Why do I predict that THIS is doomed to failure? - Because yet again, influential, but ill-informed, people are claiming that obesity is on the increase because of energy imbalance, i.e. that obesity is being caused by taking in too many calories and expending too few calories. They see part of the answer to this supposed cause as pressing restaurants to limit portion sizes! - See this Telegraph article. What an intrusion into the personal liberty of both the customer and the restaurateur! - Why do I say this? - Isn't it worth it to improve people's health? - Well no, actually. - Limiting portion size will not improve anyone's health, and it certainly won't improve their temper or their blood pressure!
It dismays and astounds me that they are still, even now, peddling this lie, despite the destruction it is wreaking on the health of the people they are paid to serve.
Why don't they read the research? - Diets don't work! - Renaming diets 'healthy living' doesn't make them work. Restricting calories in and increasing exercise (calories out) is counter-productive. - It actually causes WEIGHT GAIN, because it weakens the blood vessel walls and so increases fluid retention. See the article in the British Medical Journal of November 2003 http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/327/7423/1085 for actual research on what happens when this advice is followed! - Over 800 obese adults were put on energy deficit diets, given diet sheets and plenty of instruction and help from trained staff, and apparently, visited fortnightly for a year, at the end of which they had GAINED weight! This mirrors the real experience of obese people, viz. - dieting makes you fatter.
To reduce obesity in Scotland they should be explaining that it is initiated by fluid retention, which tends to be followed by fat retention as well. The vector for both of these forms of excess weight is salt - more exactly, SODIUM. Reducing salt/sodium intake is the fastest, safest way to lose excess weight because it reduces both fluid retention and fat retention. - Fat retention is not caused by eating too much fat and is not cured by eating meals low in fat.
See Lose weight and
Fat retention and fat excretion: the importance of getting enough calcium.
Don't bother about portion control. It is neither necessary nor desirable.
Read my Mensa article on Obesity and the Salt Connection
And see Sodium in foods and
Children and Obesity
And they should be curbing the reckless prescribing of pharmaceutical drugs, since their side-effects are the major cause of adult onset morbid obesity. See