2 responses to “Fancy some cocaine with your tea?”

  1. Leonie Joubert

    Hi Signe.

    Sorry you were a bit disappointed. Alas, a 12 minute slot gives very little time to flesh out the nuances of a topic as complex as this.

    But to substantiate a few points: The Lancet’s special report on obesity from 2011 (also the House of Lords report on UK obesity rates and the obesogenic nature of modern life, particularly in the city) talks quite explicitly about the factors that I listed which underlie why the city does, in fact, make us fat and sick.

    Unfortunately someone Tweeted, incorrectly, that I said “sugar is as addictive as cocaine” – not at all, it just triggers the same pleasure centre in the brain. And yes, it is addictive (try quitting it completely!) and yes, the inflammatory response of too much exposure to sugar (and refined carbs) appear to be linked to Alzheimers and heart disease. Health policy in many places is beginning to reflect concerns about sugar, and the need to protect youngsters from it, since their brains are still driven by the limbic system, ie highly impulse driven, and prone to learn addictive behaviour. So ja, I’d say maybe we should take it a bit more seriously.

    As for the ‘we’ in ‘we are fat’: I was referring to SA in general. Stats show that 55% of all South Africans over the age of 15 are overweight or obese. The lifestyle related diseases associated with being overweight are becoming a greater burden to the health care system than communicable diseases like HIV and TB which is why our health minister is taking such a firm stance on preventative medicine.

    Yup, it was the same as the TEDx talk – having been asked specifically to speak on that topic.

    Kind regards,
    Leonie Joubert

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