U.K food makers told to cut calories by 20%

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  • thegeordielass
    thegeordielass Posts: 208 Member
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    How do you do a "big shop" when you have to lug all that food home over two or three bus transfers and and a quarter mile walk at the last stop to home?

    You do what I did when I was at university - use a rucksack of some sort. Or there's the option of the wheely trolley/bag things that stereotypically old people use. I see plenty of people on busses around here using both options. Or like others have mentioned, home delivery here is pretty cheap.
  • pogiguy05
    pogiguy05 Posts: 1,583 Member
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    Who sits down and does studies and comes up with this idea? Remember when you use to pay like .25 and get this huge candy bar. However now that size no longer exists cause the shrink the size and raise the price.

    Your just gonna make them make things even smaller. I understand the idea seems great, but the problem is people even myself would not care and eat a whole lot more then a serving anyways.

    Simple if 100 grams is a serving you simply say 80 grams is a serving and let the consumer decide.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/06/food-makers-told-to-cut-calories-by-20-by-2024

    I think it would serve better if people were educated in portion sizes and learn to know calories in foods in general and how much their bodies need to maintain their weight. Also if portion sizes in restaurants/cafes were kept more realistic too - people in general don't seem to know what a normal portion size should be.

    IMO knowledge of the amount of calories leads to overall better choices (its the reason I have been maintaining an almost 30lbs weight loss for 5 years).

    I appreciate that you're reflecting a media article on the subject, rather than elaborating on the reality, but this is a single installment of a public health programs that's been going on over the last two parliaments.

    PHE have been running an educational agenda, with a combination of calorie control, did choice and exercise, for about five or six years.
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,208 Member
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    jbrown2339 wrote: »
    Ahh yes, since we see obesity only affects the poor! What a ridiculous thing to say, as if poor people by nature are too lazy to cook healthy or too stupid to know better.

    Well, all humans are lazy and do stupid things. But it seems you misunderstood my point. I explained it further in a follow-up post: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/comment/41566693/#Comment_41566693

    And just to clarify, i subscribe to the view that obesity is from a calorie surplus, not from eating foods perceived as unhealthy.
  • Fizzypopization
    Fizzypopization Posts: 29 Member
    edited March 2018
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    I get that bit. :) The only stuff I buy monthly is annoyingly bulky but light stuff such as toilet roll/cleaning products.
    I was just responding to the trying to get things home with several bus changes etc. That bit is completely possible.
    l
    Grocery home delivery here is not "pretty cheap." And the cheapest options that are available are only that cheap because it's an app-based service (like Uber for groceries) that totally exploits the workers, so to get the cheap delivery, you have to be OK with not adequately tipping someone who isn't even getting paid enough to cover the gas they're using to deliver the food to you.

    Home delivery here is done via the supermarket websites/apps and having had a sister who worked in the home shopping department for 3 years, I can assure you that everyone is paid the living wage (if that's enough or not is an entirely different subject). The groceries are delivered in the home delivery vans which are owned and run by the supermarkets. Nobody needs to pay for any petrol or get tips themselves (I don't think I ever heard my sister say anyone ever got a tip - not really a thing here and as there's a minimum living wage all employers have to pay, not needed like I gather it is for waitressing in the US). Things must be very different in other countries.

    This isn't true in the USA tho which you keep failing to understand. This is why you have to stop generalizing that your reality can measure against anothers. That's what people do when they assume everyone can eat healthy or that its easy for them to do so. Actually, a poster child for the exact opposite of your beliefs.
  • SteamPug
    SteamPug Posts: 262 Member
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    M
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    SteamPug wrote: »
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    In the US, most low-income people can eat reasonably healthy if they truly desire it. Lots of websites explain how. But poor people often opt for "junk" food because it's tastier and easier. It requires self-discipline to choose foods that are less tasty and take longer to prepare. It also requires discipline to exercise. Incidentally, increasing one's income and saving money require discipline.
    Please tell me you’re not reasoning that people are poor because they lack the self discipline to save money.

    I'm saying that earning more and spending less requires self discipline, just like reducing one's weight & exercising does, so it's not surprising that obesity is correlated with both poverty and sedentariness in the US (source).

    Of course, there are exceptions to the trend.. but they don't disprove that the trend exists.
    Just because you can see a statistical trend between two sets of data doesn’t mean there’s a cause and effect relationship between them. Your logic would also suggest that ice cream causes drowning, because incidents of drowning rise at the same time as an increase in ice cream sales.

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    I get that bit. :) The only stuff I buy monthly is annoyingly bulky but light stuff such as toilet roll/cleaning products.
    I was just responding to the trying to get things home with several bus changes etc. That bit is completely possible.
    l
    Grocery home delivery here is not "pretty cheap." And the cheapest options that are available are only that cheap because it's an app-based service (like Uber for groceries) that totally exploits the workers, so to get the cheap delivery, you have to be OK with not adequately tipping someone who isn't even getting paid enough to cover the gas they're using to deliver the food to you.

    Home delivery here is done via the supermarket websites/apps and having had a sister who worked in the home shopping department for 3 years, I can assure you that everyone is paid the living wage (if that's enough or not is an entirely different subject). The groceries are delivered in the home delivery vans which are owned and run by the supermarkets. Nobody needs to pay for any petrol or get tips themselves (I don't think I ever heard my sister say anyone ever got a tip - not really a thing here and as there's a minimum living wage all employers have to pay, not needed like I gather it is for waitressing in the US). Things must be very different in other countries.

    This isn't true in the USA tho which you keep failing to understand.

    Given that the original post alluded to an initiative by Public Health England, I'd suggest it might be more meaningful to consider the challenges in the UK...

    Home delivery costs for groceries varies quite a bit in the US. So far, the costs quoted for the UK have not been uniformly low, although we have one example of low costs. Also, here, it's cheaper if you get a minimum amount or sign up for a program that make costs higher upfront, and we have some confirmation that's also true in the UK.

    Unless someone wants to quote a source showing that there's uniformly cheap grocery delivery everywhere in the UK, I'm not convinced we have enough information to conclude that that's the case (let alone a basis for the judgment going on upthread).

    I will also note that the judgy-ness in question was NOT seeming to limit it to poor people in the UK, so pointing out that poor people in other places face issues is responsive.

    But sure, I'd love to see you address the comments in question from a UK perspective if you think we Americans should have nothing to say. I will quote them in my next post. (I will also note that in that this is one option for addressing obesity, a problem for many countries, analyzing a program one country is trying is relevant, especially since such programs sometimes get adopted elsewhere.)
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    And here are the comments we were saying were not true for all.
    fr33sia12 wrote: »
    You can tell people till you're blue in the face about obesity dangers some will listen some won't. Some people want to educate themselves and their children and some don't. In this day & age most people have the tools to know or find out about calories, nutrition etc but don't bother. You can't force people to eat healthy or eat a certain amount, in the end it all comes down to choice. Just like people smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol knowing the dangers. Teach kids in schools etc then let them make their own choices. Sadly most will choose not to worry about it till it's too late.
    fr33sia12 wrote: »
    The_Ta wrote: »
    To the Gwyneth Paltrow’s of the group...

    Low-income individuals often do not access to fresh foods. Grocery stores may not be in the area, so they eat what is available in the convenience stores or cheap restaurants. They may not have a car, or public transportation makes getting around difficult. Then you have those that work long hours, spend even more time getting too and from work that quick food is really the only option.

    Poverty is much more complicated than being lazy.

    You can get an online food delivery for £1 which is less than the bus fare to go to a supermarket, so location shouldn't be a problem. Doing one big shop a month you could stock up on frozen or tinned fruit and veg, food cupboard essentials like rice, pasta, beans etc A lot of people just don't want to put the effort into it.

    I assumed the argument here was that the public initiative was pointless and should not be done, that getting companies to address products is irrelevant since people just make their choices and make bad ones in many cases and so doing more was hopeless.

    Perhaps I misinterpreted.

    Anyway, if you think only UK people should respond, MeanderingMammal, I will be quiet and leave it to you all.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    But sure, I'd love to see you address the comments in question from a UK perspective if you think we Americans should have nothing to say.

    I would observe that those outside the US are well used to being dismissed from debates in many forums, however, that was not my intent. I appreciate that I've stepped in between two respondents being obnoxious to one another. I'd also observe that those two appear to be talking about different things.

    I'd note that the comparison of food/ grocery delivery pricing in the US and the UK, in the context of contribution to cost of living and public health, is broadly irrelevant. I was going to address those points more directly when I was on something easier to type on than my mobile phone.

    Our geographic challenges around supply chain are very different, our employment legislation is very different, and our health industry is very different
    ...analyzing a program one country is trying is relevant...

    I would agree. Pity nobody is analysing it, merely recycling the same judgemental material about the feckless poor that we see repeated in many threads.

    Obesity is not something restricted to the poor (whatever we happen to mean by that), so the initiative in question isn't targeted there. PHE does have initiatives focused on low income and areas of extreme poverty, sometimes delivered under their own branding, sometimes presented under other services as part of a coherent approach.

    I can elaborate, in direct response to some of the observations in thread.

    It's unfortunate you've read something into my statement that wasn't intended, I will acknowledge it was a little blunt in response to what I saw as more US-centrism.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    But sure, I'd love to see you address the comments in question from a UK perspective if you think we Americans should have nothing to say.

    I'd note that the comparison of food/ grocery delivery pricing in the US and the UK, in the context of contribution to cost of living and public health, is broadly irrelevant.

    This, I agree with. (Although I so far have no reason to think it's as different as claimed.)

    I also think the cost of food delivery in the UK more generally is irrelevant to the topic at hand, and I note it was not US participants who raised that topic, some merely responded to comments that were made in connection with those statements. I don't think you can blame US participants for that.
    ...analyzing a program one country is trying is relevant...

    I would agree. Pity nobody is analysing it, merely recycling the same judgemental material about the feckless poor that we see repeated in many threads.[/quote]

    I tried to turn the conversation back to that upthread, as well as noting that it was part of a broader plan (which you subsequently noted also). Here's what I said (feel free to discount it because American, obviously):
    The article suggests that this is a continuation of prior efforts to convince manufacturers to lower sodium and sugar in products. So that means it specifically is not about sugar:

    "The new strategy outlines 13 food categories, including savoury biscuits, cooking sauces, sandwiches, ready meals and potato products such as crisps and chips. However, foods in the agency’s separate plan to cut the sugar content of products such as chocolate, cakes and breakfast cereals by 20% are not included."

    Also:

    "Tedstone said food producers have a number of options for meeting the target, including reformulating products, promoting healthy options and reducing portion sizes."

    It seems like reducing size (which might address portion distortion) is the most likely option, but I dunno.

    It also seems unclear how it's being enforced, the current effort seems to be public pressure/encouragement with threat of something more:

    "'She said PHE would produce guidance for specific categories of products by 2019 for the whole food industry to follow, and report regularly on what steps are being taken by major companies.

    'PHE will advise government if progress isn’t being made,' said Tedstone, noting that the government might invoke “other levers” in that case. Selbie added: 'There will be complete transparency and published progress or not, by category, by company, by products.'"

    I realize that was not much of an analysis, it was more to try to focus on the topic.

    If you have elaboration on what was reported, I'd love to discuss (or just read others discussing, given my nationality and all). Do you think the prior efforts have worked? I've read some mixed reports. Also do you have a sense of what the specific methodology would be to make companies comply?

    I am not opposed to the idea that smaller serving sizes would cut back on calories consumed, personally, although I don't have a strong opinion about it.

    (cont., because this is long)
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    ]Obesity is not something restricted to the poor (whatever we happen to mean by that), so the initiative in question isn't targeted there. PHE does have initiatives focused on low income and areas of extreme poverty, sometimes delivered under their own branding, sometimes presented under other services as part of a coherent approach.

    Again, the point about obesity NOT being an issue about the poor is also something I said above:
    Also, it's hardly like the obesity problem is limited to those of lower income.

    What I saw (and why I got touchy, perhaps) was that a UK poster had reacted as if the topic was about poor people, US posters (among others) objected to that and said that the poster was being unfair to poor people (or something like that), and then you jumped in to tell the US posters that we didn't understand anything (when the poor people conversation was off topic -- not because of US posters -- and not specific to the UK).
    It's unfortunate you've read something into my statement that wasn't intended, I will acknowledge it was a little blunt in response to what I saw as more US-centrism.

    I think you were reading that US-centrism in, personally, given the actual surrounding context (the statements about poor people were not UK specific, people in the US were saying that even if what was said was true for all the UK -- which, btw, still has not been convincingly demonstrated -- it's not true for the US (although I would add that you cannot generalize about the US, it's quite different from place to place). However, we don't have to argue about that.

    I am actually interested in the real topic of the thread.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    So back to the topic:
    So going back to the latest addition to PHE guidance, there are two main components. The first is the headline grabber of intrusive government directing private businesses, the second being the recommendations on how to balance calorie intake through the day. I'd say the latter is more important.

    PHE do promote the general DH recommendations of 2kcal/ 2.4kcal per day for women/ men, with a floor of 1.2kcal/ 1.6kcal for health. They've now added to that by suggesting a breakdown of 400/ 600/ 600 in main meals. You'll note that it then leaves somewhere between 400 and 800 discretionary calories. by it's nature it's very generic advice. They don't get into macro balance, although other elements of PHE guidance encourage intake of fruit/ veg and limitations on fats/ alcohols/ salt and sugar.

    For what it's worth, depending on how the regulations/encouragement of the food industry works, I'm not much bothered by that bit (I am skeptical about how useful it will be, but open enough to the idea that it might be that I'm willing for the UK to be a test case). I would be bothered by certain methods, but it seems like it's been more "we want you to do this" kind of encouragement rather than actual legislation so far. But that's where I don't know much about how it works.

    What I found not the direct topic of the thread, but more objectionable when I read the Guardian article itself, was the part you are talking about here. I think the idea that everyone should have a set calorie aim for specific meals is just neither accurate nor realistic (even apart from the fact that not everyone has a similar calorie goal).

    I would agree that people not knowing what a reasonable calorie amount is, is an issue, and I think the MyPlate initiative in the US tries to give an estimate (but no one knows about that here). Not sure if the initiative that we are discussing gets more public attention than similar things in the US, quite possibly. But that would be the weakness in what I see as the public education element (even apart from my thinking that 400/600/600 is a bad one-size-fits-all-women idea). Most of what MyPlate promotes is, IMO, good sense, but people either don't know about it or don't care (those who tend to follow health advice don't become more likely to because the gov't makes the advice).

    NOT saying I'm against public health initiatives like that, just skeptical of how useful they will be.