This regime was first written here in the year 2000
I have had no reason to alter any of it.

In order to be clear on the latest detailed thinking on Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
please read all of this October 2009 PDF file from London Metropolitan University

Other than in exceptional circumstances it is essential to eat a BALANCED DIET

and train the digestion to deal properly with Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats
and the associated Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre.
Avoid supplements.
The rate at which energy is used by the brain and body depends not only
 on obvious exercise but on all sorts of mental and hidden physical activity.

It is also true that psychosomatic influences play a role in appetite
and a recent verfication of this widely held view has been published

Finally, bear in mind that because two or more factors are associated, to work out which is cause and which effect, if any, can be complex

26th July 2006 updates: See also where 6 years after I pointed out the painfully obvious, it is produced as NEWS! Good grief, Charlie Brown.

The PM seems to have realised we had better get a grip on reality too:
SEE ALSO THE WESTMINSTER DIET AND HEALTH FORUM    and the end of this file here for important updates


Many people who find themselves in circumstances where a variety of ready-to-eat manufactured foods, fast foods and confectionery are readily available, become overweight.

The natural condition of a healthy body is to feel hungry when food is required, and to desire those substances which are beneficial to health. The planet is populated by millions of animal species which naturally seek out and consume the correct nourishment in the correct quantity. But human beings can apparently become attracted to consuming food in quantities which are excessive and of quality that is questionable. Furthermore, quite small quantities of certain foods can cause a steady increase in weight above the optimum. Attraction to these can become an addiction, a craving for food which is inappropriate.

The result is that it is very difficult for any individual to regain control of their eating habits, let alone actually lose excess weight. Going on a weight-loss diet that is unpleasant for the individual may produce a temporary result that will be reversed when the diet ends. Eating less of what is desired but harmful is less satisfying and will not result in a correction of the syndrome. Eating more of the healthier options will not necessarily satisfy the apparent hunger, nor will it lead automatically to weight loss.

In order to get the body and mind back to a coherent mode of function, where the correct body weight is achieved naturally and the appetite reverts to its proper state so that it actively leads to a stable and healthy condition, we need to understand in simple, basic terms, exactly what has caused the malfunction, how it has happened and is sustained, how the causes can be removed and the proper condition restored.

On the next page this is explained as clearly as possible. Understanding it will help any individual setting out on a restorative regime to have a reason to stick to the right path in the early stages. Once results have started to be felt, such as feeling better every day (which may take 3 to 12 days depending on the individual), the incentive to continue will be obvious; but from there on the understanding of the method will enable the individual to take charge of their own special nutritional program.


A well known law of thermodynamics states that the energy input for a human being is always equal to the energy output. If the input exceeds the output, it will be stored in the body. An example of permanent (very long term) storage is the physical growth of bone, muscle, brain tissue etc. which takes place in early life but can also take place later in a more gradual process. An example of short and medium term storage is body-fat.

The function of short and medium term storage is to act as an available source of energy to the body and the brain, on-demand. It is the equivalent of the fuel-tank in a car, but there is an important difference. The fuel tank in a car stores fuel in the state it can be burned in the engine. This means it takes up quite a lot of space.

Our body's short term energy store is more efficient. The fat represents a more concentrated molecular form, which takes up much less room than carbohydrate. It requires a chemical conversion before use, and of course it requires transport from its current location to the place of combustion (e.g. brain or muscle tissue). But here again the system is clever. Fat can be stored in different types and in different places, so some is ready for immediate transport and use and  some can be stored right within the tissues where it is to be consumed!

Because nature always uses every attribute to the full, fat is also used as the ideal insulation to keep the body warm when it is not being heated by the use of the energy in activity. So if you cannot habitually move about to keep warm, your energy store of calories from what you eat will also serve as a protective blanket. Because females producing and nurturing offspring would stay in a cave while the male went hunting and gathering for food, the energy storage system for females in the way of body-fat has developed slightly differently, enabling them to convert caloric input more especially to insulation and, when required, breast milk.

Now that food is produced by specialist suppliers, we do not have to hunt and gather. Nor do we live in caves which we have to keep warm by chopping wood and making fires. While much of the world goes short of food through lack of organisation or the protection of a rule of law, we in the developed world who are not excluded from a social system of some sort can lay our hands on enough food to keep us going. But two dangers lie in wait for us.

Those with enough money to eat for pleasure can eat more than they need. Excess will be stored as fat but, before it can be used, more calorific input will arrive. When this happens, the energy tends to get parked in long-term storage areas and in a configuration that is not ready for quick transport and use. A classic example is the building of a 'spare tyre' round the stomach. The body gets used to this store, and the routing program, and uses it by default.

Those with a shortage of disposable cash will tend to eat what brings instant gratification, filling their appetite, for a minimum outlay - this may bring them instant energy, too, so there is a rationality to their eating. Advertising may lead them to believe it is a good idea. "A Mars a day helps you work rest and play".

This 'quick combustion' food is particularly typified by the 'refined carbohydrates' such as refined sugar and flour. A diet of refined carbohydrate supplies energy directly from the intestine to the blood stream. It is the equivalent of putting fuel into the float-chamber of the carburettor. It bypasses the energy storage system of the body. Because of this, over-reliance on a repeated snacking on sweets, biscuits and instantly pleasure-giving drinks will discourage the operation of the fat-burning process (energy retrieval from the fat store and combustion to meet energy needs). Worse still, because the instant top-ups must be at least enough to match perceived needs, they will always in reality exceed actual needs. The excess will then be stored as fat in the very reservoirs where the retrieval system has fallen into disuse!

From the above we can see that those who eat too much, and those who eat refined carbohydrates, both fall into a trap from which there is no way out without  a strategy and the right tactics. They will have become addicted to the very foods that are at the root of the trouble. They will think that nature has failed them, having given them the wrong appetite, but the truth is they have given nature the wrong task in the first place. The system has adjusted to what it believes to be the pattern of available food, as this is what comes in via the mouth!

Alcohol is not, of itself, an addiction causing substance. In fact it is the very reverse. But it has a very particular property: along with water it is the only substance that can pass directly into the blood stream from the stomach, before it even reaches the digestive tracts. This function has been important for its medicinal use and revival potential. But It is therefore an instant energy food of the first degree and as such, if not partaken either medicinally or for pleasure as part of a balanced diet, can create a dependence in exactly the same way as refined carbohydrates, only more so.

Alcohol also has certain relaxing and mild perception enhancing qualities through its action on certain receptors in the human brain which have developed to take advantage of this in human species that have evolved in those geographic regions where alcohol developed naturally as part of the food and drink storage and preservation process - a process which then enabled these people to travel relying on the provisions they carried with them.

Here again those with excess disposable income can abuse the intake of alcohol, and those with insufficient income can nevertheless become dependent on it, exactly as has been described in the case of the other instant-action foods.

The same is true of medicinal drugs which are used for pleasure by injecting or inhaling. These can become highly addictive and will replace the psycho-active chemicals which the body can produce to give the same results at a sustainable and acceptable level. These natural systems will shut down, and the individual will become dependent on the external source. Recent research has discovered that in addition cocaine actually damages the receptors it works on in the brain, making it necessary to increase the dose to achieve the same response the next time.

While the consumption of refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and nicotine can be halted without serious withdrawal symptoms, withdrawal from certain drugs - including those prescribed as a treatment to obtain stability, may not be possible unless a behavioral and dietary regime has first been completely mastered, and even then only under careful supervision.

The halting of consumption of alcohol and nicotine may be psychologically difficult unless the change to a balanced diet and the halting of consumption of refined carbohydrates is undertaken first or simultaneously. For this reason, this document will deal first, foremost and only with the restorative regime of nutritional therapy and exercise to get the individual on the road to feeling better every day. This is the incentive that will keep them going until their digestive and energy managing system has been repaired. When that is more than 50% completed they will find that their appetite has altered and their cravings for inappropriate food and drink are disappearing.

By 12 weeks they should reach a 'secure zone' and providing the consumption of alcohol, if not abandoned, has been progressively reduced and the same with smoking, now is the time when you MUST stop smoking (reasons later). However, if it is at all possible to cut out smoking and alcohol consumption early on during the restorative process it will greatly accelerate the achievement of spectacular results.

Some common foods that contain refined carbohydrates are mentioned in these pages. In addition to these, foods and drinks to be avoided are those that contain artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives apart from the classic ones in moderate amount.. Some suggestions for breakfast and main meals are also covered, but a key part of the treatment is just the avoidance of certain types of food.

Now we will get to foods that you MUST eat, as these are just as important as those you must avoid. It is these two changes in combination, plus a prescribed minimum amount of physical activity, which achieve the result. If any one of these three are not applied the programme will be severely prejudiced.

Although the daily exercise that will be recommended to start with is nothing more than walking for half an hour, it is important to start building a healthy body and above all to make sure that the heart, arteries and veinous system are not in a dangerous condition to begin with. As most people now know, certain forms of cholesterol have been identified as the cause of blocked arteries. Smoking has also been identified as health risk for some people. While smoking can be seen as an option that might well be a surprise to the lungs and circulation system of any warm blooded mammal, cholesterol comes to us in natural foods that we have eaten for millennia. So what has gone wrong?
The cause of the problem is an imbalance in our diet. Our ancestors - at least those who lived long and healthy lives - balanced their input of butter and eggs and milk with a variety of fresh vegetables that supplied them with what we now call 'plant sterols'. These substances regulate the management of cholesterol in the digestive system. They route the cholesterol we need to the places it is needed, but the other types of cholesterol that were required by the production system in the plant but not good for our internal use are routed through the intestine and out with the faeces. In this operation they play a useful role in lubricating the workings of the intestines and keeping us regular, comfortable and avoiding constipation or diarrhoea.

This year (2002) at least 2 manufacturers have put a supplement of plant sterols into one or more of their healthiest margarines - those which already contain a high proportion of polyunsaturated fat and a low reading of trans-fatty acids. This will bring our input of cholesterol and plant sterols back into balance. No need to give up eggs or cheese in moderation.  The plant sterols are also beneficial in other ways, so for this treatment at least 2 pieces daily (toasted if you like) of wholemeal bread, spread thickly with BENECOL or FLORA PROACTIVE is compulsory. Since some varieties of Benecol can be used for  cooking, but Flora Proactive only for spreading, it is sensible to use Flora for all the spreads as it is the most effective in cholesterol reduction.

The next type of food we must make sure we eat is unrefined carbohydrate. Many breakfast cereals are not helpful in this respect. Ordinary cornflakes with sugar is a disaster. Best is "Dorset High Fibre" which contains nuts and seeds (protein) and raisins and other dried fruits. There are others, but make sure they are reasonably high-fibre as this aids the slow release process which is the key to eliminating cravings for instant energy supplements like sugar.

Wholemeal Bread is essential. It replaces the harmful refined white bread and is an ideal source of nutrition. Special bread may be used by those with allergies.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain very acceptable carbohydrates, much embedded in cellulose that acts as sensible transport in the digestive system. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals which act as catalysts for advanced metabolic processes and building materials in the body.
The skins of fresh citrous fruit contain chemicals which maintain the health of the veinous system in particular, and these veins irrigate ALL our internal organs. A change in their overall condition has a powerful effect.

While vitamin and mineral supplements in the form of tablets and additives can be effective in the case of a deficiency, they are not a replacement for a balanced diet which contains natural vitamins and minerals in their natural surroundings. An excess of vitamin or mineral supplements can be very dangerous to your health and lead to kidney stones, cancer and all sorts of trouble.

If the digestion is not functioning correctly due to energy demands being met by refined carbohydrates or alcohol, vitamins and minerals will not be routed to the required addresses in the body. Mineral supplements together with an excess of vitamin C can end up in the kidneys and form stones that then block the urinary tract with fatal results unless removed. They should therefore be used with caution and moderation until a balanced diet is achieved on a regular basis.
The next class of food we need is that which contains protein, as we are not only about to remove some fat but to rebuild and improve our muscle, skin, bone, hair, gums, eyes, ears, nails and internal organs. A whole new liver is being ordered just for starters! So meat and fish and fowl and nuts are all good - but salted nuts only in great moderation. Oil-rich fish such as mackerel and sardines, rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids are highly recommended.

Finally: fats. A low-fat diet, let alone a zero fat diet, is to be avoided. Eating enough of the right kinds of fat ensures that at the very least the fat-combustion systems and processes of the body are kept active. It is these systems and processes which must trigger the retrieval-from-storage process that is essential if the excess of calorific input (from carbohydrates, proteins and fats) over temporary demand is not to result in calories being parked in an energy stores with no exit.
But bear in mind that the excess of input over immediate demand is both inevitable and necessary. We cannot operate efficiently without reserves.

The reader will remember that we started the  DIAGNOSIS with the law of thermodynamics. To force the fat combustion process to start the retrieval process from the various fat stores, the body must run out of instantly available energy from other sources. But before that ultimate situation arises, the body and the autonomic nervous system (a sort of metabolic civil service that works out of sight behind the scenes) can sense this crisis coming. The act of walking with a known destination in mind not only jogs the internal organs in a healthy way and informs the whole system that it is going to be active and require full systems management, but wakes up the most immediately appropriate retrieval systems, processes and storage sites.

In severe cases of obesity or muscular tiredness a supplement Coenzyme Q10 will assist in the full functioning of body cells in the release of energy.  L-Carnitine from Holland and Barrett will also assist in retrieval and combustion of stored fat. But do not use these to excess or after a reasonable body weight has been achieved.

Antioxidants are present in a good diet of fruit and vegetables and vitamin E comes with most Coenzyme Q10 supplements. Alpha Lipoic Acid is an effective antioxidant the works in many parts of the body.

Acid and alkaline producing foods should ideally be balanced, or at least not excessively out of balance (see later). Adequate fibre content each day is important. One and a half litres of liquid a day is a recommended minimum.  

Alcohol intake must be very moderate, at least until the effects of the regime have become have noticeable and established. The daily walk is compulsory, though it can be cut to one mile on occasions. This is regardless of any other exercise that may be taken. Get an umbrella, and when it is not raining use it for arm exercises while walking in parks, open spaces or the country. Bicycling is good.

Replace milk with a soya product - e.g. though you can use milk in tea and coffee if you must. No sugar is allowed in either of these. Honey, which has a mixture of fructose, sucrose and maltose is OK on wholemeal bread/toast for those with a sweet tooth. EAT NO BISCUITS except the very occasional 'digestive'.

APPENDIX  I  -  Example of diet            APPENDIX  II  -  A Recipe suggestion

If you follow the recommendations on these pages carefully, you will get obviously beneficial results in 4 weeks, spectacular results in 12 weeks. Because the regime is balanced and sustainable, it can be continued indefinitely. Increase the exercise time progressively on weekends. After 12 months you should be able to walk or cycle for a whole day without tiring or needing food or drink. On the other hand you will be able to enjoy three or four meals a day if you wish, be able to sleep for 5 or 9 hours as required, take a nap for 20 minutes sitting in a chair, even go without sleep for a whole night in emergencies without ill effects. Unless you are a recovered alcoholic, you will be able to drink normally at parties and social gatherings. In some cases of recovery from moderate addiction, individuals may be able to handle moderate and occasional alcoholic drinking without any need to over-indulge or to make it a regular necessity.

However, we know there are no absolute guarantees in life. I tested the above regime myself in order to give up smoking, to verify the effects before recommending it, and to make sure there were no ill effects. It may not work for you, but it worked for me, much better than I expected. Now, none of my trousers fit.

2 Years after I wrote the above, confirmation of part of the science arrives from another source
However, the chemists involved wish to manufacture and sell pills to achieve what can
be achieved by following the advice in the preceding pages. This way we will continue
on the road to hell, till the cost of the National Health Service bankrupts the nation,
antibiotics fail, and drug addiction drives more to crime. Nutritional Therapy is the
way to reduce every kind of illness, from cancer to deafness. Nevertheless the news
report below is worth reading as it does explain one important connection between
addictions of different sorts and obesity.

On February 29th, the FOOD PROGRAMME on BBC Radio 4 dealt for the first time with
NUTRITIONAL THERAPY. Details of that programme are appended here below the news of the
new pills. Which way we go depends on personal and collective decisions of great consequence.

* * *

Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 09:30 GMT    BBC Online News

One pill for obesity and smoking

Scientists are developing a pill that helps people quit smoking and slim down at the same time.

The drug, rimonabant, works by blocking the circuits in the brain that control the urge to eat and smoke.

Obesity and smoking have become two of the world's biggest killers, and are being targeted for action in the UK.

The makers, French firm Sanofi-Synthelabo, hope to market the drug next year.

" We think this might be the ideal compound for people who are overweight and smoke. "
Dr Robert Anthenelli

In one trial the drug helped people to shed an average of 9kg (20lbs) in a year.

And in a second, it was found to double the chances of smokers successfully quitting - at least in the short term.

Dr Robert Anthenelli, of the University of Cincinnati, who directed the smoking study, said: "We think this might be the ideal compound for people who are overweight and smoke."

Hunger circuits

The drug works by blocking the endocannabinoid system in the brain which regulates hunger, and probably other urges, including craving for alcohol.

The drug marijuana makes people ravenous by stimulating this circuitry.

And it is thought that over-eating and smoking can also over stimulate this system, leading people to eat and smoke still more.

Rimonabant seems able to block the body's ability to receive these signals, allowing the system to return to normal.

The obesity arm of the research focused on 1,036 overweight volunteers, who were put on a restricted calorie diet, and given either rimonabant or dummy pills.

After a year, those who got the higher of two doses of rimonabant had trimmed 7.6 centimetres (three inches) from their waistlines. Nearly half of them took off 10% of their body weight.

By comparison, those on placebos lost just 2.25 kilograms (five pounds).

Rimonabant also seemed to cut levels of potentially harmful cholesterol, while boosting levels of "good" cholesterol.

People taking the drug reported that they simply felt less hungry.

Smokers quit

Dr Jean-Pierre Despres, of Laval University in Quebec City, who led the obesity study, said: "The bottom line is we found a spectacular drop in waistlines and changes in many other risk factors that are beyond what you would ordinarily expect."

The smoking arm of the study showed 28% of smokers who took the drug shunned cigarettes for at least a month, compared to just 16% who were given dummy pills.

The people on rimonabant who quit gained little or no weight - and a third actually slimmed down.

Dr Ian Campbell, chairman of the UK National Obesity Forum, told BBC News Online that the drug "looked promising".

"It appears to have helped patients maintain significant weight loss over a 12 month period, but I look forward to even longer term results.

"However, I would stress that weight management remains a lifestyle issue. Medication must only ever be seen as an adjunct to support people who have made efforts to change their lifestyle first."

Dr Campbell said people who gave up smoking had a tendency to put on weight, and this put many people off even trying.

"A drug which could tackle both problems would represent a fantastic opportunity," he said.

Details of the trials were presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans.

On Feb 29th 04, a milestone was passed when NUTRITIONAL THERAPY became the subject of serious reporting and discussion in the BBC's Radio 4 FOOD PROGRAMME

29 February 2004
NHS Medicine Cabinet


Sheila Dillon investigates the money we could save ourselves and the NHS by replacing pills with a different diet.

Obesity alone (which shaves a decade off life expectancy and triples the risk of diabetes and heart disease) is estimated to cost the NHS two and a half billion pounds a year. Add coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke and iron deficiency and the burden to the tax payer of chronic diet-related illness is about £15 billion every year.

In this week’s Food Programme Sheila Dillon meets those taking action to reduce the burden on the NHS simply by looking more closely at the role food plays in the nation’s health.

Taking part:

Former GP Dr Brian McDonogh who now runs a private practice in Crawley, West Sussex (The Eagle Clinic)

Professor Sue Fairweather-Tait, Head of the Nutrition Division of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.

GP Dr Julia Davis and colleagues from the Bromley-by-Bow Healthy Living Centre.

Patrick Holford from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition.

Professor Andre Tylee from the Institute of Psychiatry.

Teodoro Bottiglieri, professor of pharmacology at Baylor University Medical Centre in Dallas, Texas.

Khush Mark cancer specialist working for a private practice in London.

Dr Siobhan Quinn, NHS registrar in psychiatry.

Professor Pekka Puska, Director General of Finland’s National Public Health Institute.

Melanie Johnson, Government Minister responsible for public health.

Further Information

Eagle Clinic
Gainsborough House
28-32 High Street
West Sussex
RH10 1BW
Tel: 01293 582340

Institute of Food Research
Tel: 01603 255000
Fax: 01603 507723

Bromley-by-Bow Healthy Living Centre
St. Leonards Street
E3 3BT
Tel: 020 8709 9700
Fax: 020 8880 6608

Institute of Optimum Nutrition
Press Office
13 Blades Court
Deodar Road
SW15 2NU
Tel: 020 8877 9993

Institute of Psychiatry
King’s College London
De Crespigny Park
Tel: 020 7836 5454

3500 Gaston Avenue
Dallas, TX75246
Tel:214 820 6226
Fax: 214 820 6080

National Public Health Institute, Finland
Mannerheimintie 166
FIN-00300 Helsinki
(+358 9) 47 441

Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London SW1A 2NL
Tel: 0207 210 4850
Lines are open from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday
Minicom: 0207 210 5025
Lines are open from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday


NOVEMBER 22 2005
I have warned for years that supplements of minerals are not always a good idea or even effective. The latest research confirms this for Calcium

By Graciela Flores Tue Nov 22,11:36 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Young girls who get extra calcium from food tend to gain more bone mass than those who get it from tablet supplements, but children who already receive adequate amounts of calcium in their diets do not benefit from any form of extra calcium, a research team in Finland reports.
"We conducted the study to learn how to maximize the children's peak bone mass during the rapid-growth period of puberty -- in which 60 percent of the adult bone mass accumulates -- and thus prevent osteoporosis in adulthood," Dr. Sulin Cheng from the University of Jyvskyl in Finland told Reuters Health.
For two years, Cheng and her colleagues followed a group of 195 healthy girls, ages 10 to 12, whose calcium intake was under the National Nutrition Council recommended levels (less than 900 mg a day.) They randomly assigned the children to receive 1000 mg calcium tablets, 1000 mg calcium plus 200 IU vitamin D tablets, low-fat cheese (1000 mg of calcium), or placebo tablets.
The researchers measured the effects of calcium supplementation on bone mass and body composition, and analyzed the data using traditional statistics as well as a new model that takes into account the rate of body growth.
"We found that the cheese group showed more beneficial effects in their bones than any of the other groups," said Cheng, "but when we took into account the individual growth speed, we found no beneficial effect with any of the interventions -- calcium alone, calcium plus vitamin D, or even cheese supplementation. This means that if you exceed certain levels of your dietary calcium intake, it doesn't matter how much you take; you won't get any benefits," explained Cheng.
In the Finish study, most subjects were already receiving adequate levels of calcium in their diets. Only one percent of the girls in the total screened population (more than 1000 girls) had a dietary calcium intake below 400 mg/day. "In Nordic countries, people already get enough calcium," added Cheng.
The authors believe that their study brings up a very important question for the entire medical community: how to avoid the unnecessary calcium supplementation in normally growing children. "I hope these results will make doctors and authorities think about this issue," said Cheng.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 2005.

FEBRUARY 19th 2006

Diet study confusion will not change habits-analysts

By Nichola Groom Sun Feb 19, 2:45 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - New studies indicating a low-fat diet does not reduce the risk of cancer and calcium supplements do little to prevent broken bones are unlikely to change consumers' habits and may only add to confusion about the link between diet and health.

In the last year, researchers have released a series of medical studies that fly in the face of conventional wisdom, which holds that weight loss, nutritional supplements and diets low in fat and calories help fight disease and prolong life.

But three studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association published earlier this month showed that women who ate less fat and more fruits and vegetables did not reduce their risk of cancer or heart disease. And Wednesday's New Englans Journal of Medicine found that calcium and vitamin D supplements were unlikely to prevent broken bones in women as they age.

The research comes on the heels of statistics published last year that questioned the U.S. government's assertion that obesity causes nearly as many deaths as smoking.

The studies prompted headlines suggesting consumers would take the news as carte blanche to eat as they please, but experts said that was unlikely.

"Consumers are used to the fact that there are often multiple medical studies coming out that often have conflicting findings," said Michael Allenson, a principal at food industry consulting firm Technomic. "Until they see a greater consistency ... they are likely not to make a change."

Consistency, however, appears to be a long way off as theories about diet and health are constantly changing. In the last two decades, fats and carbohydrates have alternately been praised and demonized by health experts. Most recently, fear of carbohydrates like pasta and bread led to a boom in low-carb, high-protein diets in 2004 that quickly vanished.

The headline-grabbing studies against a background of diet trends like low-carb, low-sugar and low-fat forces consumers to sift through masses of conflicting as well as confusing information and ultimately draw their own conclusions.

"The public gets information in little, fragmented pieces through the news," said Dr. Walter Willett, a nutrition professor at Harvard University's School of Public Health. "If that's really all they are getting, it is extraordinarily difficult to make some sense out of what's there."

Adding to the confusion, according to some, is that while some consumers take their long-term health into consideration when eating, those concerns are typically outweighed by a preoccupation with saving time and money.

"The real problem with health is that there is no immediate payback," said Harry Balzer, vice president with The NPD Group, which tracks consumer eating trends. "If I have low-fat milk today, what do I get? Did it save me time, did it save me money? The feedback is going to get to you 40 years from now."

In addition, Allenson said, consumers usually go on diets so they can lose weight, not so they can prevent disease.

"That's not the only reason why people go on diets or eat low-fat foods," Allenson said. "A lot of people are looking to lose weight because they do feel better about themselves."

In the meantime, while researchers duke it out over the long-term benefits of diet and exercise, experts said consumers can rest assured that the conventional wisdom about maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet is more likely to help than hurt.

"What we know about diets hasn't changed. It still makes sense to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, balance calories from other foods, and keep calories under control," said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University. "That, however, does not make front-page news."

Other in exceptional circumstances it is essential to eat a BALANCED DIET
and train the digestion to deal properly with Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats
and the associated Vitamins, Minerals and Fibre.
The rate at which energy is used by the brain and body depends not only
 on obvious exercise but on all sorts of mental and hidden physical activity.

Obesity pandemic engulfing world: experts

AFP Sunday September 3, 09:37 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Obesity has reached pandemic proportions throughout the world and is now the greatest single contributor to chronic disease, an international conference was told here.

"This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world," Australia's Monash University professor Paul Zimmet, chair of the 10th International Congress on Obesity, said on the opening day of the conference.

The spread of the problem was "led by affluent western nations, whose physical activity and dietary habits are regrettably being adopted by developing nations," Zimmet told more than 2,000 delegates.

The world now has more fat people than hungry ones, according to World Health Organisation figures, with more than a billion overweight people compared to 800 million who are undernourished.

The congress on obesity is held every four years, with the last three staged in Toronto (1994), Paris (1998) and Sao Paulo (2002).

"The conference will treat obesity as the keystone of all health priorities because it is the single greatest contributor to chronic disease throughout the world," said University of Sydney professor Ian Caterson, the event co-chair.

"There are now more overweight people in the world than undernourished and we are seeing the double burden of the extremes of malnutrition -- undernutrition and overnutrition -- in many developing countries.

"We know this is not about gluttony -- it is the interaction of heredity and environment. We know that small changes can make a big difference in peoples weight and health."

Zimmet said the problem needed urgent solutions -- not just widespread changes to diet and exercise but the rethinking of national policies on urban and social planning, agriculture policy, education, transport and other areas.

He also warned in an opening address that the growth of obesity-related diabetes, or so-called "diabesity", was set to bankrupt health budgets all over the world.

Around 370 speakers and presenters at the six-day congress will discuss a range of issues, including scientific research on how the brain regulates energy and advances in the prevention and clinical management of obesity.

The conference is being attended by academics and health professionals from Australia, Japan, the United States, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Indonesia and New Zealand.

JANUARY 7th 2007


Concern over anti-obesity drugs
Better data on the long-term effects of anti-obesity drugs is needed before more widespread use of the therapies, a Canadian study says.

Researchers said such drugs would become more important in the future to combat the growing obesity crisis.

But the University of Alberta Hospital said in the Lancet that data on drugs already in use was limited particularly over cardiovascular outcomes.

They said there should be better testing of anti-obesity therapies.

The team analysed articles published over the last six years on three drugs - hunger suppressant sibutramine, orlistat, which restricts the absorption of fat, and rimonabant, a relatively new drug being targeted at people with diabetes.

Doctors use these drugs carefully, there are no wonder cures, but in the right circumstances they can help
Jim Kennedy, of the Royal College of GPs

They said the long-term impact of the drugs was not clearly known with side effects including increased blood pressure and pulse rate for sibutramine and mood-related disorders for rimonabant reported.

The three drugs are used in the UK - where one in five adults are classed as obese - although they are restricted for clinically obese people or those at risk through conditions such as diabetes.

Doctors normally only prescribe them in tandem with exercise and dietary regimes and they are not often used for longer than a year.

But the researchers said as the obesity crisis escalates, as it is predicted to do, clinicians will have to increasingly rely on drug treatment programmes.


Lead researcher Raj Padwal said: "In light of successful weight-loss treatments and the public health implications of the obesity pandemic, the development of safe and effective drugs should be a priority."

But he said trails should show reductions in both weight loss and clinical outcomes "should be required either before these drugs are approved for widespread use or as a condition for on-going approval".

Dr Jim Kennedy, prescribing spokesman for the Royal College of GPs, said there was little known about the long-term impact of anti-obesity drugs.

But he added: "I think the use of drugs will be limited to certain situations.

"Obesity is a complex issue and there are many factors that need to be addressed, it is not just a question of handing out drugs.

"Doctors use these drugs carefully, there are no wonder cures, but in the right circumstances they can help.

"For example, if someone's diabetes is out of control or if they need to lose weight for an operation."