Q. How Many People Follow the Guidelines ? A. 2 out of 10,561
"Adherence to dietary recommendations in Australia is poor". How poor ? As few as 2 out of 10,561 according to one study. But why ? Could it be something to do with the Guidelines themselves ?
This admission appears in the 2013 edition of the Guidelines (p.8), and it includes a reference to this paper, admittedly somewhat dated, but worthy of enough merit by the authors to cite in their own text,
Such a low level of compliance clearly calls for some explanation. In response, the authors of the Guidelines point the finger in a number of directions, blaming everyone except their own selves or the content of the recommendations. Here is where they go with this -
"the food environment" - cheap junk food and processed crap available on every corner and in supermarkets
"poor communication advice" - the rest of the nutrition establishment who are clearly incompetent
"low levels of understanding of the information" - stupid people
"low levels of food literacy" - ignorant people
"high levels of food insecurity" - poor people
"conflicting messages" - fast food advertising, endless media reports of 'new scientific studies' that contradict old ones
"particular dietary preferences" - stubborn people
"dietary patterns established in childhood" - bad parents
"consuming takeaway" - lazy people who can't cook
"stressful family life" - all parents
Within each of these elements, there is of course a certain grain of truth. In my opinion, however, this does not let our authors off the hook, because what they are describing is none other than the society they and their 'Guidelines' have helped to create, and within which they form an important part of the powers that be. This is why the failure to win adherence to their dietary recommendations is so significant, it reveals a FAULT LINE within their own social order.
If we consider the purpose behind the Guidelines then we can see how this works. Their aim is to ensure the viability of our current way of life, in the face of the growing threat posed by the obesity and diabetes epidemic that is running rampant across society and shows every sign of escalating further. Unlike the writers of our nutrition textbook, (see here) these authors make no attempt to play down the train wreck that lies in store if our eating patterns continue on their present course.
"The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing and is expected to become Australia’s leading cause of disease burden by 2023.". (p.1)
"overweight, obesity and associated health problems place a significant economic burden on the Australian health care system. The total direct, indirect and social cost has been estimated at $37.7–$56.6 billion with direct costs estimated at $8–$21 billion. It is predicted that by 2023, the projected health expenditure for type 2 diabetes will have risen $1.4 billion to $7 billion per year, due mostly to increasing weight gain." (p.12)
This is unsustainable, at some point the process of decay and decline among a population of increasingly fat and decrepit citizens will bring the entire edifice crashing down under the burden of health care costs. Nevertheless, the fundamental assumptions on which our Post-Modern global, corporatist, and consumerist order can not be questioned, they must be defended at all costs.
"Never in our nation’s history have Australians had such a wide variety of dietary options. Yet the rising incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in our population is evidence of the need for Australians to improve their health by making better dietary decisions." (p.iv)
Consumer choice has to be matched by better consumer choices, this is the key message.
The supermarket brings the world to your shopping trolley (a staggering 30,000 food and drink items no less are now on offer to the Australian shopper p.32), but if you don't swap out the processed crap for some fruit, veg and wholegrains soon, the entire gravy train will come to a halt.
It is from this perspective that one of the obstacles to compliance with the Guidelines which accompanies the list above takes on special importance. It reads, the "inability to access adequate amounts of nutritious, culturally acceptable foods".
culturally acceptable foods ?
By this the authors are presumably referring to Australia's recent migrant communities, who have not yet been able to reconcile their own cultural traditions with the recommendations in the Guidelines, despite the best efforts of our supermarket logistics chains. This side comment, however, takes on a deeper significance if we shift our gaze away from the nation's latest arrivals, and towards the ethnic group that founded this country, and shaped its core identity - the Anglo-Celts from Britain and Ireland. We can ask of the same Dietary Guidelines - where are OUR culturally acceptable foods ? What connection does this diet have to OUR cultural traditions, including our choices of foods and styles of cooking ?
The answer is - IT HAS NONE. Let's consider this for a moment.
the traditional Australian diet places its highest prize on red meat, beef and lamb, game, the Sunday roast, the barbie, surf'n'turf
we have never eaten green vegetables in any quantity, we don't like them
most of the fruit and veg around today never existed in our traditional context, they are entirely imported, transplanted, or in many cases only recently invented. they have no connection to us
our starches of choice were potatoes and white bread, sourdoughs, not wholegrains, which were always looked down on as inferior. we ate these because we were poor and needed to fill our bellies, not because we believed they were 'nutritious'
bacon and eggs are OUR dish, so are meat pies, so are fish and chips deep fried in lard with lots of salt
Consider this too - why do we have these Guidelines in the first place ? When did we need to be told what to eat and to cook ? Only once the connection to our OWN traditions and identity had been broken, when Australia's ruling elites decided to abandon these and build a de-cultured nation of atomised consumers as endless targets for marketing ploys by global brands of fast food outlets and processed crap manufacturers. (see this post for more on the diet and who it is aimed at)
And now, they want to do the same to recent migrants, this is the true meaning behind our authors' complaint about the unavailability of culturally acceptable foods. Their appeal is not to these communities themselves, to 'eat healthy', but to the SUPERMARKET chains, to get their act together, start selling Halal broccoli, so that these identities can also be incorporated into the consumer juggernaut. We can see this already happening with the 'Asian supermarkets' all over the city, stacked to the ceilings with imported PROCESSED garbage, food items with Mandarin looking packaging but with no more connection to the genuine cuisines of their home culture than a MacDonalds apple pie does to the original all American dessert.
We also see the results - fat Asians everywhere, when just a decade ago that was unheard of.
The Dietary Guidelines are an assault on cultural identity, everyone's, they seek to destroy any remnant of a connection to tradition, to the localised production of food on a farm property, or ancient styles of curing meats, making fermented products, preserves, to home cooking and the passing down of recipes from mother to daughter. They do so in the name of individual, atomised, consumerism, they do so on behalf of global, corporate Post-Modernity.
In the place of tradition, what do the Guidelines offer instead ? On what do they base their recommendations ? 'The best available scientific evidence', this is their claim, SCIENCE. But this is a fraud, their science is a sham, it always was. There is NO TRUTH to the 'diet/heart hypothesis', cholesterol is not your enemy, saturated fat is good for you, polyunsaturated fats are pure poison, plants are full of toxins and anti-nutrients, fruits contain the worst kind of sugar, carbohydrates are not an essential food group for human beings, wholegrains and fibre are indigestible at best, toxic at worst. This is why the battle on the science front (see here for an example) is so important, without the claim to scientific truth these people have NOTHING.
It is also why the failure to win compliance for their dietary guidelines is so significant. In spite of all their institutional power, they can not prevent their globalist, consumerist dystopia from sliding out of their control. No one takes their advice, once the link to tradition is broken and people are adrift, they simply skip the rabbit food option and go the processed junk path, at least it tastes good, even if it will kill you, even if it means the whole circus will come crashing down.
2/10,561. I bet those two were lying too.