Health Policy

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You Are What You Eat[1]

One quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive. --Ancient Egyptian proverb.ref

Healthy people are bad for business; and curing people even more so.[2] The potential lack of extraordinary profits is a disincentive for pharmaceutical companies to research cures; it is far more lucrative to provide a never-ending supply of band-aids. [2]


Not a good title for this section - is about how each govt approaches health care. The Health Foundation is a useful resource: they have a section of their website dedicated to the "Development of Health Policies".

  • Tony Blair: One person, one team, one system was published by the Independent Commission on Whole Person Care for the Labour Party in February 2014. Summary is here. Report is here.

Additives and Hormones

  • Feb.21.2015: Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat. Think you eat only healthy, unprocessed foods? Think again. Joanna Blythman went undercover and discovered that even your fruit salad is not what it seems. The food industry has embarked on ‘operation clean label’ – removing the most glaring industrial ingredients and replacing them with substitutes that sound natural and benign. Joanna Blythman, The Guardian.
  • Mar.27.2009: Some Food Additives Mimic Human Hormones. New research reveals that some common food additives behave like estrogen in the body. ... these substances have been linked to reproductive problems in animals and so perhaps humans. The first food additive, propyl gallate, is a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling that can be found in a range of foods including baked goods, shortening, dried meats, candy, fresh pork sausage, mayonnaise and dried milk. The second additive, 4-hexyl resorcinol, is used to prevent shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish from discoloring. Globally, the market for additives is expected to reach more than $33 billion by 2012. There are five main reasons that companies add compounds to food: to emulsify, to preserve, to add nutritional content, to add flavor or color and to balance alkalinity and acids. The FDA’s lack of testing for estrogenic compounds doesn’t stop at additives. In 2008, an independent advisory board said the FDA ignored critical evidence concerning another estrogenic compound, bisphenol A, a plasticizing chemical found in polycarbonate baby bottles and the linings of metal foods cans. ... researchers in Germany found traces of an unknown estrogenic substance leaching into mineral water stored in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, a commonly used plastic for storing foods and beverages. Jessica A Knoblauch, Scientific American.
  • Nov.29.2007: Enzymes: the hidden extras in almost everything we eat. Enzymes are used in almost all aspects of modern food production. They modify the raw ingredients of the food we eat and the food itself. However, enzymes go unmentioned in ingredients lists and food manufacturers remain curiously shy about their use. Ian Tokelove, The Food Commission.
  • ToDo: Look up that article about hormones in beef in Italy where 6-yr-old boys were producing breast milk.


  • May.11.2018: Disabled people facing government hostility in the UK. Some of the press were happy to promote the exaggerated claims of the Department for Work & Pensions which, during 5 years of coalition govt, knowingly misled the public regarding “fake” claimants of disability benefit. Coincidentally, disability hate crimes increased by 213% during the coalition’s term in office. Influenced by a US healthcare insurance “consultant”, who funded DWP-commissioned research used to justify welfare reforms, the work capability assessment (WCA) adopted the bio-psychosocial model of assessment which has failed all academic scrutiny. The WCA is used by the DWP to resist access to the employment and support allowance (ESA) sickness and disability benefit, which is the financial equivalent of jobseeker’s allowance, so there is no financial incentive when claiming ESA. Mo Stewart et al', The Guardian.


  • Nov.14.2018: Diabetics to be spared painful tests. About 300,000 people in Britain are known to have Type 1 Diabetes, an auto-immune condition. Patients typically use finger-prick blood tests to monitor glucose levels and judge how much insulin to inject. The Freestyle Libre uses a sensor about the size of a £2 coin on the upper arm to enable patients to check their blood sugar on a smartphone. Theresa May was photographed wearing the monitor last year. Less than 5% of Type 1 Diabetics have been prescribed the device. 25% of NHS trusts have refused to pay the annual cost of £910. Simon Stevens said that all eligible patients would receive the monitor. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, who has pushed for digital innovation in healthcare, said... Chris Smyth., The Times.


.. Obesity epidemic ... sugar tax ... ... type 2 diabetes ...

  • May.13.2018: Inspectors weigh in on school obesity checks. Parents, not schools, are to blame for children becoming fat, according to a study of 60 primary schools to be published by OfSted next month. The research will be revealed just before the unveiling of an obesity strategy that is being drawn up by No 10 and backed by celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Ofsted, the schools inspectorate for England, is determined to fight off the proposal to compare schools on how they are tackling the childhood obesity crisis. The obesity strategy includes plans to make schools weigh pupils annually, and to use the data to rate schools’ ability to help children maintain a healthy weight. It is understood inspectors would also check if schools are offering at least two hours of PE a week. But the Ofsted research suggests it is parents that need to do more. Sian Griffiths, The Sunday Times.
  • Apr.01.2018: Why the sugar tax will lose its fizz. While the new tax on sugary drinks has been branded a public health policy, it has been criticised by those inside the industry who say it will have no meaningful impact on obesity levels. The changes are part of a government move to reduce obesity, introduced by former chancellor George Osborne in 2016. He promised the estimated £520m raised by the levy would be used to fund sports in primary schools. Sugar intake from soft drinks has been declining year-on-year since 2013, but this has not been matched by a fall in obesity. Others argue that the industry did not need government pressure to make the necessary changes. “This sector has done more than any other to reduce people’s sugar intake,” said Gavin Partington, director-general of the British Soft Drinks Association. Reducing sugar from soft drinks has heaped extra costs on manufacturers. Basically, the mnfs have reduced sugar in some, but not all of their drinks. As the sugar tax comes into force this week, the next frontier in the battle against obesity looks set to be junk food advertising. Sabah Meddings, The Times.
  • Dec.05.2016: Soft Drinks Industry Levy. This is a new levy that applies to the production and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. It will have a lower rate which will apply to added sugar drinks with a total sugar content of 5 grams or more per 100 millilitres and a higher rate for drinks with 8 grams or more per 100 millilitres. A levy on soft drinks will contribute to the government’s plans to reduce childhood obesity by removing added sugar from soft drinks. Legislation will be introduced in the Finance Bill 2017. The levy will take effect from April 2018. HM Revenue and Customs,
  • Apr.08.2018: You’ve bean warned: sugar tax campaigners fix sights on coffee. The so-called “sugar tax”, introduced on Friday last week, led to soft-drinks manufacturers cutting the amount of sugar at a time when obesity is rising rapidly. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, welcomed the work to remove sugar from the nation’s diet... Manufacturers acted before the deadline to replace much of the sugar with artificial sweeteners... Others suggest the tax, which has been set at 18p per litre for drinks containing between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml, and 24p if the drink has 8g or more per 100ml, should be pushed up in the coming years. Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action on Sugar, suggested it should act in the same way as the tobacco tax, which has increased every few years. McGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine, also wants the threshold at which the tax is introduced to be steadily reduced until it is close to zero. The new levy, which is being passed on to the consumer in most cases, has encouraged chains including Pizza Hut to remove full-sugar sodas from self-service drinks machines. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality,which represents the industry, said many of its members’ premises had removed full-sugar soft drinks from dispensing guns, used to pour drinks such as lemonade. (see comments re artificial sweeteners) Sabah Meddings, The Times.
  • See Apr.08.2018 article in Camilla Cavendish, + Comments section re artificial sweeteners.
  • May.30.2013: Artificial sweeteners affect metabolism and insulin levels. Our results indicate that this artificial sweetener is not inert - it does have an effect. And we need to do more studies to determine whether this observation means long-term use could be harmful. They particularly wanted to study obese people as "these sweeteners frequently are recommended to them as a way to make their diets healthier by limiting calorie intake." It should be noted that artificial sweeteners don't necessarily help limit calorie intake. A previous study by scientists in the US suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners could make people put on weight because experiments on laboratory rats showed that those eating food sweetened with artificial sweeteners ate more calories than their counterparts whose food was sweetened with normal sugar. ...Pepino said that while the elevated insulin response suggests that a person is able to adjust insulin to spiking glucose levels, it could be detrimental because when people constantly secrete high levels of insulin it can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Hoseph Nordqvist, Medical News Today.
  • Jan.08.2018: Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? By offering the taste of sweetness without any calories, artificial sweeteners seem like they could be one answer to effective weight loss. As with everything, there’s more to the artificial sweetener story than their effect on weight. All artificial sweeteners are not created equal. How the human body and brain respond to these sweeteners is very complex. One concern is that people who use artificial sweeteners may replace the lost calories through other sources, possibly offsetting weight loss or health benefits. It’s also possible that these products change the way we taste food. In other words, use of artificial sweeteners can make you shun healthy, filling, and highly nutritious foods while consuming more artificially flavored foods with less nutritional value. Research suggests that they may prevent us from associating sweetness with caloric intake. Animal studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may be addictive. Whether non-nutritive sweeteners are safe depends on your definition of safe. There are other health concerns beside cancer. In the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, daily consumption of diet drinks was associated with a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Maybe sugar isn’t too bad after all. It’s all in how it’s packaged. Apples are ok, refined sugar isn't. Holly Strawbridge, Harvard Health Publishing.


ToDo: This needs to be on its own page. See notes in "Antibiotics" in the Meat Industry page.
  • Nov.16.2018: Senior medics call on Government to ban preventative antibiotic group treatments of livestock. Coordinated by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, the letter comes just weeks after the European Parliament voted by over 97% for new legislation which will ban preventative antibiotic treatments of groups of farm animals in the EU in three years’ time. The govt says it supports the legislation but has repeatedly refused to endorse any ban on group prevention in the UK. “If the govt fails to implement a ban on group prevention, the UK will have some of the lowest regulatory standards in Europe and will be aligning itself with the US administration’s position, which is to strongly oppose the European ban. This should raise alarm bells about the kind of post-Brexit trade deal the UK may agree with the US, where antibiotics are used in enormous quantities in livestock". Worldwide, it is estimated that 73% of all antibiotics are used in livestock rather than in medicine. Most farm antibiotic use occurs in intensive farming systems. The European Food Safety Authority and the European Medicines Agency say we may need to phase out certain intensive farming systems where antibiotic use cannot be reduced sustainably. Soil Association.

  • Nov.08.2018: Superbugs could kill up to 90,000 in three decades. An estimated 90,000 Britons will die by 2050 from infections that are treatable unless effective action is taken to deal with drug-resistant microbes, researchers say. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also said that over the next 30 years superbugs could kill 1.1 million people in North America and Australia and 1.3 million in Europe. However, the authors of the report added that simply by implementing sensible policies on handwashing and by cutting down on the overprescription of antibiotics the figure could be reduced by a million, even without the development of new drugs. Tom Whipple, The Times.
  • Apr.27.2018: Nordic scientists warn Brussels over 'superbugs'. Nordic researchers spoke at a seminar in the EP organised by the Nordic council on Apr.25. In Europe alone 25,000 people are estimated to die yearly because of multi-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics reduced mortality rates and prolonged life but no new antibiotics have been developed for the past 30 years. If a new antibiotics was eventually developed it would be very important to restrict the use of it as much as possible to avoid bacteria from developing resistance to it. Currently, industry globally has only 62 new compounds in the pipeline, of which only 5 are expected to be approved as new antibiotics. It costs around $1bn to develop a new drug and takes up to 10 years. Grants and more public funding was needed to discover new antibiotics. a $1bn premium for companies to take the risk to bring a new product to the market could be a game-changer - from industry not being active, to becoming active. Almost all production of antibiotics has been outsourced from Europe to other parts of the world since it is not technically very complicated to produce antibiotics and the old patents have run out. "We have outsourced almost all production to India and China – but that leaves us with a security problem and sometimes we see a shortage of deliveries. We also need to promote rational use of antibiotics". The Norwegian government's plan is now to reduce the use of antibiotics by 30% by 2020. We have all learned to finish the treatment with the antibiotics to avoid resistance. But that is a lie. It is total evidence-free area," said the Norwegian professor. The longer treatment the more resistant bacteria. So my advice is to change this mantra that 'shorter is better'. Studies of pneumonia and others show that shorter treatment works as well as long treatment." Lisbeth Kirk, EU Observer.
  • Mar.26.2018: Drug resistance spreads to humans at ‘shocking’ rate. Resistance to the antibiotic of last resort spread from a single Chinese pig farm to human patients on five continents within the space of a decade, scientists have discovered. The study is the first to identify the “shocking” speed with which a gene that gives bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella protection against drugs can jump across borders and from species to species. Oliver Moody, The Times.
  • Mar.26.2018: Calls to rein in antibiotic use after study shows 65% increase worldwide. A dramatic rise in global antibiotic consumption has led public health experts to call for fresh strategies to rein in excessive use of the drugs, and for major investments to provide clean water, sanitation and vaccines in countries where infectious diseases are rife. The unrestrained use of antibiotics is the main driver for the rise in drug-resistant infections which now kill more than half a million people a year worldwide, including 50,000 in Europe and the US combined. Left unchecked, the spread of drug resistance could claim millions of lives a year by 2050, according to a 2014 report for David Cameron, the former prime minister. Despite efforts to encourage more prudent use of antibiotics, an international team of researchers found a 65% rise in worldwide consumption of the drugs from 2000 to 2015. "In high income countries, the most important thing that reduced mortality from infectious disease in the 20th century was infrastructure," Klein said. "Separating waste from drinking water and chlorinating it was one of the most important things we did." Public Health England Ian Sample, The Guardian.
  • Mar.05.2018: Superbugs more common in people who have travelled to Asia or Middle East. The gram negative family of bacteria are known to be becoming much more resistant to antibiotics. If the bacteria have ESBL genes they are resistant to two classes of antibiotics – penicillins and cephalosporins – normally used to treat these infections. This forces doctors to turn to other drugs. Once a person becomes colonised with these superbugs they remain in their gut for six months to a year. “The findings show the problem of antibiotic resistance is global and that bugs bred in one country quickly spread to another due to global travel”, said Professor Peter Hawkey, a microbiologist at the University of Birmingham who carried out the research. It is overuse and misuse of antibiotics that has led to bacteria with ESBL genes forming, and they are just one type of superbug. Currently doctors adhere to specific guidelines when they suspect a patient has a resistant infection, such as isolating them in a single room so they cannot spread the bacteria to other patients. The study was led by Public Health England and the University of Birmingham. When they broke it down into specific groups of people those with the highest prevalence were those who had travelled to South Asia. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
  • Feb.27.2018: Fifth of antibiotics prescriptions ‘not needed’. One in five prescriptions for antibiotics given out by GPs is unnecessary, Public Health England says. The number of antibiotic prescriptions should be cut by 10% over the next two years to meet the government’s ambition to halve the rate of inappropriate prescribing by 2020. Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social care secretary, said: "Drug-resistant infections are one of the biggest threats to modern medicine and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics is only exacerbating this problem." Kat Lay, The Times.
  • Feb.14.2018: Rise of superbugs puts everyday surgical operations in jeopardy. Tens of thousands of patients in Britain are struck down by superbugs because antibiotics to protect them during surgery have failed, a global study says. One in five infections picked up during common operations worldwide is resistant to standard antibiotics, suggests research that reveals how far resistance to drugs has advanced towards a so-called doomsday scenario. The research also raises fears that performing everyday surgery will become impossible. Chris Smyth, The Times.
  • Jan.24.2018: Big Pharma fails to disclose antibiotic waste leaked from factories. Many of the world's leading drug manufacturers fail to disclose how much antibiotic discharge they release from factories, according to a new report from a drug industry watchdog. Such discharge risks creating more superbugs. The report surveyed household-name pharmaceutical giants like GSK, Novartis and Roche as well as generic companies which make non-branded products for the NHS and other health systems. None of the 18 companies polled would reveal how much antibiotic discharge they release into the environment, according to the independent report from the not-for-profit body, the Access to Medicine Foundation. Only 8 said they set limits for how much could be released in wastewater. Only 1 disclosed the name of its suppliers – a move which is seen as important as it would make companies accountable for their environmental practices. Changing Markets, an NGO which has campaigned on the issue of pharmaceutical waste, added: “Pharmaceutical companies have a clear responsibility to tackle pollution in their supply chains, not least because of the considerable human health impacts associated with untreated waste from pharma manufacturing, prime among the creation of drug-resistant bacteria. From our own research in India and China, where most of the world’s generic drugs are made, we know this is an ongoing problem and that very little progress is happening on the ground. Antibiotic waste from pharmaceutical manufacturing leaking into the environment is a neglected driver of antimicrobial resistance - or AMR - according to a global report published in 2016 by ex-finance minister Lord Jim O'Neill. This is because residues of antibiotics in the environment expose bacteria to levels of the drugs that fuel the emergence of resistance. The ‘superbugs’ that form as a result can spread all over the world. To tackle the problem, Lord O’Neill called for regulators to set minimum standards around the release of waste and for manufacturers to drive higher standards through their supply chains. ... Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
  • Apr.01.2015: Antibiotic Resistance From Unexpected Sources--Herbicides, Dust And Metals. Researchers showed that 3 commercial herbicides - Monsanto's dicamba (Kamba) and glyphosate (Roundup), and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) — can make strains of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium less sensitive to antibiotics. Dow has engineered soybeans and corn to resist the "Enlist Duo" herbicide, which is a combination of glyphosate and 2, 4-D. This is hugely important: Glyphosate (Roundup) has been found in the milk and meat of cows⁠, and in human urine. Per German researchers⁠, “Glyphosate residues cannot be removed by washing and they are not broken down by cooking. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in foods for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen, dried or processed.” ... When (bacteria are) exposed to an herbicide, a resistance gene is turned on, in effect “‘immunizing' the bacteria to the antibiotic." ... Antibiotic use has been soaring, with 80% of antibiotics being used in livestock production... Another study showed that heavy metals, added to feed as growth promoters, ⁠ can also select for antibiotic resistance... Judy Stone, Infectious Disease specialist, Forbes.
  • Jul.24.2014: Antibiotics: British lives must come before factory farm profits. The Ecologist, Zac Goldsmith

Associated Groups

  • Anti-Microbial Resistance Industry Alliance - a private-sector coalition set up to provide sustainable solutions to curb antimicrobial resistance, with over 100 biotech, diagnostics, generics and research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations joining forces.
  • Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics is an alliance of health, medical, civil society and animal welfare groups campaigning to stop the overuse of antibiotics in animal farming.



  • Aug.21.2018: E-cigarettes are a health risk, says James Brokenshire. A cabinet minister who developed lung cancer has expressed concern about the long-term effects of vaping after an influential report recommended relaxing restrictions on e-cigarettes. James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, who has never smoked but had surgery this year to remove a third of his lung, said he wanted “to be cautious about what the long-term impacts of this are and how ... it is less harmful, but it is not necessarily harmless”. Kat Lay, The Times.
  • Aug.17.2018: Relaxing e-cigarette laws would cut smoking deaths, say MPs. Govt urged to rethink ban on vaping in public places and reduce taxes. The govt is missing an important opportunity to cut deaths from smoking, says a committee of MPs who are calling for a cut in the tax on e-cigarettes. They are also urging the government to allow more advertising and to rethink the ban on vaping on buses, trains and in other public places. A hard-hitting report from the all-party select committee on science and technology says the risk to smokers who continue with their habit far outweighs the uncertainty around the possible harms of vaping. Public Health England has said e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking. Sir Norman Lamb. The report follows the publication of NHS figures showing the number of people engaging with stop smoking services has fallen by 11%, the 6th consecutive year there has been a drop. The Local Government Association, whose members have responsibility for the services, and the campaigning group ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), say local authorities are not being adequately funded. Daniel Pryor, of the Adam Smith Institute, said the report was “fantastic news for public health and consumer choice. Taxing e-cigs and heat-not-burn products based on their relative risk would be a smart move, but contrasts with worrying rumours of a proposed vaping tax from the Treasury". Sarah Boseley, The Guardian.
  • Mar.02.2018: Big Tobacco splutters after BNP Paribas finally quits. For many money managers, tobacco avoidance is the preserve of SRI funds (socially responsible investment). But for mainstream investment, it's "anything goes". So BNP Paribas Asset Management's announcement of a tobacco exclusion policy could turn some heads. BNP, a French bank whose investment arm has €500+m of assets under management, is not the first to come to the conclusion that owning tobacco stocks might not be a good thing, but its policy is a timely reminder that, with less money backing them, cigarette makers might not be the best investments. (Imperial Brands, British American Tobacco) The Times, Harry Wilson
  • Jan.27.2018: UK accused of hypocrisy on overseas tobacco control. Embassy relationships with companies such as BAT undermine anti-smoking policies. The Foreign Office and the Department for International Trade have been championing the interests of British American Tobacco. In Laos, the general manager of Lao Tobacco, owned by another British tobacco giant, Imperial Tobacco, sits on the British Business Group and the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Observer, Jamie Doward

Associated Groups



See also May Ministry#Drugs Reform

  • Mar.15.2018: Let’s give legal drug-taking rooms the chance to save lives, MP urges. Plans for legal drug consumption rooms have real potential to reduce drug-related deaths and continuing harm, SNP MP Alison Thewliss has said. She wants to introduce the UK's first supervised facility for taking illicit drugs, with medical support available, in Glasgow. She called on the UK govt to back her proposal, arguing that the status quo did not serve addicts, their families or the public. The Home Office opposes the plan. A spokesman said: "There is no legal framework for the provision of drug consumption rooms in the UK and we have no plans to introduce them". Marc Horne, The Times.


  • W:Vaccination#UK
  • Jan.17.2018: Measles outbreak "a legacy of MMR vaccination scare" Britain declared measles "eliminated" last September after three years in which the only cases were linked to outbreaks overseas. British vaccination rates collapsed in the early 2000s after now-discredited claims by the disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield that the MMR jab increased the risk of autism. He still has adherents in the US and low vaccination rates have contributed to measles outbreaks in some states there. The Times, Chris Smyth

Sexual Health Clinics

  • Jun.07.2018: Dating apps didn’t cause the STI crisis – it was cavalier Tory cuts. Every £1 on prevention and treatment saves the NHS £11, yet sexual health centres are closing due to a lack of funding. When Public Health England (PHE) warned of a growing syphilis and gonorrhea crisis this week, the report initially seemed like the stern wake-up call needed to help the thousands of people around Britain currently unable to access sexual health services. “Sexually transmitted infections pose serious consequences to health,” Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at PHE, told the Times. “It is likely to be a result of condomless sex. We’ve got these apps and they enable people to find partners much more quickly.” Nicki Hodgson, The Guardian.
  • May.14.2018: Patients being turned away from sexual health clinics, RCN says. Nurses have reported having to turn patients away from short-staffed sexual health clinics, leading to fears over a drop in infection testing. Overstretched resources in the field mean that the public are being left unprotected. The past 5 years coincided with what the RCN described as detrimental changes to commissioning of services, funding reductions and a “dangerous” recruitment freeze. Olwen Williams, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, said that the findings provided more evidence that sexual health services had reached tipping point. The Department of Health said "Word Salad". Ben Quinn, The Guardian.


Govt policy is focused on tinkering with the reformulation of ultra-processed foods to reduce the amount of calories and sugar - but not with putting "food back into food". Replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is no solution; sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame and saccharin, plus all the chemicals and food additives in ultra-processed foods, reduce the health and diversity of the microbiome.[3]

When Food isn't Food: The UK is the undisputed junk food capital of Europe. UK families consume more ultra-processed foods (50.7%) than families in any other European country (~14%).[4] Ultra- processed foods are "industrial formulations manufactured almost entirely from sugar, salt, fats and oils, starches and other substances derived from foods, and additives used to imitate the sensory qualities of natural foods or disguise undesirable qualities of the final product". There is "a significant positive association" between the proliferation of ultra-processed foods and the prevalence of obesity and dietary ill-health.[4] Ultra-processed foods are mostly made from only 4 ingredients: corn, soy, wheat and meat.[5] Such a diet can never be healthy.

PHE Eatwell Guide

  • Mar.17.2016: Eatwell Guide. There is so much so wrong with it, I hardly know where to start. Let's focus on the three main issues: 1. It is not evidence based. 2. It does not understand the difference between volume/weight and calorie intake. 3. It is another missed opportunity. We didn't need the committee. We didn't need all these documents and diagrams and press releases and orange borders. We just needed a three word message to come from Public Health Bodies: EAT REAL FOOD! Dr Zoë Harcombe PhD, Zoë Harcombe.


  • Sept.29.2017: EU move to scrap sugar quotas 'will help fuel the obesity crisis'. The EU is abolishing its system of quotas and minimum pricing for sugar from Oct.01 in a move health campaigners say will fuel the obesity crisis. Removing limits on production for the first time since 1968 could lower production costs for soft drinks makers and cancel out the intended effect of the sugar tax, due to come into force in Apr.2018. British Sugar expects the change to allow them to increase production by 50% annually to 1.4m tonnes next year. The EU's sugar quota was introduced in 1968 along with the CAP. 10 years ago the EU agreed to move towards a more competitive sugar industry and in 2013 agreed to abolish the quota. Callum Macpherson, head of Investec, said: “The removal of the quota will enable EU sugar production to increase. If [the quota’s removal] does cause sugar prices to fall, the abolition could help to offset the financial impact of the UK sugar levy on soft drinks manufacturers... and so hamper the effect the govt is trying to bring about." NOF chairman Tam Fry said it was "sheer stupidity". A govt spokesperson said: "The removal of EU sugar beet quotas will enable British growers compete on a level playing field with other sugar producers around the world." Paul Gallagher, The iNews.
  • Mar.18.2012: Giant food firms fail to back battle against obesity. Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Danone and other major food and drink producers have shunned Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's appeal to make their products less energy-dense to help meet his target of people in England consuming 5bn fewer calories a day. Sainsbury's, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Tate & Lyle and Unilever have also declined to sign up to a joint pledge on calorie reduction. Some firms fear that, unless all food producers undertake reformulation of their products simultaneously, those which do might see consumers rejecting their products in favour of tastier unchanged alternatives. But PepsiCo, whose core brands are Walkers, Quaker, Tropicana and PepsiCo, will be signing up. The non-co-operation of most companies casts serious doubt over the future of Lansley's controversial Public Health Responsibility Deal. It has been criticised for letting food firms dodge their public health responsibilities too easily by agreeing to make voluntary pledges of only limited action in return for a promise that ministers will not legislate to impose tougher rules. Tam Fry, spokesman for NOF, said only legislation would ensure foods became healthier. admin, Government Online.

Associated Groups


  • Dec.30.2018: ‘For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer’ For an immune system to work properly, it needs to be confronted by an infection in the first year of life. Without that confrontation, the system is left unprimed and will not work properly. Parents, for laudable reasons, are raising children in homes where antiseptic wipes, antibacterial soaps and disinfected floorwashes are the norm. Because young children are not being exposed to bugs and infections as they once were, their immune systems are not being properly primed. “When such a baby is eventually exposed to common infections, his or her unprimed immune system reacts in a grossly abnormal way,” says scientist Mel Greaves. “It over-reacts and triggers chronic inflammation.” Hence asthma, type 1 diabetes, leukemia, and so on. Robin McKie, The Guardian.
  • Oct.21.2018: Explosion in killer food allergies. Hospital admissions for children with food allergies have jumped by 76% in the past five years, as the number of youngsters with the life-threatening health problem balloons. The Food Standards Agency (FSA): said: “Our campaign #easytoask targeted young people with food allergies and intolerances reminding them to ask for allergen information when eating out. The Department of Health & Social Care said, “We’re working with colleagues in the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the FSA on a review of the policy and laws around allergen labelling. Neither of these actions address the underlying causes! Krystina Shveda, Jon Ungoed-Thomas, The Times.
  • Oct.21.2018: Food allergies are on the rise — what can be done to prevent more tragic deaths? The rise in food allergies is now known as the “second wave” of allergic disease. The first wave was the surge in asthma and hay fever, beginning more than 50 years ago. There are theories. In the late 1990s, the leading explanation was the “hygiene hypothesis”, which blamed modern cleanliness for failing to stimulate the immune system. In the newer “old friends” or “microbiome” hypothesis, our gut microbiota play the central role. Something about modern living is failing to provide us with the right levels of gut diversity. Diet, pollutants, antibiotic use and how far we live from farm animals all play a role. So do births by caesarean section and bottle-feeding. Yet microbiota are not the whole story. If the causes of the tsunami are still unclear, researchers are starting to understand the biochemistry of food allergies better. And while most children grow out of dairy allergies, one in five do not. At least, it used to be one in five. The number of children who do not is rising — which is one of the most puzzling and distressing features of the second wave. The Times.
  • Jan.16.2018: This Is Why Your Grandparents Didn’t Have Food Allergies, But You Do! food allergies in children have increased ~50% between 1997-2011. Over 90% of these allergic reactions come from these 8 foods alone: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Why have allergies increased over 50% in the span of 14 years? (a) Hygience Hypothesis; (b) Traditional Cooking; (c) Seasonal Food and Gardening; (d) No Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Additives, or Preservatives; (e) Traditional Remedies. Carly Fraser, Live Love Fruit.


  1. ^ "Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism", Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach,
  2. ^ a b Goldman Sachs asks in biotech research report: 'Is curing patients a sustainable business model?' Tae Kim, CNBC, Apr.11.2018.
  3. ^ Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health. Tim D Spector, Ana M Valdes et al, British medical Journal, Jun.13.2018.
  4. ^ a b Household availability of ultra-processed foods and obesity in nineteen European countries. Carlos Augusto Monteiro et al, Public Health Nutrition, Vol.21, Special Issue 1, pp.18-26, Cambridge University Press, Jul.17.2017.
  5. ^ The Diet Myth. The one common factor to a healthy diet, healthy gut and a healthy body is diversity. If we are to combat the epidemic of obesity and health problems we need a fundamental shift in how we view food, diets and the hidden microbial world inside our bodies. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College, London, Tim Spector, May.2015.