A lethally sweet relationship

Last night we watched the final parts of The Wire, an American crime drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland

It was quite plain by the end of it that the “powers that be” were all taking handouts and the drug crime was just going to go on and on after a seemingly big police bust…

The BIG relevant element there is the “powers that be” and their greed and the huge handouts taken for “looking the other way”….

Today we read an article about the politicians and the food giants who refuse to cut sugar levels, thereby causing countless deaths. Just looking the other way, as it were….

The general food ignorance shown by Joe Public is playing right into the hands of all these “powers that be” and they don’t care a fig because they are getting the huge payouts and sponsorship deals for their research and other work by…..you guessed it – the food giants.

The very fact that the 2012 Olympics were sponsored by Coca Cola and McDonalds must say something about the crass attitude that the government holds for the health of this country.

Olympic Sponsorship - photo by Daily Mail
The London Olympic Games, the biggest celebration of fitness and health in this country for decades, was sponsored by Coca-Cola and McDonald’s

Take a look at this excellent article by a doctor.

A Lethally Sweet Relationship

An excoriating attack by a cardiologist on the cosy links between politicians and the food giants, whose refusal to cut sugar levels is causing countless deaths

  • World Health Organisation recommended cutting our sugar intake by half
  • Government’s Chief Medical Officer has proposed a sugar tax
  • Cardiologists have claimed that sugar is the real killer when it comes to heart disease and diabetes
  • Closeness of links between Government ministers and food manufacturers has been widely blamed for a compulsory food traffic-light system

By Dr Aseem Malhotra

PUBLISHED: 00:36, 7 March 2014 | UPDATED: 00:41, 7 March 2014

On paper, you would think it had been a good week for those with serious concerns about the amounts of sugar that so many of us are consuming.

On Wednesday, for instance, no less an authority than the UN’s World Health Organisation came out with the firm recommendation that we should all be aiming to cut our sugar intake by half and that children should not be given fizzy drinks at all.

That came just one day after Dame Sally Davies, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, proposed that a sugar tax needed to be introduced if we wanted to cut sugar intake and reduce obesity.

And it came on the same day that an eminent New York cardiovascular research scientist warned that the long-running demonisation of fats, and saturated fats in particular, could be entirely misplaced.

The real killer, according to Dr James DaNicolantio, particularly when it comes to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes — those two scourges of the modern age — is sugar.

After these three dramatic interventions, surely it is game, set and match for those of us who would like to see sugar consumption seriously reduced? Well, as a cardiologist and science director of the campaigning health group, Action On Sugar, I can tell you that we’re certainly not dancing in the streets just yet.

For despite the mounting evidence of the damage to health done by sugar — evidence that many working in the field would now describe as overwhelming — this was the response from the Prime Minister’s official spokesman on Wednesday: ‘What we are doing is working with the industry. You have already seen commitments from retailers and food manufacturers to reduce levels of salt, to remove some artificial fats, to reduce calorie content and improve labelling.’

It’s the first sentence — ‘what we are doing is working with the industry’ — that gives the game away because it’s absolutely true.

The links between Government ministers and food manufacturers, and indeed between scientists who are supposed to advise the Government and the food manufacturers, are nothing short of astonishing. For these are the same food manufacturers who have been adding extra sugar to processed foods, confectionery and fizzy drinks for decades.

It is the closeness of those links that are widely blamed for a compulsory food traffic-light system — an idea once enthusiastically championed by the Food Standards Agency and designed to give shoppers an idea of the nutritional value (or not) of the item they were about to buy — quietly dying a death soon after the Coalition came to power.

But then what do we expect when the London Olympic Games, the biggest celebration of fitness and health in this country for decades, was sponsored by Coca-Cola and McDonald’s?

And what do we expect when, as this newspaper revealed only last month, fast-food companies, supermarkets and restaurant chains have had dozens of meetings with ministers since the last election?

Nando’s, Tesco, Pepsi, Mars and, almost inevitably, the ubiquitous McDonald’s are among those who have had the chance to bend the ministerial ear since 2010.

Government ministers hate their close links to the food industry being exposed by the media. But these links exist and are one reason, I believe, for the Government’s lax approach.

Too often, when a minister pronounces on dietary matters, I wonder whether he is just saying what his chums in the food industry have told him to say. Meanwhile, rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer — all conditions with increasingly strong links to sugar intake — continue to rise.

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