my 5 a day because the fructose is telling me I need to eat more?

  • Comment number 50.

    Dear Jacques, your programme should be 'compulsory' viewing. I am 63 and proud to be pretty good. I remember John Yudkin being rubbished by the food industry, especially Tate and Lyle threatening to withdraw funding to the Government and also having many studies 'lost'. At that time it was the start of the Alternative medicine brigade to which I was totally hooked. I got sick with Candida which was not recognised at that time by the medical profession and to which I think was muddled up with the symptoms of ME. Certainly my generation was the first to have the opportunity to eat sweets morning to night. Born in 1949 we call ourselves 'Hitler's Children' as there was still rationing and my parents had been through a lot. To show their love once the cheap food revolution started in the 50s we were endulged to say the least (no blame totally understandable). They believed we should now have everything we wanted esp food. My children now have children and I thank God for the knowledge I gleened at that time. If I can pass one thing on to them it is the evils of sugar. Like many of your bloggers I also have ensured that family and friends watch your programme. Just one more point quickly. I still work full time at LHR and the airport community is very multicultural. So many of my colleagues are diabetic. It is like an epidemic and very frightening. I have never written a 'blog' in my life so your programme must be pretty close to my heart. All the best and thank you

  • Comment number 51.

    An interesting programme. I did find myself (as ever) frustrated by the lack of proper trials around any of the decisions. If Mr Yudkin's book wasn't based on trial evidence (as it sounds like it wasn't), then I'd actually have agreed with the Food industry that there was no proof at the time. However, I'd have considered it worthy of investigation and trials. It's dead easy to find books by Nutritionists about many common foods saying they are bad. Some will be correct, but we won't know for years til the trials have been done. Should we hail those who get lucky as ignored experts?

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Interesting programme. I too would like to hear more about aspartane and other artificial sweeteners, as well as other naturally occurring sugars.
    An interesting sideline might be to consider why domestic pets are also getting too fat - some of the eating epidemic must be about self-control, surely?

  • Comment number 54.

    So glad this has been documented. I am a personal Trainer based in Yorkshire and have been harping on to my clients about so called "low fat" foods and sugar. It is so difficult to get the message across in simple terms that people understand but I thought It was brilliantly done. Have already recommended to various clients to back up what I have been saying for years! FAb well done!
    Barbara Shiells

  • Comment number 55.

    A good programme and good to see these issues on mainstream TV. A nice review on the programme which I think summarises things well. http://blog.predatornutrition.com/2012/06/14/the-men-who-made-us-fat/

    Looking forward to parts 2 and 3 to see the other issues covered and where they go with this.

  • Comment number 56.

    Having read Gary taubes books was delighted to find this programme. Now I hope the rest of the family will be prepared to watch since I can't get them to read the books!
    Any chance of being able to get the series on iTunes sometime???

  • Comment number 57.

    What a programme! And about time to. But what can be done to help our obese nation now? How can this information filter through to the average punter, to those who are battling fatness, searching hopelessly for appropriate diets and increasing in width by the minute? There is more to add to the findings though. In the last couple of days I have been speaking to an exectuive (now retired) of a food production company. They introduced a special yeast-based product which is sprayed on food, for instance crisps (including Pringles) and other 'tasty' morcels and meals, baked on. The consumer becomes addicted to the product - a craving has been created. What hope is there in this country? Someone, somewhere has to take a stand and hound these 'tasty' food companies out of business. Let's not be critical of these fatties - they don't know any better - they have been engineered to eat the rubbish. Let's have a go at the companies that are killing our people, in effect they are guilty of mass murder.

  • Comment number 58.

    Fantastic Jacques. About time. In fact Yudkin's work was preceded by that of epidemiologist and first scientist to postulate the theory that sugar, or more accurately all refined carbohydrates, were responsible for many degenerative diseases, Surgeon Captain T.L.Cleave MRCP. His study 'The Saccharine Disease' first advanced in 1956 is the basis of most subsequent studies of cause and effect of consumption of refined carbohydrates. He met resistance to his theories too (Like Semelweiss and many other new thinkers before him). The sugar lobby has actively sought to discredit, distract (fat/dairy) and confuse (exercise/isotonic drinks etc). He subsequently gained recognition and respect from many including Sir Francis Avery Jones, Dr Walter Yellowlees, Dr Denis Burkitt and Dr Kenneth Heaton.
    It may not be as easy a read as Yudkin's Pure White and Deadly, but precedes it and is more profound. I recommend you read 'The Saccharine Disease'. The simple truth he proposed will, just as his just recognition, find its way out. Michael Phillips

  • Comment number 59.

    To Chris ER
    No - eat as much fruit as you like. We are perfectly adapted to eat fructose within its proper place in the matrix of the living cells. It is only a problem if we mechanically refine or process, concentrating the sugars and removing fibre. When we eat an apple, blood sugar levels increase gradually. If we drink apple juice blood sugar levels increase rapidly, straining the response mechanism (insulin production) and causing subsequent low. Diluting the juice helps, but better to eat whole apples and drink water. We have equally naturally evolved control mechanisms - it would be hard to eat 5-8 whole apples in a few minutes - but easy to drink a large glass of juice with the sugar content of this number of apples.
    Similarly if we were to eat the whole sugar beet from which we derive an average daily consumption of added (or hidden) sugar, we would need to add a whole beet around the size of a babies head to our daily meals. Our bodies will limit quantities to the correct levels: taste, chewing mechanisms,blood sugar, swelling of food in the stomach etc. but only if we eat food in its natural state.
    'Natural' could be defined as food that we have evolved to eat, (generally more than 2000 years for evolution to be relevant) Any food developed more recently should be treated with suspicion or eaten with caution (and enjoyed!)
    We should distinguish between having the freedom to eat what we like, knowing that it is bad for us, and being misled. Taxing sugar is the most sensible suggestion. I believe this is being introduced in Philadelphia - with a tax on Sodas. If the revenue were to go straight to Public Health initiatives we could provide a deterrent and address the yawning chasm in NHS funding ahead - thanks to sugar...

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Brilliant programme and agree with so many of the views already stated. This should be repeated again and again to reach as big an audience as possible.

  • Comment number 62.

    Great programme. Amazing insight but strange that no one mentions the WHO/USA political play....does this mean that WHO is politically biased, if so why bother funding them. Could either save us millions or WHO could take a stand and appeal to mankind!

  • Comment number 63.

    Enlightening programme.Refined carbs /sugers thats whats driving insulin levels up consequently making us fatter,not fat that was originally thought to be the cause,debunking the high carb low fat mith

  • Comment number 64.

    Thanks for a horrifying analysis of an endemic problem. I draw your attention to another neglected voice apart from John Yudkin - Surgeon-Captain T.L. Cleave who, like Yudkin, proposed that degenerative diseases were caused by alterations to natural food such as the introduction of refined carbohydrates especially sugar and flour into our diets. He suggests that as soon as the consumption of refined sugar approached 100 lb per head of population / per year a fuse is lit resulting in an explosion of diseases which he traces from 1890s onwards. He observes disease clusters that result from changes in dietary habits e.g. where coronary thrombosis is common so is obesity and diabetes. His final book is The Saccharine Disease 1974. I read a book called A doctor in the Wilderness by Walter W. Yellowlees 1993, who quoted Cleave's work extensively.

  • Comment number 65.

    I've only been able to see snippets so far, but the show looks to be getting right to the heart of the matter. It's amazing given the evidence all around that there still are supposedly serious scientists who go out of their way to argue that sugar consumption and obesity/diabetes are unrelated. In Australia, we have a growing public-health controversy involving high-profile University of Sydney nutritionists, a highly flawed academic paper featuring a spectacular false conclusion, and a major undisclosed conflict of interest. Despite obvious and disturbing errors, so far the authors, the journal and the University all have refused to correct the public record. It's all documented at #10 and #11 at http://www.australianparadox.com/

  • Comment number 66.

    Thank you mphillips (no.59) to your detailed replay to my question about fructose in fruit, I shall carry on munching, but it sounds as if I shall have to stop drinking fruit juices!
    Know I am 'Fat Outside' but would like to know about how fat I am inside before it is too late. Anyone know where I can get an MRI scan?

  • Comment number 67.

    We have a predicament in the NHS in the UK. I have a Personal Training and Nutrition business and was approached by the Practice Manager of our local GP surgery to see if we could help their Type-2 diabetic patients by following my diet plan. I was delighted that maybe this was the first foot in the door to helping people come off insulin. So I presented my low carb plan to the surgery, waited for their call, but never heard another thing. I then asked the Practice Manager why and he said his GPs were, regrettably, adopting a new 12 week plan from Stamford University, in the USA. This plan still promotes eating food which pumps your blood sugar through the roof. The cost of this plan to our council? £300,000!! Even Diabetes UK, our biggest UK diabetes charity, gives the thumbs up to high carb foods! So there is either a complete ignorance of how to help diabetic patients or there is something more sinister happening between GPs and the drug companies.

  • Comment number 68.

    Good program. It gave me a lot to think about but I would like to put across a few points:
    1) I agree that big food companies shell take part of responsibility for current obesity issues, but first of all we are THE ONE to blame. It is so easy to say that it is all their fault. No one is putting a loaded gun to our heads and forcing as to go and buy fast food etc. We are making that decision no one else; we are choosing to spend our hard earn money on rubbish food.
    2) I agree that we are constantly bombarded by food. Just count how many of adverds are the food one. It is actually amazing! But if we are blaming food companies we should blame also TV stations for promoting fast food and what about all sportsmen/celebrities that are selling them to us?
    3) I agree that we need to educate more our self and children but we need to use our own brains! My college is in diet group where they have been told that if product is low fat/0 fat that they can eat of that pruduct how much their want!!! No consideration about salt/sugar etc. levels what so ever!

    And thank you to mphillips (no.59) for his explanation about fructose. I was as Chris-E-R confused about that.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is not news, the link below is from 2009. What is new is the mainstream media taking notice
    http://youtu.be/dBnniua6-oM
    NEW series with Dr. Lustig "The Skinny on Obesity" http://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity. Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 1671

  • Comment number 70.

    This is a brilliant documentary. As a person that is still suffering with yo-yo eating habits - I appreciate the way it is getting us to think about food and to see how we are being exploited. I hope it can conclude the whole series by aiding us further to fight our addiction to food and maybe we can over turn the tide of obesity in this country. Thank you for the genius idea of this programme.

  • Comment number 71.

    Paul M (69) - This IS news for those who've seen nothing like this before. They have discovered they've been lied to for the past 40 years. Low-Fat and fat-free food will soon be history and Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, dieticians, the government and all who've been pushing low fat/high carb diets for so long are all going to have to re-draw the food pyramid. Hoorah!

  • Comment number 72.

    Finally! Been waiting so long to hear such sense reported in the mainstream media (not sure why it's taken so many years to be reported - but am just so glad it finally has - thankyou!). And how great it was to see guys like Taubes and Lustig on UK TV!

    After doing my own research, I chose to change from a 'healthy' hi-carb/low fat diet to a Primal/Paleo diet (low carb/hi fat) a few years ago and haven't looked back since. Finally I have control over food, blood sugar swings and allergies are a thing of the past, my body fat is gradually reducing and I have a waistline I haven't seen since I was 16 (I'm 43!). I only wish I knew all of this 20 years ago. Oddly, many people think I'm bonkers for primarily eating the diet we humans evolved on (fish, meat, fat, fruit, nuts, eggs, seed etc). Am I really the crazy one??

    So great to see the high fat/low carb catching on in the UK. Long may it continue. Can't wait to watch the next episodes. Jacques - well done for reporting this issue - please do more!

  • Comment number 73.

    A good programme. I've found low GI/GL thinking to be useful in managing my weight, and as part of that approach have become relaxed about my fat consumption.

    I'm curious about the benefits of low sugar AND high fat (as recommended by SI SHORROCK). Is not a specific goal of high fat likely to lead to higher cholesterol levels? And is the reduction of cholesterol still not a valid target for medical professionals. I'd be interested in research that supports the assertion that high fat diet (rather than one with normal levels of fat) is ok.

  • Comment number 74.

    Congratulations to both the Beeb and Jacques for risking the wrath of the food industry - now I see the advantages of a truly independent broadcaster, not one firmly tucked into the back pocket of any industry!

    I sat there watching and both shocked at the controversial and ground-breaking honesty and chuckling at the fact that in places it almost quotes word for word a book I recently read called "Instinctive Fitness".

    It is, at heart, an expose on the food industry suggesting that we are still essentially cavemen in so many ways, and proposes that we are genetically programmed to crave certain things: sweet, fatty, colourful foods, whilst avoiding over exertion etc. It argues the food industry has been taking advantage of these 'instincts' for years.

    Will society finally wake up and realise that we've been sold a lie for the past half century and are paying for the greed of the food industry with our health?

    Also for more BBC fireworks, look out for top selling author of the Obestity Epedemic, Zoe Harcombe's obvious displeasure at the Olympics somewhat unsporting 'partners' on News night coming up later this month.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am hugely grateful of the fact that this program has been made. It's enabled me to show it to other people who think I'm crazy for adopting this diet (Primal/Paleo). I think essential reading on the subject would be the work of Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint) and Doug McGuff (Body by Science). I've watched talks held by Taubes online but haven't read his book yet. Great to see the shift in knowledge becoming more mainstream in the UK. It's certainly changed my life and (finally) enabled me to loose fat and improve my health. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 76.

    The problem is convincing those who are FI's to follow this advise? The 30 sec excerise only requires 8 goes with a 2 minute rest, 20 mins total. 3/4 times per week. It's that easy !?

  • Comment number 77.

    Sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, makes you fat. As an American, I grew up on this stuff being in my food. If you take the time to read the label on supermarket prepared food, most of it includes some form of HFCTs. I didn't start looking fat until I reached my late 30's, but I'm pretty sure my insides were already fat! Now I have reached a decision to begin the battle of the bulge. I just hope it's not too late for me!

  • Comment number 78.

    Thanks for this important and engaging programme. I too have been recommending it to others. I feel more informed and more in control of my food and drink intake now. Looking forward to the other programmes in the series. Thanks to Mr Peretti and the BBC.

  • Comment number 79.

    I applaud your efforts, Jacques. The battle to get people to reject junk food and espouse a healthier lifestyle is being fought in other ways as will soon become evident...

  • Comment number 80.

    Having just made a ratatouille with all fresh stuff EXCEPT WAITROSE TINNED TOMATOES I found it was a bit sweet so checked the tomato tin - yes, thay had added 14g sugar. So even cooking for myself it is hard to keep the sugar out. Why do they do this???

  • Comment number 81.

    A brilliant programme, and perfect timing. I started the Harcombe diet (no processed food, don't mix fat and carbohydate meals and NO sugar) a week ago. Not only have I lost 6 pounds, but I feel much better and my cravings for the super-sweet treats are almost all gone.

    This is why we pay our license fee - can you imagine this programme being aired by any commercial channel reliant on advertising money from exactly the companies busy feeding us so much rubbish?

  • Comment number 82.

    Just out of curiosity, I went to the BBC Health pages and tried the interactive 'Your Health Plan' questionnaire. I wanted to see what it would say about my Low Carb diet, which has allowed me to lose more than 20 pounds in a month - by cutting out almost all sugars and drastically cutting other starchy carbs.

    I almost laughed out loud when the BBC 'Health Plan' told me this was bad, instead giving me the following advice:

    "More than half of an average meal should be starchy food, with fruit or vegetables making up another quarter. Starchy foods are healthy sources of energy and low in fat."

    I really hope that whoever put in that *useless* advice gets forced to sit and watch Jacques Peretti's excellent program... :-)

  • Comment number 83.

    Many thanks to the contributor who pointed out that we are created completely unequal. My grandparents on both sides had a very sweet tooth...both women died over 100 years old, one grandad died at 72 (brain hemorrhaeghe), the other at 82 (stroke). However, all four ate healthy low in sugar diets during their critical growing up years, lived through the privation of two World Wars, had otherwise very healthy diets anyway with plenty of exercise and intellectual stimulation, and did not oversweeten their sweets.
    I kind of agree with JeniWestCoast: I am a dual national, both Swiss and French and find a lot of people in the UK do not do sports, and drink far too much. Moreover, for some, a little bit of sports becomes an excuse for indulging in a lot of drinking afterwards. My (British) partner was gob smacked at how "little" alcohol was drunk at a party when he visited my family. He was also astonished at how exercise seemed to be a normal part of every guest's life, however, he refused to generalise from just one instance, in one circle of friends who will probably be like-minded. Going back to sugar: the amount of sugar contained in normal bread here astounds me. I have tried to find out if artisan bakers also use that much sugar, and found out that the bakers I asked got their ingredients delivered and I am not sure they know how much sugar their bread contains. So, there is a problem because we are not all able to make our own bread. Our lifestyle has changed drastically: as we live in much smaller households, the likelihood of one family member having cooking skills has diminished, plus it is not being taught anyway. Finally, I do have a sweet tooth, but it appears I a foti: fat outside, thin inside. A scan revealed I have very little internal fat, but a lot of subcutaneous one, which may be a legacy of having trained in swimming for many years, and done a lot of dancing, whereby my hips got smashed and I need replacement...too much sport is not good either. so back to sugar: I find UK sweets far too sweet. Cadbury cream eggs and other sweet goo filled chocolates are a UK speciality. I'd happily halve the sugar content of all cakes and sweets available here. People would get used to it very quickly and it'd be healthier than using aspartame etc. How do I know? I had put this theory to two of my friends. They were convinced I was wrong, and did following experiment to prove it: they halved the amount of sugar in their tea/coffee/cooking...and noticed that well, they stopped noticing after one week. I think there is a market and a health case for foods much reduced in sugar, but not resorting to sweeteners.
    Finally to sweeteners: The first time I drank artificially sweetened drinks was the first time I came to the UK, in 1972. The funny thing was, the more I drank, the thirstier I got. Artificial sweeteners are also addictive. What with all the sports I did then, feeling thirsty was very unpleasant, so I have been avoiding them ever since. For me, they are just an alternative addiction created by the industry to catch the poor souls who are not allowed sugar, when reducing or selecting sugar would actually serve said poor souls just as well in at least some of the cases.

  • Comment number 84.

    Fascinated to learn that someone is prepared to pursue true health education at the expense of exposing the greed of big business. Looking forward to the next two programmes and trusting artificial sweeteners will be hammered.

    An article in The Ecologist discusses the legal action threatened by Splenda maker Tate & Lyle. As Mercola explains, "I am forced to block all my comments regarding Splenda from the U.K. Tate & Lyle has assured me they will sue me if I do not. This is largely related to the liberal libel laws in the U.K. What is perfectly legal in the United States is not in the U.K., as freedom of speech is severely restricted over there."
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 85.

    As a Slimming World Consultant and Member i found it interesting that what was being said fitted into the Slimming World plan.
    At SW we encourage low fat low sugar meals and snacks, these are based on fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, fish and poultry, pasta, rice, potatoes etc. You can eat as much as you like of these while limiting the amount of milk, cheese, bread etc.

    It worked for me ( 3st lost ) and it works for my members, a number have lost over 3st and one has lost 7.5st since October 2011!

    Along with some moderate activity to get the pulse going, it is a lifestyle change that really works, but only if you want it to!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    The important thing to remember is there is *NO* single diet / eating plan in existence will work for *everyone*. The biggest variable is each individual's genetic makeup, which dictates how their body can process any "excess" dietary carbohydrate intake.

    I have to accept that whatever diet worked for *me* might not work for *you* (and vice-versa) - depending where we are on the 'genetic spectrum' of ability to handle excess carbs.

    For several years I tried following a diet & exercise program which was almost identical to Slimming World, but it didn't work for me. It was only when I cut out the other 'starchy' foods (pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) that the weight started falling off me.

    This is no criticism of the 'Slimming World' program - for the right type of person, it WILL work. If not, then you may be genetically predisposed to be unable to handle that level of carbs, and you will need to cut out those type of foods to start losing weight. Unfortunately it seems the majority of the population are skewed towards the wrong end of that spectrum...

    Of course cutting down on carbs means they will have to be replaced by something else - which is either protein or fat. Here we start getting into an area which runs against the current 'conventional' wisdom on what is supposed to be healthy. In my case, I've ended up losing weight by increasing proteins somewhat but fat intake by a LOT more.

    The actual mechanism for this process is explained in Gary Taubes book "Why We Get Fat". If anyone has been having difficulty in shifting excess fat while on one of the popular low-fat/high carb diets, then I would STRONGLY recommend you should read that book!

  • Comment number 87.

    Alan (85) - you were obviously not watching the same program as me. As Robert Lustig says "Low fat food would taste like cardboard unless they put sugar into it." Slimming World and especially Weight Watchers promote low-fat food for weight loss. The problem here is insulin and then hunger levels. The way I eat now has transformed over the past year because I've moved away from low-fat food. My diet is now low-carb/high fat. I'll have a 4-egg omelette for breakfast at 7am and won't feel hungry until 1pm. No drop in sugar like I used to when I had porridge. I used to be starving by 10am and crave a sweet snack back then. SW and WW don't teach you to eat REAL food. What's wrong with REAL food like beef, chicken, eggs, butter, cream, fish and milk? Food our Granny used to cook? This is my diet and I'm never hungry and I'm a Personal Trainer on my feet all day. This is not a diet...it's a lifestyle and I've never had so much energy!

  • Comment number 88.

    Fantastic programme! I'd highly recommend a book called 'Trick and Treat' by Barry Groves, which explains about the vested interests benefiting from selling us this junk. He then goes on to talk about the modern illnesses and explains how fat in our diet is absolutely essential for our bodies.

    For those above who wonder about cholesterol levels, Groves explains convincingly that cholesterol is not actually the culprit in heart disease. Our bodies produce cholesterol naturally, so reducing it in the diet is never going to work. He demonstrates that low cholesterol is associated with many other diseases. He also cautions against eating too much fruit, because of the fructose content (and actually eating alot of fruit is pretty expensive!). We start the day with bacon and eggs, not huge quantities, and I can keep going till lunchtime which i never used to be able to do.

    By the way, the recommendation to eat '5 portions per day' of fruit and veg was thought up by a group of Californian growers in the 1990s, apparently, and seems to have been adopted unhesitatingly by governments...! Groves, despite his best efforts, was unable to find any evidence supporting the claim.

  • Comment number 89.

    I had to add another comment after reading the BBC Health section. It recommends switching from saturated fat to unsaturated. The problem is that polyunsaturated fats are not really good for us in large quantities, plus you should never heat up vegetable oils as it changes the chemical structure and they become bad for you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with butter and lard - they are completely natural and can be heated safely to much higher temperatures. Plus they don't spit when frying. Keep olive oil for salad dressings and mayonnaise....

  • Comment number 90.

    As an Obesity nurse, i often harp on about sugar being the culprit much the the distaste of my managers and colleauges. Years of scaremongering about fat has only increased the epidemic and things wont change all the while those of us dealing with it are closed minded and unwilling to question!

    What a great programme and i will be encouraging my patients to watch it as we are all fuelling this by continuing to buy tons of "convenience" foods. The sugar bureau is even a sponsor of the british dietetic association and its great that programmes like this are exposing this kind of stuff!!

  • Comment number 91.

    It was heartening to see how many of the comments agree that we are not all the same, and therefore cannot all have the same diet, and that we must not go all guns blazing with each new fad, because what we need is a lifesustaining lifelong lifestyle which goes beyond food. Therefore, I am a little dubious of what looks like an attack on carbs generally by several contributors, when we know that carb loving Italians and the bread eating French have a very healthy lifestyle (but then their carbs do not include additional cornsyrup). By the way, Italians love sweets too. HIn the Uk, though some council estates don't have veg shops, while they have takeaways, so that people of low incomes whose lives can be really hard, so they may easily be attracted to comfort food, will have no other option than harmful nosh, full of bad carbs, bad cheap fat and sugar. Now, hospitals should be leading by examples...when I was operated in January, I was served nice enough food, but the only breakfast option was sweet. I said above that I have a sweet tooth. Sadly, it turned out morphin puts me off sweet food, so I had no breakfast and nurses at first, then my partner, smuggled cheese crackers and apples (the only fruit that managed to follow the law of gravity). I would go for the diabetic option next time, but that would mean the hated sweeteners.

  • Comment number 92.

    Excellent programme. Tail end of last year I read a book by a Britsh GP, John Briffa. Since then have followed what is essentially the Primal Blueprint. Have lost over a stone and felt much more active by not eating grains or any processed food.

  • Comment number 93.

    It's about time the reality of process foods was brought to justice!.. sugar in it's natural form the body can brake down but agree too much is never good. However, process frutose-glucose is not. This is in many products along with all the processed fats. In-store bakeries in large supermarkets don't display the ingredients on their so-called baked on the premises bread!.. I did ask for a list and my jaw dropped when I saw what they were putting in the products and we are consuming this! No wonder there is so many suffering with bowel and stomach problems. It's not real bread!!! So be aware...products with mono and diglycerides of fatty acids are just another name for the bad hydrogenated fats. This is even in ice cream!

  • Comment number 94.

    Since watching last week's episode and checking out ingredients in supermarket items I note that in the UK there appears to be no reference to HFCS. But many items contain among their ingredients - fructose syrup, glucose syrup and invert fructose sugar. I assume these are the same as HFCS?

    Looking forward to episode 2 tonight.

  • Comment number 95.

    half the problem is hidden sugars. the food industry is guilty of shovelling unnecessary sugar into food. take the link below. a mexican seasoning, largest ingredient dextrose which is sugar

    http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=254869130

  • Comment number 96.

    This is one of the most interesting topics. I am in a Mediterranean diet since I was born (58 years ago). I am 1.69 m. tall and weight 69 Kg. What I have special? Nothing! My opinion is the same of Jimmy's one: "opt to cook from scratch and reduce our sugar intake. " Now the next questions? How to cook from scratch in a nation where many enjoy eating out in fast food for less than £10.00? Think a moment to your alcohol intake. Think a moment how many calories there are in a pint of beer. Think for a moment how is it possible to eat an hamburger which costs £2.50 or less. I guess that you find the answer on your own. You need to learn how to cook. You need to learn how to respect your body. Least but not last. Burn the excess of calories. Use your bicycle, use your legs, and don’t take the lifts, unless your destination is above the fourth floor. It's not a rocket science what I write and I wish you could understand how your body would tell you "thank you" in its way, when you run, or when you work, or when you study.

  • Comment number 97.

    Such an irony this programme is. The previous show but one was Two Hairy (and obese?) Bikers shown scoffing endless roasts, desserts and licking every bowl used in recipe generation. Even further irony....on this web page one finds a URL to Two Greedy Italians.....

    All produced/presented by whom? Auntie. I suggest you get with Mr Peretti and the HB's and sort your schedule out....or does Auntie speak with forked tongue? I think we should be told.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    FANTASTIC....FINALLY....what we have all known for YEARS is FINALLY being given some air time. Disappointed that Atkins never got a mention though, because his whole philosophy was based on the fact that sugars (and trans fats) are FAR WORSE for us than any animal fats and yet he was ridiculed for his beliefs by the powerful sugar lobby. And now we see just how effective they have been at manipulating both politicians and the media, just to protect their own self interest, putting it above the good health of whole nations.

    Well done BBC for airing this programme, which is LONG over due.

  • Comment number 100.

    Another thing to consider with sugar/glucose rich intake is that cancer cells energy source is glucose and also research is ongoing on IGF-1, a growth factor stimulating cancer cell growth and IGF-1 increases when insulin levels increases and insulin levels increases when we eat sugar/glucose rich food. So by eating a lot of glucose/sugar we stimulate potential cancer growth. A low carb diet has other advantages than losing or maintaining weight, you can probably lower the risk of cancer or at least slow down the growth.

 

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