Some doctors have argued that turning away from counting calories and instead using a Mediterranean diet would be a more effective measure of fighting obesity. 1
The recommendation argues that obesity is linked to an unhealthy food environment. It claims that cheap and easy access to high energy, poor nutrient foods ensures people make unsuitable food choices.
To counter this, it suggests the NHS focuses on educating people to choose healthy foods, rather than the current calorie control advice issued by doctors.
The researchers claim an "obesity epidemic" currently costs the NHS around £6bn a year. Making healthier food choices, including lots of fruit, vegetables, oily fish, nuts and olive oil, can go a long way to reversing this. Indeed, the researchers claim that if everybody in the world ate an extra portion of fruit or vegetable each day, and two portions of nuts, worldwide cardiovascular deaths would drop by 5.2 million within a year.
Although the study itself is limited and doesn't offer a great deal of comparison between different dietary approaches, most of the information provided is sensible and potentially useful - both diet and exercise are crucial in the battle to lose weight.
1 Malhotra A, Maruthappu M, Stephenson T. Healthy eating: an NHS priority A sure way to improve health outcomes for NHS staff and the public . Postgraduate Medical Journal. Published online November 16 2014
Mediterranean diet is best way to tackle obesity, say doctors . BBC News, November 17 2014