Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Can you lose weight on pies and beers?

Well yes, of course you can; you can lose weight on any food as long as you create a calorie deficit and eat less energy than you expend. But of course, the quality of those calories is pretty important long term. 

This is a fun (although not for Julian Lee, the reporter doing 30 days of pies and beer) series of stories on current-affairs show Story, to which I'm contributing. I'm there as a sort of 'voice of reason' I think! 

Watch the first episode here, and the follow-up after a week here

Monday, September 19, 2016

For a fat bank balance, sell diets

This column, published last Sunday in the Herald on Sunday, seemed to really resonate. It seems to be the season for diets, juice cleanses and detoxes. What got me started was a 'Bone Broth Detox' diet (ugh). 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Progress on sugary drinks tax petition

A couple of media opportunities to talk about the sugary drinks tax petition came up this week. 

I had an interesting chat to Paul Henry on his show about it on Thursday. He is not at all sure about the tax, but at least we had a good discussion, and it got us a few hundred more people on the petition. 

Then Semi Holland from Maori Television's Te Kaea called, wanting to do a story. Which went to air that night, with some interesting news from the Maori Party: they may look at introducing a bill about this. 

Hopefully there'll be more progress on this in the coming weeks. I'll keep you posted. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Carrots and cupcakes

Last month I had the opportunity to do something I’ve always thought would be amazing: give a TED talk. I was lucky enough to be one of the speakers at the TEDx Queenstown event. 

I realise that in today’s busy world, finding 15 minutes to watch a video is quite a big ask. But if you do have the time, I hope you’ll give it a look.

Those of you who’ve watched TED talks online will know that they are about ‘ideas worth spreading’. My idea was really a distillation of my sixteen years working in food media; and more directly, the eleven years I’ve spend working on Healthy Food Guide. It was a personal message, born of my love of eating well, and a little out of frustration at the way we tend to make the notion of healthy eating a lot more complicated than it needs to be. To me, this is an idea I would love to see spread.

We’re surrounded by (often conflicting) advice about how and what to eat, which makes us confused, and creates the false impression that no-one can agree on how to eat for optimal health. Whereas in fact, the basics of healthy eating are simple; have been known for decades and are widely agreed upon. What’s more: we all know the basics.

So my talk is a reminder and a reassurance. It’s intended to be a positive message, not a preachy one. I go through six simple points about how to think about what to eat. I emphasise that food is really important – and it deserves to be given time and importance – but that we also need to relax and remember that food is a joy and it shouldn’t make us feel anxious or guilty. And that perhaps imposing rules on ourselves; dividing foods into ‘allowed’ and ‘not allowed’ and getting too bogged down in the minute detail of nutrients in the diet is not, ultimately, going to serve our health.

If none of that grabs you, I also introduce the South Pole Diet: the next breakthrough in weight loss! 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Let's be brave - time for a tax on sugary drinks

Yes, I am banging on about this - unapologetically. Here's another blog post on the topic, following a letter from over 70 of this country's top health academics to the Health Minister, calling for a tax. 

And don't forget to sign the petition

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sugary drinks tax petition: why are we doing this?

Here's a bit of the thinking behind the petition. No, it's not the silver bullet solution to the obesity crisis - no one thing is. But as part of a range of measures, it could have a real effect. 

A tax on sugary drinks: it's time

Hi friends. 
For years now we have seen debate about the merits of a tax on sugary drinks. I understand and respect those of you who feel it's 'nanny state' and that the government has no business trying to influence what you drink. However, I respectfully disagree.
Today we started this petition to the NZ government, to follow the brave lead shown by the UK government and introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, with the revenue to be ring-fenced and put towards health and nutrition promotion and education.
If you'd like to sign and share it, I'd love that.