Does this apple make me look fat?
Fruit is not as healthy as Swedish Livsmedelsverket (national Food Administration) says it is. Fruit is not as innocent as we think it is. Fruit contains a whole lot of fructose, which creates bellyfat and insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes - all according to senior physician Christer Enkvist in Trollhättan who cites a new study. Enkvist gives several samples where fruit is the culprit when it comes to weight battles. “At one work place the fruit bowl was taken away by mistake, and within weeks almost all the employees had lost several kilos in weight. Some thought it had to do with the missing fruit bowl, but didn’t mention it,” Enkvist writes in Dagens Nyheter. Still many doctors and many diets keep pushing fruit. When Dagens Nyheter polled its readers about what they thought of fruit causing weight gain, 57% believed it didn’t and 43% believed it did.

Ivo Cramér dies.
The choreographer and former director of Kungliga Baletten, Ivo Cramér, has died. Cramér was one of the greatest in modern Swedish dance. Born in Göteborg in 1921, the multi-facetted dancer and choreographer who did more than classic ballet, but also worked with TV and film, musicals and revues. And by doing that, he introduced dance to a larger audience. Cramér studied ballet with Kurt Jooss-Leeder and created the Svenska Dansteatern with Birgit Cullberg and in the 1960’s he created Cramérbaletten, which was active until 1986. Ivo Cramér was director of ballet at the Royal Opera, Kungliga Operan, from 1975-1980.

The changing Swedish film climate.
Recently at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, the Swedish film “Allt flyter” brought down the house, and last year the enormously popular “Låt den rätte komma in” won accolades worldwide. Swedish film is stronger than ever. But looking closer at how film is made in Sweden, there’s a great change. Producers are getting more power – does that also mean directors (and Swedish film is famous for grand directors like Bergman and Troell) are losing some of theirs? Director Tomas Alfredson (son of Hasse) says there’s a Swenglish attitude among producers today, as if they’re in Hollywood. “Along with the worry over finances, many more controlling authorities are showing their faces, trying to safeguard the product from a disaster. But filmmaking thrives on growing wildly in the hands of gifted creators,” he says. Controlling forces like the ones Alfredson mentions, were also the reason why director Björn Runge ended his participation in the filming of “Simon och ekarna” (based on the novel “Simon and the Oaks” by Marianne Fredriksson). “I felt like an interchangeable part of a machinery,” Runge said. Adds Alfredson, “Film production has a tendency to wake the film expert in anyone and it’s frustrating. I suppose the number of directors with as much experience as I have is about the same as the number of brain surgeons and I doubt anyone would enter the operating room and say ‘cut a bit here and then there’. To be exposed to suggestions and pressures like that is insulting.” Charlotta Denward at Svenska filminstitutet confirms the tougher economic climate means the director’s power decreases. “A producer wants something to show for the money he or she puts in. In worst cases, the need to control gets so bad that it interferes with the director’s work.” The advice for younger film directors seems to be this: If you want to keep as much freedom as possible, work with cheaper filmmaking.

“To drink too much is part of our culture.”
Those words come from Swedish author Annette Kullenberg. Fights and rapes – all are blamed on our alcohol culture. Kullenberg wants to change that, she wants to see our excessive drinking from the other side, the positive side. “I think the Swedish culture is beautiful. A bit sentimental to some perhaps, but it ought to be honored nevertheless.” Kullenberg says she wants to write something “positive” about wine and liquor, and the purple plastic bags most people carry around these days. Kullenberg says that the warnings Swedes get from public authorities about the dangers of alcohol are “fascistic” in tone, and she is saddened over a comment made by Sarah Wamala, director of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Svenska folkhälsoinstitutet), who said retired Swedes consume too much alcohol. “As if older people weren’t allowed to have fun,” Kullenberg writes. “I suppose it’s better to pack old folks together and get rid of them instead. But it will always be like that in our country, the shame (over drinking) is glued to our soul. And nobody’s allowed to drink during the week unless they have guests from foreign countries.” Sweden will host the First Global Alcohol Conference this fall. “Time to shout ‘Skål!’” urges Kullenberg, whose favorite drink, en passant, is a dry Kir Royal .

Iron Wanja.
She has a six-pack and she can most probably bench more than you can. In fact, she’ll make most of us look fairly out of shape. Who is she? Wanja Sjödin, 72 years old, from Gävle. “Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to do crossword puzzles all day long,” says Wanja who ran her first marathon at 46. When she got sidetracked by a foot injury and could run no more, she started training at a gym. “It was fun,” she explains. “And that’s why I work out, because it’s fun. And because I like strength. A couple of months ago I could do 55 push-ups, now I can do 60!” Wanja works out 6 days a week and has some advice to the rest of us: “Don’t get disheartened if you don’t see results right away, training takes time. And don’t be afraid to ask for help at your gym, some machines are difficult.”

Breakfast in Stockholm.
Where do you breakfast when you’re in Stockholm? We wondered too, and so checked out På Stan’s big breakfast test. The winner was Bakverket on Bondegatan 59. For 75 SEK you get a small baguette with cheese and ham, thick yogurt with raspberries and cardamom, salad with ginger and soy dressing, lemonade and coffee. Everything is prepared with care and is well organized, and they won’t throw you out as soon as you’re done. Mmm, we like that. For more info: Telephone: 08-640 91 07,