Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is the Food Industry Promoting Obesity?

The US population has a high rate of obesity, perhaps the highest in the world (see the WHO and CDC obesity websites for the numbers).  The simplest explanation, the one without nuance, is that people are eating more calories than they need. The nuanced explanation involves all the reasons why we are consuming too many calories.  For example, one reason is that we don't know how many calories we need.  Another is that, even those who know their caloric needs, cannot reasonably (or accurately) estimate the amount of calories in the food and beverages available to them.  Still another, the food and beverages most readily available and heavily promoted are (ridiculously) high in calories.
So is the food industry a culprit?
I give you three reasons why I think the answer is yes, but note, I said a culprit not the culprit.  They are:

  1. The french fry burger
  2. Endless bowls of pasta
  3. And the Bacon Pepperoni pizza burger

 There are many factors that promote an over consumption of calories.  The cause will always involve an interaction between the person and his or her environment.  But really, does the environment have to be this over the top?  Cheap, calorically- dense, nutrient-poor food is much easier to access than it is to avoid.  That's a problem, but its one we CAN address.

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