Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Dietetic Duty

For many years the heart foundation has done some great work the area of public health awareness, and without them lots more people would be in a lot more trouble then they currently are. But at the moment I have real issues with their policies on "occasional" food ticks...I have been trying to let it die or even just leave it be, but I can't...it makes me soooooo mad!

The thing is, as most of you would know, this year there were 9 meals approved by the heart foundation available for purchase from McDonald's...last week we had a lecture done by the heart foundation about how great the tick was in terms of public nutrition interventions which is all true except for the fact that they have now started putting ticks on "occasional" foods, so foods that you should only eat "occasionally" claiming that it shows consumers the healthier choice in a particular food area, because people will eat these foods anyway, so lets give them a healthier option...well I don't buy it. What kind of attitude is that? Don't change your diet because we've changed your food????

For so many years the heart foundation tick has been great at showing consumers which foods are good for your heart and most of the food that the tick was used on were everyday foods, foods that are good for you to eat on a regular basis. The lecture was taking about the fact that the tick is the only nutritional symbol that didn't cause consumer confusion, but I don't think that that is true anymore!

Putting the tick on foods like McDonald's implies that the meals are good for you...not just that they are better than say Hungry Jacks, but the truth is they are still high in every macronutrient anyway and they are not good for you at all (to McDonald's credit they have worked very hard to get their meal options in the heart foundations requirements, so it is better than lots of other things, but?)...But if you read the fine print the Heart foundation only suggests that you eat those particular meals no more than once a week, but who would know that...no one. But it gets better, you have to eat the meals exactly as they are suggested, you can't even swap the high sugar orange juice for a no sugar diet coke or even water...its just silly, as if water isn't the better choice!

The heart foundation claims that we the general public, thats us, should eat according to the Australian Dietary guidelines...but does anyone outside the health profession have a copy...probably not. We asked this lecturer how the population is supposed to no what the guidelines are, or even just want is considered a "occasional" tick item and an "everyday" tick item...and she told us that its the dietitian's job! But seeing as most dietitian's only see those that are unwell or have a specific nutritional need, not everybody in the population...no one will ever know.

So I figured as a dietitian (well almost) and this is apparently my duty...I would just blog about it...so here you go...

The heart foundation tick is put
on everyday and occasional meals/food items and therefore the items should be consumed accordingly not just because they have the tick!


Talk about confusing...just writing this blog was confusing!

2 comments:

Brad Freind said...

Thank you for your helpful information. You have really opened my eyes to the fact that McDonalds isn't good for you despite the tick.
Therefore, I won't feel any worse eating a large double cheesburger meal as opposed to a salad and juice.

fee said...

i would like to congratulate you em on the info concerning 'the tick'. it is a good thing, to share your knowledge. it's starting to seem like there is no one left in this world with morals. we know maccas doesn't have many (ask annie and beth about why they don't eat it, well, they can't remember, but it's because maccas did bad stuff) but now the tick people are compromising...what is this world coming to?
love ya