Watched BBC Horizon programme last night called Sugar v Fat. And as promised over on the Twitters here is my take on it.
First off, as with most documentaries these days, there were the now seemingly obligatory shots of the Gherkin in London and other typical central London scenes, time and time again. Lots of whizz bang fast-moving speeded-up shots of London over and over and over and over again. The relevance of this to a programme about diet escapes me but it’s so common now I think they must have a stock of shots they’ve paid a fortune for so have to keep using them as fillers to justify the expense. Tis surely no other plausible explanation.
These kind of shots used to be called “establishing shots” I believe but there was nothing to establish, save for one of the elements did come from London but did we need to keep seeing endless shots of the city speeded up? Nearly every item on anything, news or docu, uses these shots. Why? Apart from the obvious London bias they make me very dizzy. It’s all so pointless. Adds nothing to the story. Just pads it out. Very annoying. I recorded the programme and am tempted to view it again just to see how many of these “establishing shots” they used. But I’m not that much of an anorak. I’m guessing it was at least six or seven times. How come TV always warns us about flashing photography but not speeded-up cityscapes? Am I the only person who feels sick watching them, truly, am I? Please tell me cos I’d love to know.
And now for something on the diets. The programme was fronted by a pair of white male twins who are both doctors. They were put on very different diets for a month. One tried the high-fat diet and one the high-sugar. So the latter was full of carbs and he could eat as much as he wanted. The former was high fat and protein and he too could eat whatever he wanted but no fruit or veg. “Looking at that lot my first thought is that I won’t poo for weeks!” said the one on the high-fat diet. “And your breath will smell too,” said the nutritionist. Oh really? Well I’m on a high-fat diet and I’ve checked with the other half and my friendswhotellyouthetruth. My breath does NOT smell and I have a very healthy bowel. Maybe that’s because Paleo isn’t Atkins? And you can eat fruit, vegetables and salad on my diet.
The men were given brainy-type tests which involved simulated trading in front of vast computers with green and red numbers flashing at them. The one on the high-sugar diet did well. The one on high fat didn’t. The conclusion was that we need sugar for brain work. No mention whatever of whether either brother was good at this sort of thing beforehand or had the kind of brain or memory that suited trading. So this test proved nothing.
Then they did a bike test run by a coach for the team that won the Tour de France. Conclusion: high-sugar diets are better for your energy than high-fat diets. You don’t say!
Then they interviewed an expert Dr. Susan Jebb who said small changes to your diet can make all the difference. Get away!
The final conclusion was that a high-fat diet isn’t good for you – oh why am I not surprised! – and that fad diets don’t work. Cos like all the other ones are so brilliant at working aren’t they? Which is why we have a supposed obesity epidemic. The high-fat diet man lost the most weight but he lost muscle too. The high-sugar man lost weight too but much less. The experiment was, needless to say I hope, not at all scientific. Actually it means bugger all.
Fat with sugar does most harm
Apparently it’s the combination of fat with sugar that does the most damage. Because it’s such a delicious combination. And it doesn’t occur naturally in nature so the brain can’t regulate intake and let us know when we’ve had enough, as it can with sugar or fat on their own. Eat less fat-and-sugar combinations and you’ll lose weight.
Ever since I started blogging I’ve been banging on that this is the way to lose weight – eat proper fresh food, cook from scratch and avoid processed foods as much as possible. It took them a month, god knows how much of licence-fee payers’ money and an hour-long programme in a former scientific programme, to tell us this? Okay so granted many viewers may not have been aware that it’s the fat and sugar combinations that we can’t stop eating that make us fat. But even so, I still felt this programme was bit of a wasted opportunity. And the pointless spinning whizz bang veryfastmovingsoyoucan’tquitetellwhatitis graphics were really annoying in what used to be a serious science programme.