CAN FOOD CONQUER DISEASE AND CUT NHS COSTS


Find out at the ground-breaking 'Food as Medicine' Seminars

Last month's admission of failure of government initiatives to halt the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and announcement that by 2050 a shocking 60 percent of men and 50 per cent of women will be obese, coincided with the launch of the Food Standards Agency's 'Eatwell Campaign'. This campaign actively encourages people to eat more starchy foods, reporting on their website that "Of the 2,094 people surveyed, 73% recognised we should aim to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, but only 11% said we should eat a lot of starchy foods - showing that people don't always realise the benefit of eating bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. The Eatwell plate shows we should try to eat lots of starchy foods, such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice." No mention is made of unrefined, wholegrain, complex of low GI/GL carbohydrates. 

We, at Food for the Brain, are convinced however that it is precisely these very high GL foods that are driving both the obesity and diabetes epidemic, and encourage heart disease, depression and breast cancer. In fact a recent Cochrane systematic review of all the evidence concludes that '"Overweight or obese people lost more weight on a low Glycaemic Load (GL) diet and had more improvement in lipid profiles than those receiving conventional diets." The review compared the results of six well designed trials comparing low GL diets with conventional diet, based on reducing calories.  Other benefits were greater loss in body fat, reductions in bad 'LDL' cholesterol, and increase in good 'HDL' cholesterol. The science shows that it's not fat, but sugar, refined carbohydrates and starchy foods that are driving the 'diabesity' epidemic. Rather than focussing on salt or fat, the FSA would do the nation's health far more good by recommending we cut down on sugar and refined carbohydrates, instead of actively encouraging people to eat more!

This lack of awareness highlights the frustrating fact that although most healthcare professionals know that good nutrition is a vital piece of the health equation, they don't however know the considerable interaction between chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, vascular disease, depression and dementia - and the important role nutrition and lifestyle can play in their prevention. These diseases affect a staggering number of people across Britain and account for the greatest medical costs within the NHS, and yet, ironically, are considered to be relatively preventable by implementing simple lifestyle changes and optimising nutrition.

This month there are two one-day seminars on Food as Medicine: Preventing Diabetes, Obesity, Vascular Disease, Depression, Dementia with Nutritional Medicine and Lifestyle Changes. Aimed at GPs and other healthcare professionals, the seminars feature a panel of speakers that includes leading diabetes expert, Dr Fedon Lindberg, and Professor David Smith, Emeritus Professor of Oxford University's School of Medical Sciences. Held on 17th November in London and 18th November in Manchester, the seminars will demonstrate the link between these chronic conditions and outline the key role nutrition can play in their treatment and prevention. Our panel of leading experts will provide a core understanding of the kind of diet and lifestyle that can create and reverse these conditions and more importantly show how practitioners can incorporate nutritional and preventative medicine into their practice and to patients' treatment programmes. 

The seminars will focus on precisely what works best for beating diabetes and obesity, conquering depression and improving mood, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and avoiding heart disease. They should not be missed by any health care professionals struggling to treat patients suffering from these conditions.

These events are the first in the Sponsored BioCare Sciences Series - a prestigious set of Expert Seminars for 2008.  For more information please contact go to http://www.foodismedicine.co.uk/content.asp?id_Content=2000

Wishing you the best of health

From Food for the Brain