If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this line, I would be very wealthy by now! As a Nutritionist, every day people say this to me, especially at functions involving food, whilst tucking into the cheese or mud cake!

It is a junk food advertising guru’s favourite line – I actually think the junk food industry’s very clever marketing campaigns have taught us to use this line so we don’t feel guilty about eating their products! If you don’t believe me, read or watch any interview done with food industry representatives for fast food, junk food, soft drink companies and you will realise it is their clever language! Now they have your friends, co-workers and health experts using it to make eating junk food OK. If that is not clever marketing – I don’t know what is!!!

Most of us are guilty of using this line, it is really only justifying our current behaviour! In my experience it means this “I am not prepared to change, and therefore, what I already do is moderation, so I don’t need to change”. It is a way you get to keep doing what you are doing and not have to feel bad about it! Not having to take responsibility for your current state of health. That muffin, bag of lollies, chocolate bar, doughnut or sugary drink you like to have every day is moderation, surely? I would encourage you to think again.

The word “everything” casts a very wide net; I don’t agree that “everything” is OK to eat. For example sugar drives obesity and disease such as type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer, is there really a safe amount?

What is the definition of moderation anyway? It is “the avoidance of excess or extremes”. Who defines what is excessive or extreme? Did you know that a recent study of about 28,500 people over 15 years published in Diabetologia found that all it takes is one can of sugar sweetened soda/soft drink per day to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%!

Would you consider one can of soft drink a day to be extreme? In my experience, most people would consider it to be “moderation”! Don’t think that diet soft drinks are any better; the chemicals in those can have many side-effects one of which is cravings for more sugar!

I suppose it is up to the individual. If you want to eat “everything in moderation”, think about what that really means. Are you happy, healthy and full of energy or are you struggling with your health, motivation and energy? This will give you a clue as to whether your definition of “moderation” is working for you!

Ultimately it is your choice, do you want health in moderation? Or do you want disease in moderation? I personally want health in abundance!

Here is a chat that Fiona had on 1 October 2016 to Darren De Mello on 6PR 882 Weekend Wake-up about the term Everything in Moderation and what is really means as well as health effects of stress, inflammation and sleep issues.