Saturday, January 3, 2009

Limiting levels of sugar, salt, and fat to end obesity epidemic

I'm not sure what to think of this, other than what will they do next when limiting the amount of salt, sugar, and fat in processed food doesn't end their so-called "obesity epidemic"?
Do they really think that's going to work? I don't know about anyone else, but even if there was no pre-sugared cereal left in the world, there is nothing to stop anyone from adding their own sugar to it, just as an example. And how well are those foods going to sell? The reason they have inordinate amounts of sugar, fat, and salt in them is so that they will taste good enough for people to buy, so that they will have a long shelf life, and be inexpensive to make.
One of the reasons we don't buy cookies anymore is because packaged taste ok, but the cookies we bake at home taste a lot better (not to mention, DH and I bake them together and that's time we spend talking to each other, exchanging ideas, etc).
Personally, I think they're only tackling one part of the food industry that may or may not be responsible for people supposedly getting fatter. Do they know what effect all those hormones that are routinely fed to meat animals do to people when they ingest the meat from those animals? Did anyone ever bother to do a study to see what would happen? Probably not. They figured out that feeding hormones to animals made them mature sooner, made them fatter, and got them to slaughter more quickly so more animals could be raised in less time and more money could be made. Problem is, it isn't the farmers who get that additional money, it's all the corporations between the farmer and the consumer who make a shitload of money.
I think that kind of money would be better spent on making sure there are grocery stores in all neighborhoods (rich and poor) that have a wide variety of affordable fruits and vegetables for sale. Not that doing that will make people any less fat, but having a wide variety of foods available for consumption is always a good thing, whether you're thin or fat or anywhere in-between. It would also be better spent on programs to stop bullying in schools, to educate politicians about the real detriment of diets on health, and to educate the media on how to do their job of reporting (check the facts, research, etc, not just go with a press release and believe everything you're told by vested interests). Yeah, I think that's probably too much to ask.
Granted, this isn't happening in the US yet, but how long will it take for that to migrate over here? Not long, I'm thinking, not with the way the obesity epi-panic is still being hysterically heralded from every media source every time you look.

ETA: Check out Sandy's take on this at Junkfood Science. It's a good one, with lots of informative links.

1 comment:

  1. I don't even eat super-sweet cereal, I never have. (Don't add sugar to my plain corn/bran/rice stuff, either.) And I'm still a puffball.


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