Our obe­sity epi­demic

The Guardian Weekly - - Reply -

Ge­orge Mon­biot’s analysis of the obe­sity epi­demic (24 Au­gust) is surely on the mark about the role of sugar we now in­gest from prod­ucts mar­keted by food and drink com­pa­nies. But it can­not be cor­rect that daily kilo-calo­rie in­take and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity re­main the same as com­pared to 1976. Weight gain comes from some com­bi­na­tion of ex­cess in­take and re­duced en­ergy outgo taken over time. So­cial sta­tus, en­vi­ron­ment and failed pub­lic pol­icy are, as Mon­biot states, driv­ers of the im­bal­ance. Nor­bert Hirschhorn Lon­don, UK

• I was dis­ap­pointed that Ge­orge Mon­biot came to no con­clu­sion as to why we are be­com­ing fat­ter while eat­ing less. Could it be be­cause we now have too lit­tle fat in our diet? Low-fat yoghurts don’t make us feel full.

The sugar in ev­ery­thing we eat is too ef­fi­ciently ab­sorbed. Fat is not very ef­fi­ciently ab­sorbed by our di­ges­tion, makes us feel full and kept us slim in the past, when fat in the diet was ac­cept­able. Fifty years ago, my un­cle’s fry­ing pan would be awash with lard as he cooked his ba­con and eggs. By to­day’s stan­dard, he was far from fat. David Woodroffe Lu­ton, UK

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