In the midst of economic turmoil, one would expect Denmark and other countries to support their key industries? Not so in Denmark, famous for processing over 4.5 billion Kg of milk into value added dairy products such as butter. The Danes have passed a "fat tax" on its unsuspecting citizens which is now in force which will initially add an extra 25p per pack of butter. But what if the economic and ethical impacts will be severe with little or no health benefits? This article discusses the alternative view, that the obesity epidemic was in fact caused by the very politically correct, low fat, high carbohydrate diets that the diet dictocrats wish to impose.
The economic impacts of a fat tax will be severe, particularly upon traditional family farms and artisan producers of food. To make matters worse, the financial impact on consumers will primarily affect the poorest individuals and families. This is why most countries do not tax the sales of food for retail. It is why VAT is not payable on food purchased from shops in Britain. Acceptance of the principle of taxing food does therefore set a dangerous ethical precedent whereby the general taxation and rationing of food is accepted, as proposed by the BBC. Again, this primarily impacts upon the poorest of society. There is also a question of how much taxation the Danes can take given that VAT is already 25% with a marginal tax wedge approaching 70% with all taxes taken into account.
A global war on obesity
It has now been announced that there is a global discussion on having a fat tax. However, nobody told the public that discussions about taxing our most popular foods commenced some time ago by unelected bureaucrats. Is this what now passes for democracy? All EU Countries signed up to the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity at the Counteracting Obesity Conference in Istanbul, Turkey in 2006. That event was promoted by the World Health Organization, so expect to see similar programs in other regions. The treaty commits signatory nations to "economic measures that facilitate healthier food choices", which is precisely what we see here in Denmark.
And for those hoping to get Danish butter exports on the cheap, think again. The ironically named Hungary has already jumped on the bandwagon with its own fat tax. It has also been proposed for the UK by the BBC and others. We even see a fat tax discussed for the USA.
There is also currently a bill passing through Parliament called the Public Bodies (Sustainable Food) Bill, which will enforce low fat, high carb diets upon all public institutions, including schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons. Click here (files.meetup.com/1463924/Sustainable%20Food%20Bill%20Response.doc) for my response to that Bill. We also see proposals to extend personal carbon credits to ration foods that government does not approve. This distopia is being propagandized to our children in a recent horrific Planned-Opolis scenario where meat is only for birthdays, food is distributed by a World Council and transactions are based on allocated calorie credits distributed by a central computer. Such a tyrannical scenario should normally be dismissed as a prank, but it is being promoted as wholesome, not by the Communist Party, but by Forum for the Future, Vodaphone and others.
If you thought that controlling and limiting butter consumption was bad enough, you may recall Dr Shyan kolvekar of the Soho Heart Hospital proposing that butter be banned, convinced of the exact number of people who would be "saved"! I'll note that the press release for that story was released by the same PR agency which works for Flora Margarine. I personally staged a protest outside his hospital handing out "butter is better" fliers, and you can click here for more details about the protest, during which the hospital issued a statement that they did not support the proposal.
Forget fat, carbohydrates are the problem
See this video of Zoe Harcombe (http://player.vimeo.com/video/26994290) Speaking about The Obesity Epidemic at Wise Traditions London 2011 Conference. visit: westonaprice.org/london
"The previous nutritional advice in the UK to limit the intake of all carbohydrates as a means of weight control now runs counter to current thinking and contrary to the present proposals for a nutrition education policy for the population as a whole … The problem then becomes one of achieving both a reduction in fat intake to 30% of total energy and a fall in saturated fatty acid intake to 10%."
Proposals for nutritional guidelines for Health Education in Britain 1983
Given the harsh economic impacts of this policy, one would expect it to result in demonstrable social benefit? Think again. The obesity epidemic was infact caused by excess consumption of carbohydrates which has occurred since governments began demonizing natural animal fats and protein. The quote above begins Zoe Harcombe's book "The Obesity Epidemic", followed by "And so the obesity epidemic began".
Prior to 1983, the government's nutrition policies were based on resolving deficiencies and malnutrition. Then suddenly, in 1983, the government decided that malnutrition was no longer a problem, but that we were eating too much from a combination of wealth and stupidity. That we suddenly became wealthy as a result of loosing all our manufacturing industry to globalization, offshoring and outsourcing, during the 1970's, may have passed us by, but this honestly was the belief of the administration. Since that time, the government has focussed on upper limits of consumption rather than lower levels which indicate deficiencies. The chart above shows that obesity has exploded since the low fat policy has been promoted and as the British turned away from their traditional nutrient dense diet. One could not for example purchase skim milk in Britain prior to around 1983.
Carbohydrate on the waist
Carbohydrates are always broken down into glucose and glucose is only used for energy production. The body has a very limited ability to store glucose in the muscles and excess is converted into try-glycerides. These fats have limited biological use other than the storage of excess energy from carbs, which is why they are stored away from the organs, in unsightly places such as the waist and bottom.Â Obesity could therefore be considered the body's attempts to protect the vital organs from the toxic effects of excess carbohydrates. Therefore, drugs that inhibit that process could lead to toxicity affecting the vital organs.
Carbohydrates also deplete the body of minerals because it can for example take over 20 molecules of magnesium to metabolize one molecule of glucose. This is not a problem for those consuming whole foods and a reasonable quantity of carbs as part of a balanced diet. However, most people consume carbohydrates now in a refined form with all the minerals taken out. Most people also consume a low fat diet, yet the fat soluble vitamins, A, D & K2 are required for the body to utilize minerals in the diet. Mineral depletion is therefore another consequence of the modern low fat, high carbohydrate diet, and in the video above, Barry Groves explains that in contrast, the human body is designed to consume fats and protein.
Protein in the muscles
Protein, on the other hand has many uses. It is the primary building block of our muscles. Therefore, many of the calories in protein are incorporated into body tissue, having nothing to do with energy or unnecessary weight gain. What happens with excess protein? The body doesn't store it. Excess protein is excreted via urine as urea, which provides urine its yellow color, so protein consumption cannot have caused the obesity epidemic.
Fat for metabolism and healthy vital organs
How about saturated fat? Again, it is a very unlikely candidate. It is true that saturated fats have more calories than carbohydrates per pound. However, like protein, saturated fats have many other uses in the body. They are a primary building block of the cell membrane, along with cholesterol, and are also a primary component part of our vital organs, forming a primary functions in our lungs, brain, liver and other fatty organs. Saturated fat also forms a major part of our bones, with bone marrow being almost entirely comprised of fats, particularly the large marrow bones such as the hip. This is ironic, because the NHS tells osteoporosis patients to maintain a low fat diet and take powdered calcium, yet go buy a marrow bone from a healthy grass fed animal, cook it and tell me if bones are low fat parts of a body, noting that the bones which tend to break are those richest in marrow.
The body does store some saturated fat, but primarily internally, around the organs, where it is needed most. You see this in pastured animals, which hold suet fat around their kidneys. Infact, the many uses of saturated fat and, the important roles of the fat soluble vitamins A, D & K2 (www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators), ensure that saturated fats actually stimulate the metabolism causing the body to burn more energy. This is particularly the case for Conjugated linoleic acid which, along with the fat soluble vitamins is most prevalent in grass fed animals with access to sunshine. In addition, the fats in grass fed animals have the correct balance of omega 3 and 6, unlike vegetable oils and margarine, promoted as replacements, which have very little omega 3 and far too much omega 6.
See this video of Barry Groves, PhD (http://player.vimeo.com/video/10533993) "Homo-Carnivorous" at Wise Traditions London 2010 conference (westonaprice.org/london).
Appetite is another important factor. The stomach is very able to recognize when it is full if you are consuming fats and protein, because these are what the body craves and is designed to consume, as explained in the above video by Barry Groves. In contrast, a high carbohydrate diet will leave the body wanting and the hunger response will take long to kick in and last for a shorter time. Just see how many eggs and steaks you can eat in one sitting! But we have all seen people eat bowls and bowls of high carb, low fat pasta dishes without satisfaction, forgetting that Italians have a very high fat diet.
World Health Organization Figures 2005 showing fat consumed (left) and deaths from coronary heart disease (right).
Speaking of the Italians, suggestion that fat intake correlates with heart disease also contradicts with the WHO's own figures and you will note that the Mediterranean diets with the highest amount of fat in their diet (mainly animal fat), are also famous for their good figures. No, the Mediterranean diet is not low fat. They tend to cook with animal fat, eat lots of meat and consume lots of butter, with olive oil being reserved for raw salads. It is ironic that the lowest fat, least healthy countries are from the ex-Soviet, Eastern Bloc, because the Fat Tax really is the sort of thing that would excite the old Communist Tsars as a way to impose dictats and public policy. Off to the re-education camp if you eat butter! Isn't it interesting that we now have unelected, unaccountable food Tsars serving our government, to borrow the old Soviet terminology. Could our politicians be telling something about their political persuasions?
Above, is the official UK Government dietary guidelines, which are similar to those from other countries, because they come straight from the World Health Organization. Here, sugar is inappropriately lumped in with fat, with no differentiation between fat from grass fed vs factory farmed animals. Notice that we are encouraged to focus on fruit, vegetables and starchy foods, to replace the fats and protein which weighed more heavily in the traditional diet.
The problem here is that the calories from the two main groups are in the form of carbohydrates which are all broken down into glucose, meaning that the government recommends that over half our energy comes from carbs. Unlike protein and fats, the only role of glucose in the body is to provide energy. Our muscles can only store a very limited amount of glucose and the vast majority of excess glucose is converted into try-glyceride fats. These fats are generally useless other than as a store of energy, so are stored away from the organs, around the waste and other unsightly places.
We are told that starchy carbs are OK because they are high on the glycemic index. Whilst slow release of carbs somewhat helps avoid the sugar high, low roller coaster, those excess carbs will still be stored as fat and, starch has more calories per pound than non-starchy sources of carbohydrate, solving one problem to create another.
You are still free to decide what you eat. However, remember that our government has committed itself to "economic measures" to imposing the unelected, undemocratic World Health Organization's dietary guidelines when it agreed to the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity. It is therefore time that Britain withdraw from that treaty before it further decimates our food and farming community along with the nation's health.
But the most immediate threat comes from the Public Bodies (Sustainable Food) Bill, which will impose WHO dietary guidelines upon all public institutions, affecting all our children in schools, vulnerable elderly in care homes and the sick in hospitals. Imposing it upon prisoners in prisons will likely reinforce criminal tendencies. See here (http://files.meetup.com/1463924/Sustainable%20Food%20Bill%20Response.doc) for my response to that Bill and do use it to lobby your local MP.
Alongside the obesity proposals, not also that the government is waging a war against salt, and the fat taxes will also target foods high in salt which will tend to encourage toxic alternatives such as MSG (www.westonaprice.org/msg-updates). Now, it is true that refined table salt can affect blood pressure, but what the government will not tell you is that unrefined seasalt and rocksalt actually help normalize blood pressure, and provide the body all the minerals it requires in easy to absorb electrolyte form.
You are also not safe with attempts to reduce sugar, if these will be replaced with artificial sweeteners which tend to be far more toxic than the sugar it replaces. In addition, the real problem with sugar is refined sugar. As mentioned above, it takes over 20 molecules of magnesium to metabolise one molecule of glucose, so refined sugar will strip the body of minerals, which is the real reason why it causes tooth decay. What you will not hear is that honey, dehydrated sugar (rapadura) and maple syrup are sufficiently mineral rich to be included in your diet.
Philip Ridley is the London Chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation, which campaigns for wise traditions in food, farming and the healing arts, challenging the diet dictocrats and politically correct nutrition. Find out about their conference in London and about how to watch free videos of and purchase DVDs of the conference at westonaprice.org/london.