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Clean food can be dangerous

Timebombs in your tucker (food).

Two hundred thousand years ago the first humans appeared on earth then started developing our human food needs.

Since then we have evolved to require a mix of chemicals, bugs, germs etc to keep healthy.

Vegetarians, vegans, modern “keep our children clean” parents ignore what is natural for us, at their children’s peril.

Or so it seems because “A cult of clean eating is a “ticking timebomb” that could leave young people with weak bones, the National Osteoporosis Society has warned.

Research by the charity shows that four in ten of those aged between 18 and 24 have tried such regimes, which are now coming under attack for cutting out major food groups, such as dairy.

The diets have become increasingly fashionable, and are associated with a number of celebrities, who have boasted how they have cut out gluten, dairy, grains and refined sugars.

But the charity said many of those following the trends had no idea that cutting out major food groups could jeopardise their long-term health, with bones still developing in early adulthood.

The craze has been associated with a number of celebrities – many of whom have now moved to disassociate themselves from such habits – as well as on social media.

Earlier this year London sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley moved to distance themselves from “clean eating”, saying their emphasis was on eating foods without additives, not on restriction.

But the charity’s survey of more than 2000 adults found 70 per cent of those aged between 18 and 35 are or have been on a diet, with those aged between 18 and 24 most likely to have tried “clean eating”.

Dairy – a major source of calcium, which protects the bones – was one of the key food groups targeted.

In total more than 20 per cent of those such age had cut or severely restricted intake of milk or cheese.

This group were far more likely than older adults to be getting their information about health and diets from blogs, vlogs and other social media.

Experts said the trends were putting the generation at significant risk of developing osteoporosis – a condition that causes bones to become fragile and break easily – in later life.

Professor Susan Lanham-New, Clinical Advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society and Professor of Nutrition at the University of Surrey, says: “Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late twenties it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed.”

Half of all women and one in five men develop osteoporosis after the age of 50. Broken bones, also known as fractures, caused by osteoporosis can be very painful and slow to recover from.

A poor diet for those in their teens and early twenties now could see a significant rise in the numbers of people suffering fractures and the complications associated with them in the future.

Professor Lanham-New said: “Without urgent action being taken to encourage young adults to incorporate all food groups into their diets and avoid particular ‘clean eating’ regimes, we are facing a future where broken bones will become just the ‘norm’.

“We know that osteoporosis is a painful and debilitating condition and young adults have just one chance to build strong bones and reduce their risk of developing severe problems in later life.”

The charity is urging parents and grandparents to talk to young people about the risks from their diet.

The campaign, called ‘A Message to My Younger Self’ is being led by wellbeing and beauty expert Liz Earle, who said she feared the pressures on her own daughters from social media.

She said: “When I was growing up, my meals weren’t photographed and shared on social media. The pressure young women are under to match what their idols on Instagram are eating is really high.”

Laura Donnelly


{ 14 comments… add one }
  • TommyGun 20/04/2017, 2:00 am

    This article is partly true; partly rubbish.
    Humans do NOT need dairy products past weaning age. They are simply not needed and, in fact, are harmful in certain circumstances, with the exception of fermented dairy products, which are beneficial at all ages.
    Lack of vitamin D (caused mainly by fastidious avoidance of sunlight) and K are far more important in building bones than dairy products. There is more than adequate calcium in a dairy-free diet. But, if Vit D is low, it will not be absorbed. If D is adequate but Vit K is not, the calcium will be deposited in the wrong places; soft tissue instead of bones.
    Weight-bearing exercise is also very important to stimulate bone growth. Sitting in a chair all day watching TV or a computer is a recipe for disaster.
    Osteoporosis is a multi-factorial problem with complex solutions.

    • Lorraine 20/04/2017, 8:11 am

      Oh thanks Doctor Tommygun. Would never have known if you did not inform, please look up magnesium ,it could save all

      • TommyGun 20/04/2017, 2:07 pm

        You’re correct, Lorraine, I am.

    • Albert 20/04/2017, 8:22 am

      Tommy, I’m no expert on the subject but it seems to me that you have been listening to that misguided pizza cook Paleo Pete.

      • Eliza 20/04/2017, 10:00 am

        Tommygun you interest me because as an old fashioned medic I was taught about Vitamins D and K and so agree with you on that but as to no dairy I find that to be a load of bull. As my mother and Grandma (both lived to 92 with never a bone broken and Grandma a nurse trained at Florence Nightingale’s Nursing school) always encouraged us to enjoy our dairy. Infections and ill health today is due to many things but the increase in using antibacterial cleaners is the biggest cause of ill health in our modern world. As my wise ancestor used to say ” A little of everything and a little dirt will do you absolutely no harm”

      • TommyGun 20/04/2017, 2:04 pm

        Actually, Albert, I can’t stand the guy!
        Can’t bear to watch him on TV.

      • Joe Blogs 20/04/2017, 2:56 pm

        That bullshit “smile” was enough to cause Blogs to switch channels.

  • Robert TG 20/04/2017, 9:03 am

    It’s always interesting to see an article that has small quotations of an “expert”. The reporter selects the quotation to fit the story they want to tell and leave off all the bits from the expert that don’t go along with the reporters theory.

  • geoffrey 20/04/2017, 10:17 am

    plenty of straight milk ( with the cream on top), cheese and real butter didn’t do us any harm and we’re still around to talk about it!

  • Joe Blogs 20/04/2017, 10:26 am

    It follows that wearing the humble burqa is a primary cause of osteoporosis.

  • Graham 20/04/2017, 1:16 pm

    If you took any notice of all the so called nutritional ‘experts’ wobbling on about what to eat or not to eat you would end up eating either everything or nothing

  • TommyGun 20/04/2017, 2:09 pm

    Eliza: I fully agree with your last comment. Over-sanitation is a leading cause of under-developed immune systems in children in “modern” countries.

    • Lorraine 20/04/2017, 4:06 pm

      Tommy Gun is Putin ill,you said somewhere you are in Russia, be very careful of x-ray machines while you are there . stick with Vitamins and keep clear of high radiation , I think their TV’s are emitting huge doses.

      • TommyGun 20/04/2017, 4:34 pm

        As far as I know, Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin) is just fine. Really, Tremble could do with a few pages from his book (especially the ones relating to “courage”!)
        I don’t watch much TV here…but most of them are imported from Korea and Japan, anyway, so just the same as in Australia.
        Must admit I was a tad unhappy at having to be X-rayed to prove I didn’t have TB, though, when applying for my passport.

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