Tackling obesity

fat vs carbs argument

It seems important to discuss further considering many face those choices every meal? It’s made more complicated if one has various medical conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, cholesterol concerns, weight issues etc etc.

Is the following a reliable assessment?

There is an alternate view point on the origins and purpose of the food pyramid most living in Australia would be familiar with:

Nutrition Australia first introduced the Healthy Eating Pyramid in 1980, based on a ‘more to less’ concept developed in Sweden in the 1970s. It was designed as a simple, conceptual model for people to use as an introduction to adequate nutrition.Since then the Pyramid has continued to evolve, always with the same aim: to encourage Australians to eat a varied and balanced diet in line with current dietary guidelines.

Nutrition Australia

Governance | Nutrition Australia

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As a child of 80s media, I’m more used to the US Food Pyramid than I am to the Australian version. I would hope that ours is science-based, rather than lobbyist-based.

I do not have the medical background needed to competently weigh in on fats vs carbs in a healthy diet. I am commenting purely on what I personally prefer in my own diet, & how it relates to my own health needs. I have no desire to tell other people what they should eat, or how they should eat.

Neither PEKAY or I are claiming that fat on meat doesn’t contribute to obesity. As I said earlier, eating anything does contribute to obesity.

Rather we are saying that eating the same number of calories as fat, rather than as carbohydrates, will contribute somewhat less to obesity due to the differences in their digestive processes. Further to this, I am saying that if you eat slowly enough to respond to the feeling of fullness that only fat gives, you will have an opportunity to reduce your calorie intake without feeling hungry.

You have not done so they have.

Understood. I’ve edited and removed the quote link in the opening of my reply. The intent of the reply is to show Australia made its own choices and derived the food pyramid from a Swedish concept. Possible the USA borrowed the same and aligned it accordingly. I’ve not seen any evidence the USA version was the result of lobbying by food producers. It’s really not a question we need to answer when we should look to what our Australian expertise is saying.

We’ve one in our family NDSS registered. It’s been and still is an ongoing learning curve. The need to monitor and manage carbs (noting sugar is a carb as well as processed grain products). The correlation to being significantly overweight is a common additional health need. The NDSS does a good job of providing balanced advice and support.

A healthy diet is advantageous in managing or reducing the likelihood of many different conditions. What’s good for dietary needs for weight management is generally good (with variations to suit informed medical advice) for all.

The online world of Google search is less reliable. Notable IMO for offering a different vision which seems to readily deliver advice supporting all preferences. Genuine medical value often far from sustainable.

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On rereading the whole thread, I agree that is what PEKAY says in the first line of their first response.
Based on their further comments, I suspect that they would agree that line was somewhat simplistically worded.

Regardless, I’m not PEKAY, so I’ll leave it at that.


Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Mark.
WRT to political influences on the American Food Pyramid, this paper may be of interest:

As you rightly point out, the Australian view of it is different, thankfully. I can only speak to my own personal experience as a school kid, which dates back to the 70s, when we slavishly followed trends from the USA & the UK. I have no idea what it’s like today.

While the data on Wikipedia can be challenged being what it is and how it gets added, and assuming overall diet has some relationship to weight (as does exercise), and allowing for inexact samples from each, we men may have little to be proud of, especially assuming we are at least similar to the English re general daily exertion/exercise, although women appear to be doing a bit better.

Here is a summary from the Federal health department. It is fairly straightforward and covers the same main points that you will find in equivalent State publications. Similarly, here are the Australian dietary guidelines.

These publications emphasise a balanced diet but also mentions exercise and avoiding fad diets. All that looks pretty uncontroversial to me. Of course how it is interpreted at the grass roots is another matter but from the the information available to me the same general message flows through. I know somebody who is a “Healthy Harold” teacher and they talk about the same stuff, although they go into avoiding drugs as well which is somewhat different topic.

My main concern with industry lobbying is to do with processed foods and food labelling. This has been treated at some length in other threads but it fairly clear to me that, for example, the health stars program was nobbled by industry in the last review. Choice has advocated in that area for years.

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This is one topic which is fraught with anger, frustration and misinformation. Something you don’t raise at a party…

A healthy diet isn’t that complex or expensive. Avoid processed foods, increase vegetable and fruit consumption, reduce fats & oils to small amounts of healthy ones; include protein, carbs and dairy (or calcium alternatives).

The CSIRO have been researching this for decades and have a lot of data from real people. They also have data from their Total Wellbeing Diet which is designed to encourage following a healthy diet (and exercise) and thus weight loss.

It is a hard concept to get through to people as their eyes glaze over and they say things like “we’re all different” “they’re only guessing” etc. Processed foods are heavily marketed to people and they can’t see how they can do without them. Some “healthy” foods are unnecessary and over priced. Think “super foods” that are only fads. So they look at a loaf of bread for $1.50 vs a Gluten Free, Organic, free-range loaf at $7.50 and say “I can’t afford healthy”.

Obesity is complex. Children who are obese become obese adults. It is difficult to lose (and keep off) weight that you have gained. Don’t get me started on the “fad” diets and their money making schemes. We have family that are constantly on one fad or another and are still over weight and suffering from more health issues than when they started.