My problem with an A Current Affairs’ story about dieting

Tonight, ACA did a story about sugar and how it is bad for your health. This is not new story, but just rehashed facts with a new spin/angle.

I will not do a deep analysis of the health aspects about the segment as I am not a doctor or a nutritionist but here are my thoughts on the story.

1. This expert (a lawyer), David Gillespie claims he lost weight by removing sugar from his diet completely. However, why is there a shot of him eating potato chips on a couch at the moment the reporter says that he “shed 40 kilos”. It seems quite ironic. (See picture below.) According to Gillespie, “cut out the sugar, you’ll notice the weight peeling away and you’ll feel better”. Yes, and it’s okay to have lots of salty snacks like chips.

2. Gillespie recycles facts that a person should already know about food in their supermarket. E.g. Coke contains high levels of sugar, manufactured apple juice is bad and so are sugary cereals.

3. The next part made me laugh when the reporter goes to the cheese section of the supermarket and calls it the “dieting disaster, the evil aisle”. Gillespie tells her that there is nothing wrong with cheese because there is no sugar in them .

4. Following this, the story focuses on a woman who has followed Gillespie’s diet plan and she happily points out the contents of her fridge: “there’s dips, there’s creams, butter, full cream milk, pasta, bacon, meat, eggs, cheese all of that and I lost 10 kilos”. Wait a minute! Creams? Full cream milk? Bacon? Aren’t those examples of items that people should be cutting down on? “It doesn’t feel like a diet,” says this woman. “It’s a change I’ve found extraordinarily easy”.

I am not saying ACA are entirely wrong but there are obvious holes in their story. They don’t even talk about exercise as being important to losing weight. It’s just a case of “get rid of sugar in your life and you’ll be fine”. I can’t help but be cynical of that.

You can watch the video (and read an accompanying article) on the ACA website.


Betrayal and backstabbing in politics

Credit: Fairfax Media

For the past day, Australia has been on a high about Julia Gillard becoming Australia’s first female prime minister.

With that aside, I’ve realised that you just can’t trust anyone if you work in politics.

Gillard did not become PM because the Australian public voted her into office. It was a case of Rudd’s own party members disliking their leader and subsequently plotting his downfall in a drive to ensure an election win. There is no better illustration than that of a playground squabble.

It’s a description that many people use to portray the world of politics. Politicians are like kids fighting against each other in a schoolyard brawl. Similar to the different cliques in schools, there are different parties in parliament.

What I never realised was how much backstabbing can occur within a party. This was exactly the case with the Labor Party where little groupies formed and members were either pro-Rudd or anti-Rudd.

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Prince of Persia film review

Today, I had the opportunity to watch Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films) and I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my friend having spare tickets that she couldn’t use. I had low expectations of the film as there have been mixed reviews.

Prince of Persia, is a live action film version of the popular game franchise based on the same name and stars Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role of Prince Dastan and Ben Kingsley as the villain, Nizam.

Plotwise, it follows Dastan as his sets out to prove his innocence against a crime he did not commit (killing his adopted father) along with searching and protecting special knife that can turn back time. He’s joined by a princess and the knife’s guardian who is played by Gemma Arterton.

I would not judge the film as the worst thing I have ever seen but it isn’t the best either. There are plenty of action sequences (unlike a film like 300, there are no graphic blood spraying or maybe there was and the camera moved so fast I missed it) which made the film quite fun and enjoyable to sit through. I did find the whole ‘slow motion then quick pace’ overused.

However, the plot was a bit predictable at times and I laughed at those cheesy scenes where Gyllenhaal and Arterton’s characters are about to kiss but don’t (very Hollywood-style, will they or won’t they?). From memory, I think those scenes occur nearly five times throughout the film.

All the characters speak with a very distinctively English accent, which is rather strange seeing that the film is set in Persia.

There are twists in the film but the major one is identifying who the villain is but this is spoiled the moment Kingsley’s character shows up on screen. Kingsley wears dark eyeliner and he looks very effective as the stereotypical evil uncle. I wonder if that’s intentional because any red herring was lost on me.

The film used some good, if not excessive, CGI

The score by Harry Gregson-Williams (Kingdom of Heaven, Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) was well done and I enjoyed the Middle Eastern flavoured soundtrack.

Overall, the film should be treated as pure entertainment. It’s not fantastic but you should just enjoy it for what it’s worth.

Rating: 6/10