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Editorial by Harry Mather, Vegan Views 99 (Winter 2003/4)

The study of Nutrition in the past few years has brought us more and more information about the human physiology and the workings of the digestive system. These researches which consist mainly of studies of human groups bring confirmation that the vegan way of nutrition is the one suited for the human organism.

In contrast to this improvement in knowledge, there is a growing acknowledgement of the unsuitability of the normal diet of a significant number of the peoples of the affluent nations, and obesity is of growing concern, especially among young children.

Sugary and fatty foods can give a feeling of fullness and satisfaction that leads us to neglect the equally important fruit and vegetables also necessary for a balanced diet. Official sources have long pleaded that we should include a minimum of five portions of fruit and veg each day "Five A Day", but the message is rarely heard above the constant promotion of convenience foods and snacks.

Instead of turning to a balanced diet, the fashion is to look for systems of fat reduction through diets. Although some succeed in reducing their overweight, they then return to their former diet and, unsurprisingly, they put the weight on again.

The latest fad is the Atkins diet which emphasises eating protein foods and avoiding carbohydrates (starchy foods). This has become fashionable through promotion by celebrities, but it is not a new idea. The emphasis on rich foods results in an unbalanced diet, which, if continued, will put a strain on the digestive system. Most people may have too high an intake of carbohydrates, as sugars are added to convenience foods to suit the convenience of the manufacturer.

I wonder why people should look on vegans as faddists when they themselves so readily follow the fads of fashion and ignore the wisdom of the Nutritionists?

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Cross-reference: Nutrition and Health