Saturday, May 31, 2008

Five Portions Per Day

I'm broadly healthy. I've never been a member of a gym, but I play football twice a week and a racket sport once a week. I rarely eat out so I tend to eat home cooked food or white bread sandwiches. I eat fruit almost every day too. But I'm naturally sceptical.

So I have never believed this five-a-day nonsense. I've done a little research, and I still can't find the very first recommendation for it. Let me know if you can point me there. Yet people, apparaently rational sensible people, swear by this rule.

In the absence of a confirmed original reference, I suggest a theory. I suggest that some well meaning government advisor decided that a simple "eat more fruit and veg" message would not work for the mindless sheep who need explicit holy instructions to guide their aimless lives. So he or she decided that five a day was the clear message. But amazingly, some fools took it literally, and the virus spread. Now it is "truth". A normal balanced diet, like an evolved world, is just too complicated for some people to understand. If they've been pigging out on burgers all day then five portions of fruit juice in the evening will "balance" it.

Except from libertarian slobs trying to justify their unhealthy lifestyles, we rarely see articles criticising this five-a-day rule. Yesterday the Guardian finally did. But it still doesn't come close to the derision I feel for those who treat the rule like religion.


Ann said...

This would be the same nanny state that now advises women that they should drink no alcohol during pregnancy.

The reason for this is simply that it is too confusing for women to understand that the occasional drink is fine and won't damage the baby.

Well women do have small brains which become far less effective during pregnancy so maybe they have a point.

R N B said...

It's a bit of nannying that I don't mind too much really, there's no law against unhealthy diets, but as you say it is basically giving advice that treats people as too stupid to apply a bit of common sense to their eating habits. What rankles more are the vita-pill-pushers who exploit this stupidity...

Ann said...

But you must have seen the research recently that said Vit pills do no good at all. Well actually it said supplements with particular vitamins were no good.

R N B said...

Yep. Pill pushers are the ones who benefit most from such such specific directives.