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article imageEating like a medieval peasant could bring health benefits

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 5, 2010 in Health
A lecturer in medieval history believes that eating more like the peasants of that period would help control obesity today.
Dr Iona McCleery, who lectures at Leeds University, and her team will be visiting schools in the Wakefield area of Yorkshire to talk about diet.
"We will use history to develop a less preachy approach to modern health,” BBC News quoted her as saying
"We'll be asking questions such as 'how do our relatively low activity levels interact with our diet in contrast to soldiers and labourers of past times'?”
She said that in the past the wealthier people were most likely to be overweight, but today it is those with less money who are more likely to be obese. The medieval peasants had a diet which would be thought of as healthy today.
"The poorer you were, the higher chances you ate more vegetables and had more mixed grains in your diet,” she said.
Food historian Caroline Yeldham said that because there were so few preservatives people usually are fresh food which was low in fat, salt and sugar.
"Dining was very ritualised either in the family or household and was a formal activity,” she said, reported BBC News reported her as saying. “People were eating together regularly so although snacking was available, it was not a focus. Snacking was much less socially acceptable.”
Medieval people were, on average, more physically active than people are today.
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