Food scientist industry link attacks unfair: professor

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Professor Christine Williams: ‘Many young people coming into research today are actually put off’
Professor Christine Williams: ‘Many young people coming into research today are actually put off’

Related tags: British nutrition foundation, Nutrition

Nutrition scientists must not be “pilloried” for working with industry on research projects that could lead to advances in public health and a reduction in obesity, a leading academic in the field has argued.

“I want to just make a plea on behalf of those working in academia to enable us to continue doing the translational work that we do and not to be pilloried at times and criticised because of our work with the industry,”​ claimed Christine Williams, professor of human nutrition at the University of Reading and chairman of the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF’s) Board of Trustees.

“It is as important as the policy development work and it should be respected as such. But many young people coming into research today are actually put off.

“They are deterred from getting into these issues because they are afraid of accusations of lack of independence.”

Growing levels of obesity

Finding answers to the huge problem of growing levels of obesity across the nation, needed to be “multi-sectorial”​ and required the best minds in nutrition – both in the public sector and industry – working collaboratively together, Williams suggested.

Countering misinformation about nutrition and health that is widely spread by the popular press with credible evidence-based nutrition science was a huge challenge, she remarked.

There was also a pressing need to make nutrition science accessible to all people, she told attendees at the BNF’s Annual Day in London last month.

Both objectives are at the heart of what the BNF – a charity that this year celebrated its 50th anniversary – was set up to do, Williams explained.

Family Food Survey

Tackling obesity would not be easy, she remarked. Food intake data from the Family Food Survey showed that while food supply, dietary and lifestyle patterns had changed radically since 1967, the population was eating far fewer calories today than in the past – and yet, obesity levels continued to rise.

“In 1967, the incidence of obesity was about 2% in the population. It’s now 26%,”​ reported Williams.

“So, in total our calorie intake has decreased by 20–30% over the same time as we have put on 344,000t of adipose tissue. It’s an extraordinary dilemma.”

While lower levels of physical activity and unreported consumption of food out of home might explain some of the findings, they were not enough on their own, she added.

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1 comment

We know how to solve the obesity epidemic

Posted by Lisa B,

"So, in total our calorie intake has decreased by 20-30% over the same time as we have put on 344,000t of adipose tissue."

This is exactly what one would expect when the majority of calories we consume are carbohydrate, particularly refined carbohydrates. At the same time we increased carbs, we decreased healthy fats, and red meat (which is incredibly nutritious) and pushed poultry (not as nutrient dense) and "vegetable" oils that do so much damage to our bodies. Pro tip: there are no vegetables in "vegetable" oils. These are seed oils and they're very unstable. Do not consume.

Here's the fix: stop eating the sugar, added sugar, soda. bread, crackers, pasta, chips, pretzels, starchy potatoes, vegetable oils, etc. Avoid artificial sweeteners.

Start eating real whole food like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, green vegetables, squash, peppers, cabbage and healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, olive oil and, yes, lard and tallow.

How about getting the USDA out of developing dietary rules. Its purpose is to find markets for products like wheat, corn and soy. ALL of these are bad for humans, particularly in the volumes they're being consumed. STOP eating them.

The bottom line is that refined carbs drive hyperinsulinemia! Too much insulin flowing around in the body. This is the major cause of obesity and diabetes! Stop the madness! Google low carb high fat. You'll change your life for the better and make food manufacturers very unhappy.

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