Breaking Tradition: British Dietetic Association’s U-turn on Healthy Weight Advice

Festive Cheer Without Guilt

As the holiday season approaches, and our focus shifts to food and drink, an internal conflict arises. The diet industry warns against overindulgence, linking it to potential health consequences. However, there’s good news for those over the age of 65, as the British Dietetic Association (BDA) challenges conventional healthy weight advice.

BDA’s Refreshing Perspective

The BDA, in its recent document titled “Eating, Drinking And Ageing Well,” has overturned conventional wisdom, suggesting that losing weight for those deemed ‘overweight’ might not be beneficial for health, particularly for the elderly. NHS consultant dietitian, Alison Smith, encourages seniors to enjoy their food, emphasizing the importance of a nutrient-rich diet.

BMI’s Flawed Measurement

The article highlights the limitations of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as a measure of health. The author, a 66-year-old who falls into the ‘obese’ category by BMI standards, questions the validity of this metric. The BMI’s failure to account for muscle mass and its sole focus on weight is criticized.

Health Benefits of ‘Overweight’

The discussion delves into the historical misrepresentation of the risks associated with being ‘overweight.’ The article refers to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association, stating that being overweight is associated with decreased mortality. It challenges the societal stigma surrounding weight, emphasizing the need to consider factors beyond appearance.

Reassessing Obesity-Related Risks

Acknowledging the risks of morbid obesity, the article highlights a study from the University of Virginia revealing that patients with an ‘obese’ BMI had better survival rates after surgery compared to those with lower BMI. It underscores the importance of distinguishing between various categories of food and rejects the one-size-fits-all approach.

Celebrating Seasonal Indulgence

The article concludes with a reminder of the wisdom found in Ecclesiastes, encouraging mirth and enjoyment of food and drink during the festive season. It challenges the prevailing narrative around weight and health, urging a more nuanced and individualized approach.

Train Driver Strikes: A Contrast in Compensation

A secondary focus of the article touches on the ongoing train driver strikes, particularly in Britain. It sheds light on the disparity in compensation, noting that British train drivers are the best-paid in Europe, with salaries far exceeding their counterparts in countries like Denmark, Ireland, Germany, and France. The author criticizes the train drivers’ union’s stance, emphasizing the high demand for these well-compensated positions despite ongoing strikes.

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