Are ultra-processed foods really so bad?

Last week saw a flurry of media reports, of whose headlines one of the worst preceded one of the best reports. ‘Eating too many ultra-processed foods has been linked to a higher risk of early death,’ barked the Telegraph – but went on to explain carefully and fairly a ground-breaking report. Other broadsheets opted for the easy option: big report, ultra-processed food, death. Food-type blaming can be a comforting evasion of a simple truth: overeating makes you fat The report caught my eye because I’ve been consistently sceptical about sensationalist books and statements demonising in wholesale terms the consumption of foods categorised, in pseudo-scientific language, as ‘ultra-processed’. I question the

How Noddy and Big Ears conquered the world

Perhaps the funniest of the many funny jokes in Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ is its protagonist’s struggle with Enid Blyton. Having turned the corner into adolescence, Adrian is mortified by the Blyton characters on the wallpaper in his childhood bedroom and sets about repainting the room in black, the better to represent his turbulent soul. And yet, though he slaps on coat after coat of black paint, the shiny yellow bells on Noddy’s cap continue to show through. He’s reduced to colouring them in one by one. (‘Went over hat bells with black felt-tip pen, did 69 tonight, only 124 to go.’) Adrian Mole