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To wonder why the UK doesn't fortify flour and other foods?

(12 Posts)
MuttonWasAGoose Fri 18-Dec-15 08:07:15

I just saw something on the news about recommendations to add folic acid to flour. Said that thousands of birth defects would have been prevented. There's been a recommendation to do this for years but the government is stillness "considering" it.

In America, flour is fortified with folic acid and other vitamins. In fact, white bread is more "nutritious" than whole grain. There's also vitamin D added to milk. The UK has a genuine problem with vitamin D deficiency, so I'd think that this would make sense.

Apparently, the US government brought these measures in after the first world war, when recruiters were dismayed by the fitness of potential troops. According to what I have read, the practice can be linked to an increase in size and life expectancy of the American population. Obviously, Americans have their own health issues, but I don't understand why something so simple and effective wouldn't be employed here.

It's very likely I'm missing some facts about it and there are good reasons to not want to follow the American's on this.

MuttonWasAGoose Fri 18-Dec-15 08:12:43

I've been reading.... Apparently flour is already fortified with iron, niacin and some other nutrients and vitamin d is added to margarine. So I was wrong to assume that there was no fortification at all.

theycallmemellojello Fri 18-Dec-15 08:14:40

We do fortify our flour in the Uk! Under the bread and flour regulations 1998. Some milk is iodised too - not organic milk though. Not sure about calcium in milk. There's fluorine in the water too.

7Coffees Fri 18-Dec-15 08:15:12

Because whole foods are just that. I don't want my foods messed with thanks.

theycallmemellojello Fri 18-Dec-15 08:15:29

Ah x post!

crumblybiscuits Fri 18-Dec-15 08:15:57

I'd rather be actively eating nutrients than have them hidden in my food and becoming reliant on the manufacturer for my own health.

Rinoachicken Fri 18-Dec-15 08:18:13

But all those vitimins are available in other foods naturally. Too much bread isn't exactly ideal, filling bread full of stuff and then saying 'bread has everything you need!' will just further reduce the amount of fruit and veg people eat.

In fact it won't even really be bread anymore, you may as well not bother with the bread bit at all and just feed people pill or wafer food.

theycallmemellojello Fri 18-Dec-15 08:19:44

It doesn't stop you eating other nutrients... These schemes are shown to improve public health. The people who benefit most are deprived children. Fluorine in the water can make such a huge difference to a child's entire life - the difference between keeping and losing teeth fairly young (as used to be common). It annoys me when people are against it for ill defined reasons (know that's not what anyone on the threa was talking about, just something I've encountered irl)

00100001 Fri 18-Dec-15 08:30:28

White bread in the UK is already fortifed... confused

crumblybiscuits Fri 18-Dec-15 08:35:24

It would though, theycallmemellojello. A lot of people who choose the easier option over healthy foods would tell themselves "oh well bread has x in so I don't need to worry about that." If spoon feeding the nation nutrients becomes commonplace we might as well all have mass produced meals with exact amounts of nutrients in like Rino said.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Dec-15 08:36:44

Folic acid supplements can serious Vitamin B12 deficiency in older people to life threatening extent.

I think it's more reasonable to expect women of childbearing age to be responsible for getting enough folic acid through diet or supplement, than to make a staple food potentially dangerous for many other people.

limitedperiodonly Fri 18-Dec-15 08:38:47

mask serious B12 deficiency

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