Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he is ‘giving up bread’ in a bid to shed the pounds - a move that has been criticised by a nutritionist.
In an interview on BBC Radio Sussex, the politician explained how snacking was his downfall and said that bread was “off at the moment.”
This comes just a day after the Labour party announced its thoughts on the Tories’ approach to Britain’s obesity problems, and said it would propose a cap on sugar, fat and salt in products aimed at children.
In the interview, Cameron said: “I think my downfall is just sort of when you get hungry in the middle of the day having a snack. I think that’s the thing you’ve got to cut out, isn’t it?
“I’m giving up bread. Bread’s off at the moment. Cut the carbs and go for a run. It worked before, maybe it will work again, who knows?”
Ayela Spiro, nutritionist at the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “Some people trying to lose weight think carbohydrate foods like pasta, bread, potatoes, cereal and rice are fattening, and the popularity of low carb diets in the last few years has done little to dispel this myth. But any food can be fattening if you overeat. Gram for gram carbohydrates contain fewer than half the calories of fat.
“Carbs are important as an energy source for our body. In any weight loss regime physical activity is important and exercising muscles rely on carbohydrates as their main source of fuel.
“Unless you have a diagnosed health condition such as wheat allergy or coeliac disease, there is little evidence that cutting out bread from your diet would be of health benefit.”
Bread has often been targeted by health campaigns. In July last year the loaf was added to Action On Sugar’s list of sugary foods, before the Federation of Bakers (FoB) advised that it be dropped from this.
At the time, Gordon Polson, director of FoB, told British Baker: “The industry needs to reassure the general public that bread is not high in sugar, and is a valuable part of a healthy diet. White bread typically does not have any added sugar and is usually all naturally occurring.
"Even if a small amount of sugar is added (for example in some wholemeal loaves), the ‘total sugars’ in bread is still below 4g per 100g, and so will be classified as ‘low sugar content’ and coded green on front-of-pack voluntary information (anything containing 5g of sugar or less).”