Eat or drink?

Sainsbury’s has struck a deal between family doctors and Roche under which overweight patients will be offered tours of selected stores with advice from nutrition experts.

‘Fat families’ are to be prescribed a visit to their local Sainsbury’s by GPs, where they will be taken by the hand and shown healthy foods.  This is a great example of joint working.

However, I do wonder whether this will suit the ‘fat families’ pockets if recent reports linking obesity to the recession are to be believed?

According to the Guardian –  ‘Austerity Britain’ is experiencing a nutritional recession, with rising food prices and shrinking incomes driving up consumption of fatty foods, reducing the amount of fruit and vegetables we buy, and ‘condemning people on the lowest incomes to an increasingly unhealthy diet’.

Why therefore is it not the same in France and Spain whose economic climate is significantly worse that the UK’s?

Britain is officially now the fattest nation in Western Europe, with more than a quarter of the population ranked as obese.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports today that obesity rates are rising rapidly across Europe but the UK rate of 26.1 per cent is more than twice that in France, at 12.9 per cent.

Around one in every 11 deaths in the UK is now linked to carrying excess fat – 50 per cent more than the rate in France.

The French do not eat less saturated fat than the British and have similar cholesterol levels. It has been suggested that they are protected from heart attacks by drinking alcohol, particularly red wine.

These are very confusing messages for the consumer – particularly during National Alcohol Week launched by Alcohol Concern this week.

This link between obesity and the recession is probably true but also confusing.  Aren’t we all just eating comfort food to make ourselves feel better?  The more direct might say it is basic greed?

Experts also warned that the number of fatalities due to obesity may soon, for the first time, exceed those caused by smoking.  Given they stopped smoking in restaurants, perhaps they should stop us eating there too…

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