Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mini-Mail line-by-line

Have you eaten something with sugar in in the last 48 hours? Fear not, the Daily Fail's "femail" section is here to judge you in a classic piece of woman-bashing called "Chocolate bars for breakfast, HobNobs at work... Keeping a diary of treats will help you stop calorific snacking". Here's the first three lines:

"Diets are doomed to fail because British women snack so much, experts claimed earlier this month."

Of course it's only women who are on diets. And no, before you read on, no information is supplied about the academic track record of these "experts"...

"More than half of us admit to eating at least two unhealthy treats a day, with an alarming one in seven confessing to five episodes of naughtiness."

Naughtiness? As far as I know the word "naughtiness" is generally reserved for the under-fives and people who like to incorporate some light spanking into their foreplay.

"But does the average British women really gorge on more than 1,000 treats a year?"

No she doesn't gorge on 1,000 treats. She EATS 1,000 treats. How many treats a year do men aggressively binge on? And by the way - lager counts.

Then there's a very boring passage where a woman (Lorraine) makes a list of the "naughty" treats she's had this week. Its not clear to me whether she doesn't count desserts (maybe you get 1 hour from starting to eat to count it as part of the meal) or doesn't eat them (cos, you know, she's a woman...). And in between our "expert" Zoe criticises these food choices without sympathy. And apparently the main advantage of not eating snacks is "not feeling guilty". Hmm... No-one seems to care that the disadvantages of eating less treats are (1) being fucking hungry and (2) not getting to eat nice things that you like.

And then there's a conclusion:

"I've eaten an extra 3,690 calories in just a week through snacking — that’s nearly two days worth of extra food and would result in a weight gain of a pound if eaten on top of the 2,000 calories the average woman needs a day."

Yeah but half of the snacks were instead of a meal. And they included things like nuts and cheese. Things you could quite legitimately include in a meal.

"I’m staggered and feel distressed not just by the number of calories, but by what I’ve discovered about myself. "

You discovered you like sweets and crisps? And that's distressing? HEy could be worse - could turn out you like crack...

"I genuinely thought this diary might be a bit thin on the ground because, until I wrote everything down, I was convinced I didn’t snack that much. But I just haven’t noticed that I do."

Thank God for the Daily Male - handing you a big stick to beat yourself up with...

"So how do I stop? I call Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association for advice."

I sure hope she's on emergency speed-dial.

"‘It’s quite hard to refuse a friend, so if they’re cutting a cake, ask for a small slice and eat half,’ she says. "

Really? My friends actually like me so they tend not to force cake on me if I politely say no thank you.

"‘If they reach for a packet of biscuits, say: “Don’t open them on my account.” "

Or - stop press - no thank you.

"‘It may seem strange, but use the same tricks as people with eating disorders — tell others you ate before you came out or that you’re going out for dinner and don’t want to spoil it."

Yes use the same tricks as people with eating disorders ... survive on 500 calories a day until your bones become brittle and damaged, your internal organs start to digest themselves and you, erm, die as one in five eating disorder sufferers do. If an expert from the British Dietetic Association advised women to act like they have an eating disorder, I think that expert should be struck off. Obviously.

"‘And if you know you’re going to miss a meal, plan ahead. If it’s dinner, eat a larger portion at lunchtime or have a healthy snack such as a bowl of soup or cereal at 5pm. That will tide you over until you get home."

So I can have Cocoa Pops at 5pm and that's healthy? Bonza...

"‘Be prepared so when you get hungry you have something appropriate — buy single servings of dried fruit or nuts. And have a rule that you eat only when sitting down at a table — most snacking is done standing up or on the run.’"

Now first up early on you were telling her that nuts were "naughty", make your mind up. And of course most snacking is done standing up or on the run - that's the definition, and the point, of snacking isn't it?

"It’s advice I plan to take to heart. And before you start criticising my snacking, why not jot down everything you eat. You may be surprised . . ."

I wasn't going to criticise your snacking. I was going to tell you you clearly have a busy life, maybe you should focus on your achievements and not bother with a pointless diet.


Julian said...

Eat like you have an eating disorder?

"Strange" isn't how I'd describe that advice. Maybe "dangerous." Definitely "unhealthy."

Possibly "minimizing mental health disorders" - although I guess that's okay because anorexia is according to the Male only a ladies' problem that ladies have and not very important.

That is the worst thing I've read today and I'm off to write to Sian Porter & ask her if she actually really said those words.

Julian said...

I got an email back from Sian Porter saying:

"Please be assured that I was misquoted and shall take it up with the journalist concerned and the paper. Please do write to them as well.

I would in no way condone or offer advice to ape eating disorders."

Deb said...

Nuts and cheese? Really? Yes I know they have a high fat content but they are hardly the antichrist. I am all for people eating healthier and I do believe the country/world as a whole has distorted its view on eating/weight terribly and an article like this only aids this.