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?