‘Junk food bestaat niet’

In een nieuw boek, geschreven door Vincent Marks, Emeritus Klinische Biochemie professor op de Universiteit van Surrey, wordt geponeerd dat de hedendaagse moralistische behandeling van een begrip als ‘junk food’ nergens op gestoeld is. Alleen ‘junk diëten’ bestaan, zegt hij. Maar een hamburger is niet slechter dan willekeurig ander voedsel. 100% hamburgers eten is net zo slecht als leven van 100% fruit. De totale samenstelling van het menu is belangrijk en niet een individueel product als het van de goede grondstoffen is gemaakt.


“Society seeks to regulate lifestyle through promoting fears of disease and death. Diet is an ideal focus for such a programme because of its historic association with health and wellbeing and its centrality to human life.”


Typisch is weer dat alleen gepensioneerde wetenschappers tegen de algemene lijn in durven te gaan…


Professor Marks says that all foods – whether the dreaded twizzler or a freshly picked apple – are just combinations of protein, fat and carbohydrates, and our bodies will take from them what we need and get rid of the rest. “Even hamburgers provide energy in a palatable and affordable form,” he argues.

Deadly sin

“No food is ‘better for us’ than any other; it all depends upon circumstances. For people on a limited income or in times of famine, high energy density food is best and will enable survival. For the affluent and in times of plenty – like now in the UK – fruit is an important part of a mixed diet,” says Professor Marks.


He says we should focus less on individual foodstuffs and more on diet.

“There is no such thing as junk food, but there is such a thing as a ‘junk diet’. The quantity of food consumed, over say a weekly period, is just as important as its quality.”

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, a GP in Hackney, writer for The Lancet and author of The Tyranny of Health: Doctors and the Regulation of Lifestyle, says that eating junk food has become one of the great sins of our times.

“Gluttony used to be one of the seven deadly sins; now eating junk food invites moral opprobrium.


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