Lifestyle Economics

The new public health panic: processed food


In the Media

Marc Glendening writes in The Critic


Jamie Whyte appears on talkTV

Christopher Snowdon writes in The Critic

IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon has written in The Critic, rebutting public health criticisms of Ultra-Processed Food.

Christopher wrote:

“The food industry is good at making tasty food. That is their job. Many of the “ingredients you wouldn’t find in a home kitchen” are used to make the food tasty (others are there to make it safer and increase its shelf-life), but they are not inherently fattening or dangerous.

“Unfortunately, the common sense interpretation of the 2019 study — that tastier food is more likely to be over-eaten than less tasty food — has turned into a belief that any additive used in food manufacturing that isn’t familiar to a non-scientist is going to kill you. The suggestion now is that ultra-processed food is inherently fattening regardless of how many calories you consume.

“This has rapidly degenerated into a theatre of the absurd. Chris van Tulleken (the author of Ultra-Processed People) recently appeared in the Daily Mail panicking about Hovis Multigrain Seed Sensations because it contains a perfectly harmless emulsifier and “ascorbic acid” (AKA vitamin C). He then appeared on television to warn people that they will need to have their wisdom teeth removed because supermarket bread has changed the shape of their jaws.”

Read Christopher’s full piece here.