SIRC – Media Watch 20-04-99

In Denial, overweight?

Health Survey for England data suggests that 62% of men and 53% of women are overweight, 17% and 20% respectively of whom are obese. The Bread for Life campaign cites denial and ignorance of particular dietary factors as a cause for the escalation in these figures: "fifty-nine percent of people mistakenly think that bread is fattening when in fact, bread is part of the solution and not the problem". The truth is that the average slice of bread provides about eighty calories, roughly the same amount as a chocolate biscuit. To say that one is more fattening than the other, or that one is a ‘problem’ and the other is a ‘solution’, is nonsense. It is like saying that a pound of lead is heavier than a pound of feathers. The misuse of science to promote a particular food product, however, is clearly a problem.