Ban on Junk Food Ads till 9pm: UK Experts
Moneylife Digital Team 05 December 2017
A study by the Obesity Health Alliance, which includes several Royal Medical Colleges among its membership and the University of Liverpool, analysed TV commercials shown before and during some of the most popular TV programmes on the maximum number of children watch TV. They found that a single episode of a popular programme watched by an average of 140,000 children, showed as many as of nine commercials of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products, in just 30 minutes from McDonalds, Domino’s pizza, Oreo and others. Paediatrics and child health experts have argued that junk food advertising should be banned within the family viewing hours of 6pm-9pm to combat the relentless rise in child obesity. 
 
Dietary Guidelines: Against Conventional Solution
Abunch of 26 doctors, many of them PhDs as well as MDs, led by Richard Feinman, had written a paper in 2015 in Nutritional Journal which is interesting in its approach and conclusion. It points out that the conventional recommendations of ways to improve health, and especially control diabetes, are simply not working. So, we need to open our minds to solutions that seem to be at the fringes, but actually deliver better results. The current dietary recommendations are to eat a low-fat diet to reduce obesity, cardiovascular risk, or improve general health. This does not seem to be improving health or reducing diabetes. For instance, rates of type-2 diabetes have quadrupled and obesity has nearly doubled in the US since 1980, the very year that the dietary guidelines were launched. Besides, there are persistent reports of some serious side-effects of commonly prescribed diabetic medications. On the other hand, low-carbohydrate diet in the treatment of diabetes and metabolic syndrome seems to be yielding better results without significant side-effects. 
 
“All this points to the need for a reappraisal of dietary guidelines. The benefits of carbohydrate restriction in diabetes are immediate and well documented,” write the authors. “While concerns about the efficacy and safety are long term and conjectural rather than data driven. Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss (although is still best for weight loss), and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication. It has never shown side effects comparable with those seen in many drugs.” The authors presented 12 points of evidence supporting the use of low-carbohydrate diets as the first approach to treating type-2 diabetes and as the most effective adjunct to pharmacology in type-1. “They represent the best-documented, least controversial results… The 12 points are sufficiently compelling that we feel that the burden of proof rests with those who are opposed,” conclude the authors.
 
Tactics of Infant Food Manufacturers Are Like Tobacco Companies 
The nutrition chief of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Pakistan, Melanie Galvin has likened infant formula manufacturers to tobacco companies, charging that they have been using tactics similar to tobacco firms in the developing countries, after the West tightened the screws on them. Pakistan has banned infant formula marketing and samples in all hospitals. It has also put stricter rules on manufacturers that import such products. Ms Galvin said that Pakistan’s breastfeeding rates were going down because doctors were advising mothers to bottle-feed their babies. 
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