Sunday, 19 July 2015

We need more people like Graham MacGregor

Graham MacGregor, the chair of Action on Sugar, has been speaking to the newspapers again. This can only be a good thing for those of us who want to see the 'public health' racket discredited and destroyed. MacGregor performs a valuable service with his swivel-eyed rhetoric and transparent lies. Just as it is useful to have inept British Medical Association spokespeople talking obvious rubbish about e-cigarettes, so it is important that unhinged fanatics like MacGregor be given enough rope.

Here he is talking to The Observer today...

Sugar is the deadliest threat facing Britain today, and yet it is all but ignored by politicians and sold in every town across the country, said Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary College, University of London, and chairman of the health pressure group Action on Sugar, which wants urgent government action.

“The socially deprived and children are being targeted heavily by very clever people and it’s a disgrace. Fast-food outlets are in socially deprived areas and every one is selling fat, sugar and death."

“But it’s not just the socially deprived,” MacGregor added. “There are all these TV chefs – their food is not much better."


“People haven’t twigged that the biggest cause of death is what we’re eating."

This is bollocks, as I have explained before.

"It’s no surprise that we’re so obese; the biggest surprise is why aren’t we all obese."

It's only a surprise if you ignore individual responsibility, self-determination and choice. To a reasonable person, the fact that three-quarters of us are not obese demonstrates that people's health is not determined by the 'obesogenic environment' and 'Big Food'.  

"We’re all being slowly poisoned."


"We’re all eating too much sugar..."

I'm not and I assume MacGregor isn't either.

"...people grossly underestimate how much they consume. We know that because in surveys, if you ask people how much fizzy drink they consume, you get a figure two-and-a-half times less than how much is being sold.”

This may be true. Certainly, people underestimate what they eat and drink, but the fact remains that sugar consumption has been falling for years regardless of whether you look at what people say they eat or how much is sold. The graph below shows how much is sold in Britain - the thick line is all sugars, the thin line is refined sugar.

He continues...

“We’ve been very successful in reducing salt. It’s gone down by 30-40% and nobody’s noticed. That was because there was the political will in the Labour government. We can easily do the same thing for sugar and fat." 

If you read the whole article, you'll see that this is not true. It quotes a food scientist saying that reducing sugar is "quite a challenge". This is a coy understatement. The article notes that "experiments have shown consistently that products which replace sugar with other sweeteners are coming up constantly as having an “artificial” and “chemical” taste. “Mouth drying” and “bitter” are other frequently used words". In other words, the food tastes awful and people won't buy it.
"And without it, frankly, we’re looking at a bankrupt NHS."

This is the catch-all lie used by single-issue health campaigners of every stripe. Aside from the simple fact that a state-run health service cannot go bankrupt, the evidence shows that reducing obesity will increase, not reduce, healthcare costs. 

"Diabetes already costs the NHS £10bn a year and is set to go to £30bn by 2020."

Notice the none-too-subtle switch from talking about sugar to talking about diabetes, as if the costs of diabetes - including type 1 diabetes, which is not related to obesity at all - were the costs of sugar consumption.

"It will eat half the NHS budget."

I've never heard this ludicrous claim before. I can only assume he has made it up on the spot.

The food industry walks all over us. It is seen as untouchable"


"The government knows it can enforce [change] if it wants to. We did it with tobacco; you can easily take out up to 50% of the sugar without anybody noticing, if you do it slowly.”

As the article explains, this is a total fantasy.

Keep up the good work, Graham.

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