Horizon: Sugar v. Fat

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King

OK. Watching this Horizon documentary was a major mistake. Because I am now really hungry but don’t actually want to eat anything because EVERYTHING IS BAD.

Does that count as a spoiler?

Twin doctors Chris and Xand Van Tulleken have the interesting idea of going on two different diets – high-fat and high-sugar – in order to compare the effects of those nutrients.

In theory, it’s a sound experiment – they’re twins, their diets are prescribed by nutritionists, they do regular tests over the month. They even explain to their viewership about the importance of large sample sizes in science in a way that isn’t patronising or condescending.

Of course, they don’t eat the same amount of food, so take this with a pinch of salt.

You get the feeling, though, that everyone already knows what’s going to happen, since the various talking heads spend much screen time informing us of The Effects of Fat and Sugar on Your Brain and Your Metabolism. This isn’t really an experiment, it’s an illustration. Sit Up and Take Note, People of Britain! Fat and Sugar are Bad!

But only when you eat them together, it turns out. On their own, they’re actually not that bad.

So that’s all right, then.


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