The Men who Made us Fat.: This programme... - Cholesterol Support

Cholesterol Support

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The Men who Made us Fat.


This programme was on BBC 2 last night at 9pm and is the first in a series. You may not agree with what it said, basically it is sugar not fat that is making us fat and obese, but it is a fascinating insight into the social history of food, particularly fructose corn syrup.

It also highlighted the power of food companies and the way our eating habits have changed.

13 Replies

Thank you for the reminder, I was able to watch it on catch-up.

I thought it was a bit 'black and white', not much debate, but then I suppose time is money.

I will be interested to watch how the series develops.

Haven't watched it but am delighted the message about the sugar/fat controversy is getting out there: I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments.

I didn't watch the programme but if you think back 50/60 years when men often took bread and dripping sandwiches for there bait it does make you wonder about sugar. Many of us curl our noses up at fat on met but not any years ago nothing was wasted from a piece of meat which mean every oz of fat was eaten. I must make a point of watching the next programme - I did not have a TV book this week and missed all sorts apart from the tennis.

Concerned in reply to 2squirrels

Bearing in mind that, although the programme focussed mainly on the increase in high fructose corn syrup, all digestible carbohydrates are turned to blood glucose, which would include a high proportion of bread.

Years ago people ate a lot of bread but they worked longer hours and got much more fresh air. Over all a much healthier lifestyle plus bread was homed made so no preservatives. When I was at school we had an olympic size sports ground plus large gymnasium and PE was an important part of our school life. We had multi school games, multi town games and multi county - I enjoyed seeing what they did in Manchester but it did not look unusual to me. They are now starting to talk about more sport in schools when they have sold off playing fields to building companies.

DakCB-UK in reply to 2squirrels

Never mind home-made bread having no preservatives, there are tons of other differences. Look up "Chorleywood Bread Process" for the full horrors: lower protein, higher fat, mechanical working... Calling that packet pap bread shouldn't be allowed!

Also we walked everywhere. Hardly anyone I knew had a car. The Dr and the Bank Manager!! Although there were busses and trolley busses you had to walk to busstops to get them!! I had to walk 1 mile to my busstop because I lived in a large wooded area in Northumberland without even a road. I had to walk through the woods to get to the busstop to get to school every day!!

My Dad worked on the land. He had a fried breakfast every morning, two rounds of sandwiches, cheese or ham, two boiled eggs and a slice of my Mum's fruit cake, and a billy can of sweet tea, (colour orange!), then home for a good home cooked meal, all made from scratch, and later before bed toast, and a pint cup of full fat milk cocoa. He weighed 8stone 7lbs and never wavered until he died aged 87 of cancer.

My Mum on the other hand was overweight, ate more carbohydrate than Dad and always made sure he had the protein (meat, eggs and fish) she and us (my sister and me) always had to do with more bread with our meals if there wasn't enough protein to go round. Dad was the worker in the family hence he got the lion's share.

Corn syrup apparently came out of Japan after the war. It was cheap to produce and enabled them to export to USA and Europe to help their post war recovery.

Also, it helped to boost the meagre food rations of Europe and helped to keep imports of foodstuffs from the USA down. By stretching the supply of fruit the fructose percentage in jams, cakes and biscuits gradually increased. If you were to make the jams, cakes and biscuits we buy today using "proper" sugar instead of the chemical induced stuff the recipe wouldn't work and the result would be a disaster. We will just have to go back to cooking the way our grandparents did and eat food that is fresh, and use unrefined sugars in any recipes that call for sugar. That way we won't be tempted to eat too much of the stuff that is "bad" for us. (Oh and did you know that corn syrup is addictive. That's why one biscuit is never enough!!)

2squirrels in reply to patch14

I know I didn't say a lot but I was trying to say we live in a different world where very little food is natural and the amount of work we do is more mentally draining but even the supposed hard we do we hae all the tools to make it easy. Compared to nowadays your father was probably doing the life of 3. I think it is Tescos advert which says you shop, we drop but for your father he was the one who could drop. My parents worked extremely hard and do't think any of us appreciate what we have to help us. I don't buy any food without reading the ingredients but in some cases we have no choice. For meat I still use a butcher who as been the same family since the 1800s and if we want beefburgers I buy the minced steak and make my own but it is expesive and means you have to cut down on other things unless you have a good pension which we don't. I also still knot and sew and do lots of crafts for presents, clothes and soft furnishings and I would love a £1 for every time "how can you be bothered" has been said to me. Mending is boring but necessary and the rest I enjoy as well as growing fruit and veg. I also think everything is too sterile today - my grandma was spotless but when you were out she often commented you have to eat a bit of muck before you die even though she had the big old range and washed and cooked every day. Modern food, laziness and a completely different way of life are to blame for a lot of the fatness but there are us who are on a type of medication which causes tremendous weight gain and is impossible to fight.

Yes and frustose corn syrup made a lot of farmers very rich! Looking forward to watching next week's programme.

The affects of medication is something that I believe the medical profession don't seem to look too deeply into. Someone has a disease, they have the cure. Take this pill and if there is a side effect, weight gain, pain, rashes etc., we have a pill for the side effect!!

A friend of mine has just finished treatment for leukemia. She has lost five inches in height, has horrendous pain in her spine because of this but has had to employ privately a physiotherapist because she has been told that she can only control the pain with strong painkillers. The steriods she also took at the beginning of her treatment swelled her belly to such a size that she felt permanently 9 months pregnant. This put more of a strain on her back. The physio is helping enormously and thinks that she should have been given this option at the start of her problems instead of just being told "you have pain have a pill".

Last night's programme was about portion size. It was frightening to see the difference in the size of a soft drink from the first McDonalds to now . A lot of it was to do with profit.

Did feel nostalgic for the Wimpy Bar though.

I watched last nights programme as well, and found it really interesting how the 'food industry' justified their actions........Its up to Parents.....We only give a choice....etc.

If you think back you used to be able to get S M or L drink sizes, now they only do the states and in some places over here, you also get the 'never ending' drink!!

I did find it incredible that people actually buy the supersize (50 spoonfulls of sugar) drink as part of their snack.

Whilst parents should take some responsibility, if the choice wasn't there in the first place, it would help.

Excellent series so far.

Mind you, it was a good match.

However, I do not want to miss the programme when it comes on again. Could somebody post the date when they spot it.

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