This week, social media and office canteens were full of discussion on 2 health related programmes on RTE. Dr Eva’s “Sugar Crash” and Operation Transformation, which is back for another year.
While I was not a fan of Dr Eva, I did find her programme very interesting. She has also written some interesting articles on sugar in the Daily Mail recently. It was quite shocking to see a 4 year old having all of their teeth pulled out because they were rotten. Even more fascinating was that the child hardly ever ate sweets. The culprit? Apple Juice. Now it is possible that there were other factors in losing all of her teeth, but the key message was that we need to be aware of what is in our food. Check the labels for anything sugar related (sugar has over 60 different names such as sucrose, corn syrup, maltose, rice syrup, etc), and understand how much sugar can be in common products. For example, a kid’s carton of juice can have 4 teaspoons of sugar, a fruit yoghurt 7 teaspoons, and a can of coke 10 teaspoons.
Moving on to Operation Transformation. It is a program that really engages the nation and it is great to see people out exercising in groups. You have to credit the leaders for putting themselves out there. They have some great characters on this year’s show. In particular Dan, who is 44, lives at home with his Mammy and likes his pints with the lads. He gave up the pints, cut out the crap and started some moderate exercise. The end result: he lost 12 pounds in 1 week.
So what can we take away from these programmes. The key messages were:
- Avoid processed foods. If it is in a packet, it is probably not good for you.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Learn to read the labels and avoid non-natural sources
- Exercise regularly. Take the stairs or get out for a walk.
- And moderate alcohol. Follow the recommended weekly allowances (and not all in one sitting!)
Sugar Crash is available on RTE player at http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/sugar-crash-30003820/10515448/ and Operation Transformation is on RTE1 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.