Aseem Malhotra in, err, The Times?

It may be hard to believe but poor diet now contributes to more disease and death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol combined, according to The Lancet. We have been guzzling sugar, refined carbohydrates and industrial vegetable oils as never before, with devastating consequences for public health. The combined costs of type 2 diabetes and obesity to the NHS and UK economy exceed £20 billion.

The good news, though, is that relatively simple changes in diet can rapidly reduce your risk of disease. As I tell my heart patients, adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is a more powerful life-saving tool than aspirin, statins or even heart stents.

It’s time to wind back the harms of too much medicine and prescribe a little more food. Four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, a handful of nuts, lots of vegetables and quitting sugar are just some of the daily prescriptions of a documentary film I’ve just made. The Big Fat Fix shows how simple lifestyle changes can have a dramatic impact.

The Thunderer as an advertisement for a whacky diet guru?

22 thoughts on “Aseem Malhotra in, err, The Times?”

  1. The Meissen Bison

    Vegetables appear to be good while industrial vegetables seem to be harmful.

    Anyone know how you tell them apart?

    As for expecting anything much from The Times, those days are gone. The only decent paper now is The Sun.

  2. The Times featured none other than our Ritchie not so long ago, so there’s clearly no quality control. (Link for subscribers; he gets a right bollocking in the comments.)

  3. “It may be hard to believe but poor diet now contributes to more disease and death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol combined”

    Let me guess – “poor diet” also includes poor bastards who can’t get enough to eat, thus dishonestly conflating the two into a number they can use to beat people with?

  4. It’s just sugar. It always has been sugar and it always will be sugar. I’ve been banging on about this since I was 12, so 21 years and counting. All the other stuff is irrelevant (in an orders of magnitude sense).

  5. “We have been guzzling sugar, refined carbohydrates and industrial vegetable oils as never before”: that’s because of decades of government instructions to shun animal fats.

    Ancel Keys, his doctrine amplified by Western governments, has probably shortened more lives than Mao did.

  6. So if alcohol isn’t part of diet, how are people dying of it? Hand wipes and brewery drays?

    And I share TMB’s difficulty in differentiating ‘industrial’ vegetable oil; maybe the bottle comes in its own little set of overalls?

  7. I agree sugar is hardly good for you but, almost everything we do is bad for us.

    I would contend that lack of physcial activity is the most deadly and the easiest resolved of them all.

    And the mediterranean diet – pah. Ha she ever been to the mediterranean? spaghetti, meat, freid stuff, bread, lashings of wine. I love it because I am a fat (although reasonably active) bastard but what people really eat is a lot different from what dickheads like him think it should be. Or perhaps was when people were forced to grow their own and couldn’t afford to buy sugar? A state these fuckers are trying to re-create.

  8. everything we eat can prevent cancer – true
    everything we eat can cause cancer – true

    now go preach as per your prior biases

  9. The other day they had a story about butter being bad for you quoting someone who had previously said it was good for you. Or the other way round.

    Diet stories in newspapers really are just stuff to wrap around the adverts.

  10. “It’s them Puritans again.”

    Eccentric, yes; puritanical, no. And the Mediterranean diet is hardly puritan.

  11. John Price

    No, the only useful purpose of a diet article in a newspaper is to wrap up fish and chips.

    Oh wait, the cvnts don’t even allow that any more.

  12. Why doesn’t someone just ask the Muphatollah? Surely he knows what food is good and bad for us?

  13. “Four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil daily, a handful of nuts, lots of vegetables and ….” and no fruit, no Vitamin C, no Vitamin D, very little protein
    So his patients will die of scurvy instead of a heart attack!
    How can anyone drink four tablespoonfuls of olive oil a day?
    Olive oil has more saturated fat than polyunsaturated, no Vitamin A, B, C, or D.
    So “whacky diet guru” is right.

  14. Wow, a lot of skepticism, and maybe some cynicism, masquerading as knowledge here. Rather than blindly knocking what is being written, a portion of which possibly has some merit, how about looking into the current state of the relevant research and maybe shutting the f**k up until you have.

    Industrial vegetable oils are oils that are obtained from vegetables via industrial processes, often including heating, ‘cleansing’ and ‘purifying’ steps, rather than simple mechanical processes such as pressing. It is certainly possible, though it may not be proven, that the industrial processes concerned in the production of these oils imbue the oils with properties that are not entirely conducive to good health.

    And no, I am not an acolyte, fan, follower or co-conspirator with Aseem Malhotra. Indeed, I have only ever seen his name mentioned on this blog and on that of Christopher Snowden and have read none of his own output.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I had quinoa pilaf and pan-grilled chicken marinaded in lime juice for dinner, not because I am a food faddist but because it’s fucking delicious. This is the same selection criterion I use in choosing the other foodstuffs I consume.

  16. Isn’t mechanical pressing also ‘industrial’?

    Surely the only natural and good oil is that produced by peasants happily forced to press it by stepping on it all day, while we all sit in cafes extolling the virtues of the simple life?

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