Over the last number of years, I have invested quite a significant amount of time into the whole area of nutrition, trying to understand it a little better, with the goal of acquiring enough information to decide upon the best way to fuel my body.  The rationale being that if I could work this part out, I would be able to facilitate the body's natural ability to recover and in the same token, facilitate the repairing process.  As someone living with MS, I now understand the importance of good nutrition and furthermore accept the science in terms of the explicit evidence available, connecting the food we eat, to illness and disease, which is rampaging it's way through society, none more so that heart disease, obesity and cancer.

It's been a fascinating personal journey and one that has lead me firmly to a plant based whole food lifestyle that thankfully over the last 18 months has made a remarkable difference in a very positive way to my own health.

Over the course of this journey I have come to understand and accept how huge multi national food organisations invest millions of dollars into their flawed marketing campaigns in an attempt to do and say almost anything to get people to consume their product, which they loosely refer to as food.


Above, is the actual headline of a piece that went out in yesterday’s Daily Mirror.  When I spotted the article on-line I thought it was maybe some kind of piss take, but when I clicked on the link, I couldn't believe what I was reading, which lead me to read the article a number of times.  I then re-tweeted the piece on line, copying in the author and when I checked this morning I see that the tweet has been deleted, an action I wasn’t even aware was possible...interesting!!!

If you want to read the full article, you can find it here: 

In the piece the author sets her stall out early, stating the advice comes from a nutritionist (rolls eyes) who believes (when standing in a queue at MCD's) ordering two burgers is the better, healthier option.  I’m immediately wondering then is this so called “nutritionist” going to refer to the science available around food, or is it her own personal opinion. The piece then goes onto state; "Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us know large sections of the McDonald's menu off by heart. This means that when we're standing at the counter the only thing we normally have to think about is whether we're hungry enough to upgrade to a large."..... Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve no idea what way Crappy D’s menu's read right now and I wouldn’t be anywhere near their counters, unless I've been caught short on a toilet run.  If you are still with me and you read further into the article, the nutritionist finally gets to her version of the science;

“Protein is what keeps us feeling full up for longer periods of time, so missing this out isn't good. A hamburger contains 13g of protein and a cheeseburger offers 16g. A medium portion of chips however only includes 3.3g. So she suggests ditching the fries and having a second burger which, depending on the burger, could double your protein intake. This will help you feel fuller for longer and could, in theory, stop you reaching for another snack in a few hours”

Ah, I see now, she’s talking about protein and qualifying her views that according to her, Mc Donald’s burgers contain 13g of protein, so doubling up gets you to 26g.  Ok, it all makes sense now!!! This particular piece reminds me of a report (sponsored by the tobacco industry years ago), that came out to find “smoking cigarettes was good for you” (big cough).

To the naked eye and the ordinary Joe who doesn’t really pay attention to nutrition and has a fairly carefree attitude to food, (most of society) this is probably not such a bad a piece after all, as the author makes the argument for ordering two burgers quite eloquently. You can form your own views on this.

Let’s move on – according to a survey published by SafeFood, one in four children in Ireland is now overweight or obese.  An overweight child is well on the pathway to becoming obese in later life.  The survey also found that 54% of parents of overweight children, and 20% of parents of obese children didn’t realise that their children were not at a healthy weight. 

One of Ireland’s leading doctors, Professor Donal O Shea, the ROI health service lead on clinical obesity, has warned on several occasions that Ireland is now well on its way to being the most overweight country in the world. This is some achievement by the way, as the United States has been holding that trophy now for some time.  When you consider the United States can throw out the following statistics in relation to this subject matter, I would suggest it’s time we all start to pay attention;

An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three-quarters of American men and more than 60% of women are obese or overweight. These are also major challenges for America’s children – nearly 30% of boys and girls under age 20 are either obese or overweight, up from 19% in 1980. Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

An article placed in the Irish Times last year, stated the following; In 2030, the proportion of obese and overweight men in Ireland is projected to rise to 89 per cent with a corresponding 85 per cent of women falling into this category. This is absolutely staggering.

I draw your attention to another article in the Guardian by health editor Sarah Boselay that went out October 2016, which stated obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are at unprecedented levels due to spread of fast food and sugary drinks.  It went onto say, junk food and sugary drinks are taking an enormous toll on children around the world, with soaring numbers who are obese and millions developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure previously seen only in adults, data has revealed.

The very sad reality and result of the growth of the crap food market where huge companies like Mc Donald’s and KFC to name two, exploit consumers, using billions of dollars which includes paying so called nutritionists and journalists to write bullshit articles similar to the one I opened this piece with, is that all of us are now eating ourselves to death.  There is no other way to say this.

As a result, many of the worlds leading medical professors, are openly stating our children are now facing crippling illnesses and shortened lives because of the spread of the heavily marketed fast-food culture, with the result being our health care (sick care) services around the world are struggling to cope.

This is a serious issue but the good news is that each and everyone of us can do something about it.  In 2007, twelve months into my MS diagnosis, I worked out and had to accept the fact, that the only person responsible for my own recovery would be me.  There wasn’t a drug or doctor in the world who could make me better.  I worked out that my recovery (if that was what was to happen) would be down to me.  My attitude, my nutrition and my mind-set, could possibly lead the way to some form of recovery.  Thankfully and after eleven very long difficult years, I am pleased to say I have had an incredible recovery, particularly from those very dark days. I would like to qualify this by being honest enough to say that my recovery is a daily battle and continues, as I am working hard and doing all that I can to manage my symptoms.  This is now achieved predominantly through food, exercise, and a positive approach to my challenges.

Obesity is now one of the biggest problems facing society, however the good news is that each of us now has the power to do something about it.  Why not start today, tonight, even tomorrow, with your next shop, and start to make better food choices by putting healthier options into the trolley.

We all now need to take some level of responsibility for this, and for me it means when required, to call out inaccurate articles and false statements which is having an incredibly negative impact on society, and more so now the health and very existence of our own children. 

Have a heathy week...



Conor DevineComment