Thursday 27 May 2004

Guardian: MPs deliver ultimatum to food industry

There's a lot of reports regarding the current obesity crisis and actions the goverment should take along with how the food industry should be regulated. It's great to see this level of debate but I generally consider it a futile exercise. The obesity crisis is just the symptom of deeper issues around how food is produced, distributed and marketed. It's not just obesity either. Our food is simply not very healthy anymore. Period.

Some articles are hitting on the more emotive issue around children's diets and blaming the advertising of junk food. Sure it would be good to regulate that more and the misleading advertising and labelling. Support the Children's Food Bill. Ever wondered what exactly is a juice drink? It can have as little as 1% juice - expensive sugar water! (Parents, check out this free poster)

But really, parents are responsible for their children's diets and setting their standards. In the end, it's their choice except for school meals. One thing the goverment could do right away is provide much healthier children's meals in schools - at least make them as good as the meals prisoners get.

But when you get right down to it, the problem is the demand for cheap and convenient food. We need convenient food because we live in a time poor society. Very hard to fix that. The food industry provides cheap food that masquerades as healthy food when it isn't and most people can't tell that.

The government can do a lot to promote awareness and try and shift social norms and demands. It can also get things clearly labelled so you really know what you're eating - like "chicken with added water and growth hormones".

1 comment:

  1. An interesting story on the rampant tooth decay in children.