The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, July 15, 2011

Roy Robertson: Food scientists miss elephant in unhealthy food mix

Economist Rory Robertson tries his hand as a nutritionist. I sometimes take Rory jogging around the CBD, and let's just say that I end up waiting...

Published in The Australian
Letter to the Editor

The trim Sydney Uni food scientists in Saturday's feature "A spoonful of sugar is not so bad" neatly demonstrate the difference between knowledge and understanding.

In arguing that sugar is not the "main game" in today's unhealthy diets, they miss the elephant in the room: the obvious yet profound fact that sugar for many of us is seriously addictive. By promoting food cravings and scrambling appetite control, the unnaturally high level of sugar (actually just the fructose bit) in modern diets has played a disproportionate role in driving the global obesity uptrend.

It took David Gillespie, a formerly fat lawyer, to identify and popularise an easy and effective "silver bullet" for healthier eating by everyday people: just avoid anything that contains high levels of sugar, including fruit juice but not fruit. In life after sugar, constant food cravings and the desire for larger portions collapse like a busted blimp. Appetite control becomes (dare I say) a snack.

If everyone struggling against excess weight read Gillespie's book Sweet Poison and took its compelling advice, the sudden reversal of today's obsesity uptrend would be as spectacular as the exploding giant glutton in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life".

Rory Robertson, Paddington, NSW