The Big Fat Fix

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I’m going to use this week’s post to promote a crowdfunded film I’ve just watched.  It’s called The Big Fat Fix, and you can stream or download it here.

The Big Fat Fix is an independent co-production between former international athlete Donal O’Neill – the Producer of Cereal Killers (2013) and Run on Fat (2015) – and UK Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, who is one of my lifestyle-as-medicine heroes.

The film addresses the issue of how recommended but misguided dietary advice over the last 50 years has spawned the obesity and diabetes epidemics.  It looks at the role of healthy eating – based around what’s become known as the Mediterranean Diet – in treating and preventing these and other diseases. And it examines the way we can and should exercise for optimal health.

At around 1 hour and 20 minutes it’s a long-ish film, and it begins at a leisurely pace. But stick with it, as you’ll find a wealth of advice which dramatically contradicts traditional dietary recommendations – advice which is gathering momentum and credibility at an exciting pace these days. It addresses issues around obesity, diabetes, stress and heart disease.

I commend this film to you.  That is all. The end.

Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

6 thoughts on “The Big Fat Fix”

  1. I have not watched the Big Fat Fix. However, I have read many articles and books that say the same thing that the dietary advice spawned the obesity epidemic. I do not believe this for one second. That theory does not pass the EBT (the eye-ball test). People (on a population basis) never followed the dietary recommendations. You only have to get stuck in the 5 pm traffic jam down-town due to the bottle-neck of people going into the fast-food drive through … or see people guzzling the mountains of soda and slurping there way through mountains of fatty food in the food swamps … or watch what people put into their shopping trolleys … to understand that. Dietary surveys show people in America, UK and US eat 35% junk food. These were never dietary recommendations. For fifty years the recommendations have been to eat mainly fruit, vegetables, legumes, plus moderation of protein foods, nuts and seeds, small amounts of added fats, refined starch and sugar. People have not been doing that.
    The interesting thing about these theorists (the ones who say they got the dietary guidelines wrong) is that they slam Ancel Keys (who was the first nutritionist to encourage dietary changes back in the 1950s to 1970s) and yet promote the Mediterranean diet. And yet Ancel Keys was the person who promoted that diet and brought it to America. The Mediterranean diet has been promoted since at least the 1980s by many nutrition authorities as a healthy way of eating.
    Of course, many of the things these theorists say are correct and the advice they offer is in many ways sound (in other ways not so sound), in that we should all return to a more traditional diet, eat real foods, and cut out refined foods and junk foods and food-like substances. In recommending that, what they are promoting is actually getting close to what the recommended diets have been for over fifty years.

    1. You make a very good point, and I think this is where ‘Big Food’ – the food industry giants – have a lot to answer for, in the way they’ve pushed addictive sugar-laden products at us for decades; even persuading us that, having scraped away a teaspoon of fat from here and there (and overloaded the sugar content to compensate), these are somehow ‘healthy’ foods. I’d be the first to attest to the addictive quality of fast-food, be it Chinese takeaway, KFC, Big Macs, sugary treats or bags of potato chips/crisps… I’ve been there.

      Interestingly, The Big Fat Fix spends a lot of time on Ancel Keys, and watching the documentary was the first time I realised that his original advice was so badly misrepresented. Not only that, but in later life, he came to rethink some of his earlier recommendations, but couldn’t get his papers published for love nor money. The Big Fat Fix gives him serious credit for being a revolutionary dietary thinker, not the dietary pariah he is often assumed to be. It was the way his messages were adopted by ‘Big Food’ that took us all down a very unhealthy road.

      I’m excited by the voices – from the medical profession – these days, who espouse the ‘lifestyle as medicine’, ‘food as medicine’, ‘LCHF’, sugar-free, holistic, whole-food messaging, which makes perfect, perfect sense to me, and is proving so much easier for me to adopt than the many ‘diets’ I’ve tried in years gone by.

      1. Good for you, that diet is working (or should I say ‘lifestyle’ as we don’t use that term ‘diet’ anymore :). To find a balanced approach that works long-term is the way to go … and to work through to a lifestyle that works for each of us as individuals.
        In regard to the ‘Diet-Fix’, I will have to watch before I comment further. I agree that ‘Big-Food’ has a lot to answer for. I have read a lot by Marion Nestle a professor of nutrition who blogs about food politics and how the nutrition messages from the scientists are often dwarfed by the marketing messages of ‘Big food’.

    2. What people misunderstand about the Mediterranean diet is that it is more than a food it is a lifestyle. I thought I understood the Mediterranean diet and have followed if years while living in UK. I have moved to Portugal and boy did I misunderstand, many active people living in my village are active 90 plus year old. Their life and community is so different to UK and US. Community is hugely important, exercise is work, food is fresh and much of it local grown. People have chickens, goats, sheep and cows. They swap goats for sheep. They have time to talk and socialise. Diet is mainly veg, meats all types of fish and she’ll fish, I tried octopus for the first time a few days ago. Lots of veg or salads, lots of fruits and nuts and most people eat some bread made with olive oil each day. Lots of olive oil used daily and many of us grow our own olives.
      Wine is plentiful and everyone drinks red wine or some white every day. Many make their own but in this region the Alentejo has many wine growers.
      Ancel looked only at diet and missed the social facts that are hugely important, less stress, lots of movement with some heavy work all contributory to long healthy lifestyle. Plenty of sunshine, a true outdoor life.

      1. What a great comment – thanks so much for joining in. You’re absolutely right about all this of course! It’s so much more than a diet – a true lifestyle, which can be hard to emulate if you’re not actually ‘in’ it. I’ve been reading up lately about the Mediterranean Diet;best book I’ve found is The Pioppi Diet by Dr Aseem Malhotra – one of my healthy lifestyle heroes. And Portugal – what a wonderful place to enjoy life and health.

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