Monday, 19 September 2011

Do the Little Things Make a Difference

 Outrage has begun to descend across Britain as the U.S. has begun to meddle with a British favourite, HP sauce. This trademark British condiment is to have its recipe change in order to comply with a pledge signed by U.S. company Heinz to reduce salt and fat levels in food. This has left some of Britain furious, saying that it has changed the taste.

Heinz have reduced the salt content of the recipe in compliance with the pledge they signed, the overall aim of which is the government’s hope to reduce the amount of salt people eat by 1 gram per day. It has been estimated that this could save the NHS £46m a year within 3 years. I am not sure what calculation was used to work that figure out and I feel sorry for the person who was handed the task of working that one out. Maybe he/she thought they were being asked how much money Arsenal should have sold Fabregas for.
There can be no denying that something needs to be done in order to reduce British health problems. But what people have taken issue with is that the taste has been sacrificed for the sake of a small reduction in salt. If you think how much sauce a person has each time they have some and then how often they have sauce, does it really make a difference how much salt is in our HP sauce?
This does indeed seem such a small, insignificant difference. If you imagine that nothing else changes in a person’s life other than the salt content in their HP sauce goes down a little then yes that is an insignificant difference. They might be putting that sauce on a greasy fry-up that could feed a family of 5. But if the salt content in their sauce goes down, they park in the furthest space from the shop instead of the nearest so they have to walk a little, they have less sugar in their tea or coffee....the little things soon turn into a big thing. By changing lots of little things you would be surprised how much you could improve your lifestyle. You will not shift stone after stone or inch over inch over night, but your long term health will improve gradually. Part of the problem is that too many people have too many little bad habits like parking close to the shops or taking the lift not the stairs or eating larger than necessary portions. It could be that the build of all these little things is what has lead to a person being overweight.
So is our HP sauce worth the sacrifice? No? What about the weekly Chinese? Things like this can be seen as a sacrifice to your life in order to improve your health. But if you are overweight then some “sacrifices” have to be made. But is it a sacrifice to have a something else or do something else. I do not want to go into something completely different but it may be that people aren’t sacrificing taste or convenience by switching what they eat and what they do, just their habit. If you do something every day for most of your life and then someone tells you that you need to stop, it probably will feel like a sacrifice.
The point is, yes HP sauce tastes different and the difference in salt is slightly insignificant. But something has to change in order to make the population healthier. There is too much food out there with high salt or fat or sugar and people just accept it. If everyone changes some of the little things, they may end up surprised by the big difference they might see in their health.
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Little Bit Extra
I’ve decided to keep you all in the loop about my own health and fitness. At the minute I play football (soccer if you’re American) and I enter a few long distance races. I’ve always played football but only just started running. I’m hoping to move from a middle of the pack runner to a front runner in these races. Come along for the ride as I tell you about all the runs I get up to, my recovery and let’s see if I can get better. So....let’s get started.
I have just got back from Palma where I enjoyed a great 4 day break. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions and me taking my running trainers, I only went on one run and it was only 1 mile long. Poor showing I know. The day I got back, I went on a run that I planned to be 6 miles but I only managed 3 as my calf was in agony. Bit of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) the rest of the day yesterday and then I’m going to see how it is during an easy run this morning then I’ve got a football match tonight.
Sorry that it wasn’t terribly exiting this time. But stick with me, next time there’ll be more stuff to read I promise.

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