News from Another Planet: Could this happen here?

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/26/2008 5:28 AM   :  63 comments

You can imagine my surprise when I checked my RSS feed this morning and found the story below, which purports to be from a news service on the planet Htrae (pronounced huh-trah–aye). I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing this story didn’t really come from outer space at all. On the other hand, the events it describes are definitely very different from anything you’d expect to find in the news on this planet, so who really knows? I’ll let you read the story and decide for yourself whether something like this could ever happen on this planet...



Scientists walk out en masse from Interplanetary Conference on the Obesity Epidemic, calling whole concept a “food industry plot.”

Scientists from all 37 worlds represented at the 3rd annual Interplanetary Conference on the Obesity Epidemic walked out this morning in a formal protest against what they termed a “deliberate and cynical attempt on the part of the galactic food industry to mislead people about the true causes of obesity on our home worlds.”

Dr. Occams Razor, spokesperson for the Federation Of Obesity Doctors, Investigators, and Experts (FOODIE), stated that “the real reason why people get fat is that there is too much food around for them to eat.” According to Dr. Razor, “FOODIE has long maintained that all this talk about an ‘obesity epidemic’ is nothing more than a cynical attempt to divert attention away from this core problem, and send people off looking for some cure for a personal medical problem that doesn’t exist. We can’t sit quietly by and let this situation continue.”

Professor Darwin Lamarckian, a professor of economics and politics from the NoBologna Starsystem (NoBS), added: “Saying that people overeat and grow fat because their genes make them do it, or because of some defect in their hormones or enzymes, is like saying that people grow noses because they need them to hold up their eyeglasses. People eat because they like food–that’s biology. If you want to understand why obesity has taken on epidemic proportions, ask yourself this: Where does all that extra food people have to eat in order to become obese come from, and who really benefits from having this much food around? This is not a medical problem, and calling it an “obesity epidemic” just obscures the fact that it’s really a junk food epidemic, and that's a social and political problem.”

Also attending the conference, but not joining the walkout, was Mr. Phil 'Emup, Executive Director of Food Executives for Attitude Readjustment (FEAR). Mr. 'Emup told this reporter that his organization had been expecting something like this walkout. “We’ve known for some time that FOODIE is dominated by radical extremists and idealists with no sense of what it takes to keep our people fed,” he said. “This is a very competitive industry–nobody’s going to make money selling carrots and edamame. We don’t constantly develop new junk food products and spend millions of srallod advertising them because we want to, we do it because that’s where the big profits are, and without that, we wouldn’t be around to provide what people actually need. Then what would they do? We’re just trying to give people what they want.”

Neither Dr. Razor nor Professor Lamarckian indicated what was next on FOODIE’s organizational agenda. However, others were heard discussing plans to lobby for a “luxury tax” on empty calorie junk foods, and a “value reduced tax” on food industry profits from the sale of these items. The proceeds from these taxes would be used to establish a network of community based organizations charged with providing technical and fundraising resources for existing community groups interested in organizing such projects as bicycle lending libraries, local food co-ops, community gardens and kitchens, and public classes on nutrition and fitness.


*****


What do you think? Is this so far out there that it has to be from another planet? Do you think the product development, marketing and advertising practices of companies in the food business have a big influence on what people choose to eat? If so, do these companies have any ethical duty to limit "junk" foods? Is "social engineering" of the food supply through nutrition legislation and tax policy a legitimate approach to a problem like obesity, or is it an infringement on individual freedom and free enterprise?

If you'd like to do some more reading on these issues, here are a few resources:

Are You Responsible for Your Own Weight?

In Defense of Food

Food Politics.com








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Comments

  • SARABETH_60
    63
    It's possible to make the right choices and maintain a healthy even if genetics are against you. But yes, our culture is against us too. Just a little personal example, my son-in-law tells me that he (and my grand kids) **need** chicken nuggets at least once a week. At some point, junk food eaters are going to be as outre as smokers. - 7/3/2010   4:46:42 PM
  • 62
    Well, to be quite frank, the article annoys me. First of all, I am not fat because I sit around and eat junk food-I don't eat much junk food and never have. I also do not eat fast food and never have. I have to fight with my metabolism every step of the way and live a very active life. So no...this article does not hold much credibility with me. - 6/27/2010   9:59:09 PM
  • 61
    Have you ever read Fast Food Nation. I know that it is a little dated but it is right on in the theory that the food industry is packing on the salt, fats, and calories. This study set up tests of whether a person ate for nurishment or habit or is set by the restaurants and cooks. I every situation it is proved that people eat mindlessly packing on the pounds unless they are trained differently. Just the facts man. - 6/24/2010   10:52:00 AM
  • SDLOOP
    60
    In a sad way, it's true. "Give the people what they want". If we 'the people' did not demand so much variety and novelty (we grow bored easily of same 'ole) manufacturers would lose their motivation to constantly come up with newer and more chemically enhanced foods to tantalize our palates. We give in too easily to our pleasure zones in the foods we choose to eat, the trash we choose to read, or watch, or do... - 8/23/2009   8:38:23 PM
  • 59
    IT IS YOUR CHOICE!!! - 8/23/2009   1:44:44 PM
  • 58
    I LOVED this article!
    We are the problem, as long as we continue to buy pre-packaged junk food.. and 'pretend' healthy food that's packaged.. we will have this problem..
    Just the same as long as people continue to buy the huge gas guzzling SUV's, they will make more...
    It's all a big money making industry...
    So, grow your own food..get simple with your meals and don't buy into the hype you see and read in the media!

    As for the 'inner city' excuses... there are community gardens in many of the inner cities where people can sign up for a small plot of ground to grow their own fresh veggies. and if there isn't one in your city, then go to the community leaders and see if you can help to get one started! There are certainly enough empty lots around!

    There's always a way.....

    Great article! - 4/15/2009   11:18:46 PM
  • 57
    WE ARE THE PROBLEM. Did you hear that? EVERYONE has the choice of what to buy, what to eat (well, most of us, anyway). We have the choice to get off our collective butts and work out too...

    Just because car companies market huge, gas-guzzling, greenhouse gas-producing cars such as our beloved (spoken with sarcasm) HUMVEE, does not mean I have to buy it or support the company that produces it.

    The people have the power to change the companies, but they won't change until we stop buying the pseudo-food that they produce. - 3/8/2009   1:15:19 PM
  • 56
    This is a great article. The food industry makes it very difficult to make the right choices. I believe that we are responsible for what we put into our mouths but often the food industry is deceptive. - 2/9/2009   3:28:46 PM
  • DRAKE83
    55
    The best article out here!!! WAY TO GO and I love the compaines they work for! LOL

    The best line? "...and that's a social and political problem" for those that think nothing influences their choices...well...hummmm...congrats I guess....

    When you joing spark people your ability to see things increase in many many ways. Please remember those who don't have computers, access to computers are the literacy ability to read what is here. WE are priviliaged and to say the "others" can do it leaves our blinders on. Social and political solutions are the best ways to impact positive change that embraces all.

    I will have to bring this article to work...another privilage that I have



    - 9/14/2008   8:51:18 AM
  • SHELLSHELL1969
    54
    Wow, this is the first blog I have ever felt REALLY compelled to comment on, and I'm sorry it is SOOOO long.

    Anyway, I think, and some have mentioned, that the problem with obesity comes from us and the lazy lifestyle we promote - outside of the actual health problems that some do have.

    Growing up we were lucky to play our "Atari" (that really shows my age) a couple times a week. We didn't have a TV in every room; we had 1 in the whole house. We had to convince our dad to let us play. At the same time, we usually preferred to go outside and play with our friends.

    Now as most of us reach adulthood, we want to give our kids everything we didn't have which means the TV and video games. We are at fault. I have started to make sure that the video games and TV watching are limited to just an hour or so a day. I am trying to make them use their imagination more, and be a little more active.

    My 2 kids do love a wide variety of foods. They are rambunctious and love to play out side with anyone they can find ¡V they are 8 and 10. My step-son, who is 10, is the opposite. He had never tasted a peach, plum, watermelon, lasagna, hot chocolate, and so much more that I couldn't possibly list. He didn¡¦t want to play out in the dirt, even when younger because his mother wouldn¡¦t let him get dirty. My husband and I have started making him try one new food and do something new on each visit. Some of the things he likes and some he doesn't, BUT he has to try everything at least once. Now because of me, his favorite food is lasagna, and he has learned to skip rocks!! ƒº

    Sorry for rambling, but we do need to make our kids more active...turn the TV off and make them go outside to play!!(after your shows are over of course!! lol)

    - 9/2/2008   11:33:57 AM
  • 53
    The fact is, if people don't want it, the industry does change. Take for instance the organic food industry. It is common now for ALL grocery stores to have some type of organic or natural section because of the boom in natural food stores. They had to change to remain competitive. Now with many people starting to realize the issues of gluten intolerance and sensitivities, some of the cereal companies are starting to change their formulas to remove wheat when it is not needed...for example the rice based cereals. When people make changes, the food companies are forced to do the same. If everyone boycotted Ben and Jerry's because they use HFCS and ate all natural Bryers because they use plain sugar, I am sure that they would be forced to take a look at their ingredients and reformulate their ice cream. There is always an alternative. But I know from experience that it has to be a personal decision, not one forced upon you. - 9/2/2008   8:36:36 AM
  • 52
    Some people do have medical conditions that cause them to gain and have a hard time losing weight. And many more of us don't.. I was working out one day with a lady who had, had very great success in weight-loss. Asked her what worked for her (because I believe that there is no one size fits all in dieting) She said it was a simple calculation for her. Less input More output. As for the article, I take it with a grain for salt. We all know our own struggles, and what we need to work on. The key is to Just Do It! And let the rest just roll off of you! As for the food industry targeting certain unhealthy foods.. they are in it for the money. I'm on a very tight budget but we manage by sacrifice. Our diet is not perfect but I get my freggies in everyday. And as for children not eating because they don't like it. Well, this is my opion They will eat when they are hungry, and give the choices that are better for them. They may find out that they have been missing a lot of good food. I never force a clean plate at the table but I do require them to taste everything on thier plate before they are excused. My 2 cents worth! Thought the article was funny! - 8/28/2008   10:28:00 PM
  • 51
    I agree that for the majority of the people out there, it is a matter of eating too much and exercising too little. For some of us however who have medical problems these comments are a little frustrating. I personally eat between 1600-1800 calories a day. I do 45 minutes of tae bo 4 mornings a week also. From weigh in yesterday to today I gained 4 lbs. My weight is all over the place and very seldom goes down. Do you have any idea how incredibly frustrating it is to do everything you are told to do only to gain weight. I gained 15 pounds in a 3 week period. According to most people who look at me they assume it is because I am eating constantly and not moving a muscle. Well guess what, I don't know what else to do. Instead of assuming that everybody is overweight because they choose to be, maybe give the benefit of the doubt just once and assume they are doing everything they can to fix their problem and just haven't figured it all out yet. If it was as easy as eating a set number of calories and exercising a set number of minutes, we would all be the perfect size. Don't judge what you don't know. - 8/28/2008   3:58:14 PM
  • 1ELECTRA
    50
    I thought that when I clicked on the link for "Are We Responsible For Our Own Weight?" That the next screen would have a huge YES spelled out on it.
    Cute! - 8/27/2008   8:15:00 PM
  • 49
    I personally don't want the government or anyone else telling me what is ok and what is not ok to eat. If I make poor choices, they're still my choices to make. Once you start policing people's choices, whats next? I'm not going to blame McDonalds because I ate over 1000 calories in one meal. I'm going to blame the person who paid for and ate the damn meal. Myself and no one else.

    That said, we need MORE education about eating healthy and it should be a law like in New York that allover everyone should have to post the nutritional info on everything, right next to the price of the food. (At the very least the calories).

    The article above only reinforces the blame game, where is the accountability of the person putting the food in their mouth? - 8/27/2008   7:22:31 PM
  • ASH72461
    48
    i still feel the healthest food is what we grow in are gardens.
    it is the only time you can completely control what is or is not added
    fresh tomato is my favorite - 8/27/2008   1:24:06 PM
  • 47
    WE CAN EAT EVERYTHING AS LONG AS IT IS IN MODERATION AND NOT ALL IN ONE SITTING, OR ONE DAY. - 8/27/2008   10:22:48 AM
  • 46
    Very witty Dean. My niece and nephew feed their kids crap and at the same time are worried that they will be heavy (both grandmothers are). The excuse is that they will only eat that stuff. Maybe because that is what they are used to eating?
    Now when they were babies they liked almost all the veggies. Now the oldest (5) will only eat green beans and corn. Sweet potatoes used to be her favorite! What happened?!?!

    OK I am done ranting now :} - 8/27/2008   10:13:06 AM
  • PRINCESSKATE82
    45
    What a bunch of crap.... - 8/27/2008   9:58:09 AM
  • 44
    This is an interesting article. We learned how to eat healthy while we were in school we just got caught up eating the junk food and being lazy about exercise. Since joining SP we can come more aware on how to eat healthy,exercise and we just have to get our act together and get healthy for our families. - 8/27/2008   4:25:19 AM
  • 43
    Are you kidding me with this??? - 8/26/2008   11:51:45 PM
  • HOGHEAVEN333
    42
    i agree that we need to educate our kids on healthy foods and maybe get them out more and away from the tv
    - 8/26/2008   10:32:22 PM
  • HOGHEAVEN333
    41
    i agree with "tonedown". and the idea that we are stuffing kids faces and giving them games instead of veggies and walks or doing something active. - 8/26/2008   10:27:25 PM
  • WILKSTERETTE
    40
    This doesn't really have to do with the article directly, but I noticed a previous commenter who mentioned WIC and only being able to buy whole milk, etc. I live in VA, and yes WIC is certainly picky about what types of cereals, peanut butter, and other things, BUT here we can get skim milk, bran flakes, tuna, fresh carrots, and there are even checks that the farmers market excepts in $5 increments for ANY of their produce.
    Anyhoo, my point is that some people may not be able to afford organic or "natural" foods (I am one of those people), but there are certainly healthier options than what they currently consume that are still affordable. I think knowledge is power here and more people need to get educated about their health and what they put in their mouth! Of course you have those that will not listen, but oh well for them I say as long as they have the oppurtunity to be informed! - 8/26/2008   9:11:14 PM
  • FALLENFAIRY
    39
    I agree with BRE_WA1 and TONEDOWN.





    - 8/26/2008   5:41:30 PM
  • 38
    Healthier foods and Organic food are way more expensive and personally I do not see why if they are not using pestisides and to get more people to eat better why is it so much more expensive? It really comes down to "you" to know what your eating, and the basics of eat less, better and exercise to lose or maintain weight. Ignore the commercials and food industries ploys to get you to eat junk. - 8/26/2008   4:16:11 PM
  • 37
    We can debate on this issue until we're blue in the face.
    What it all comes down to is YOU and how YOU control your eating habits and managing your weight and also do YOU exercise.
    Stop making EXCUSE!!!
    I also agree with what 1thing said. - 8/26/2008   3:51:53 PM
  • 36
    I remember when I started trying to persuade my (then 70-something-year-old) dad to read nutrition labels. He wouldn't because, as he said, "they wouldn't sell it if it wasn't good food." That was certainly not true when he said it (1980) and it's even less true now, but we do want to trust our producers. That's how they have us but the short-and-curlies.
    I get so frustrated by "whole wheat" bread with that as the third or fourth ingredient, or 'natural' food with hfcs in it. I haven't shopped in a 'real' grocery store for anything except cleaning products in three years because I just don't trust the products. Even 'organic' is becoming an untrustworthy term (just like 'made from recycled______' is). Gag.
    It's interesting to just look at the language: it used to be agriCULTURE; now it's either the food INDUSTRY or agriBUSINESS. Kind of says it all.
    - 8/26/2008   3:33:04 PM
  • KAITLINMCKNIGHT
    35
    I think this is very true to a certain extent. There was a television program the other day about how the government adds things to food to make them more addicting so that they can make money from you when you have to buy medicine to solve your issues. I'm not sure I take that extreme of a view, but I do think that to a certain extent, restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores have a responsibility to not only satisfy the public, but also keep them relatively healthy. If we're dead they wont make any money, will they. I think the government would be more well respected if they took action like the government in the article. If we had bike loan buildings and cheaper healthy foods we would be doing a lot better.
    Also, I'd like to comment on CAMERON419's reply. I think for a lot of people, you are absolutely correct. Most people should cut down on other things to get money for healthy food. Unfortunately there are many, like me, who can't pay for healthy foods no matter what. I am a college student and live with my boyfriends parents. I dont pay rent or any other housing bills, but I have a car payment and insurance. These bills alone kill my funds. The price of gas has skyrocketed so high that I can't afford much but canned foods and probably soon if it gets worse I will be eating only ramen noodles. I could by a bike....except I cant afford to buy one, and I can't ride it on the highway to go to work. I think the government should step in and make life just a touch easier for those of us who can't do better than we already are. - 8/26/2008   3:27:12 PM
  • 34
    I wrote a blog last week titled, "I'm Taking Responsibility." Do we feel pressure from advertising and marketiing ploys of businesses? Of course we do. These tactics are effective; however, that doesn't mean that they are responsible. Prohibition didn't work for alcohol and it wouldn't work for food. That's reality.

    We do need to raise social awareness of what food does to our bodies. Further, we need to realize a point made in the blog, that people don't make money selling carrots and endamame, is somewhat inaccurate. It is cheaper for a poor family to eat spaghetti and McDonald's than it is for them to have salmon for dinner with a nice salad. Moreover, poor people do not have access to information about food and nutrition to even make a proper choice. That is part of our obesity problem in the United States. - 8/26/2008   2:47:07 PM
  • 33
    Some people have lowered their costs of things as low as they can. They still aren't able to buy healthy food. Some of it is a LOT more expensive. I don't know who is spending all of this extraneous money they can cut back on to afford organic and hormone-free food. But we're at bare bones as it is. Also, the people I know who have WIC tickets can only use them to get the foods listed on them. They can't get skim milk (tickets call for only whole) they can only get certain brands of cereals, peanut butter, etc. They can't shop around for the healthy versions. They can use their food stamps to buy the healthier version, but they don't when they can get the unhealthy version for FREE with WIC! What would you do? - 8/26/2008   2:24:49 PM
  • CHIPPER75
    32
    The food industry and medical industry are both just out for money. The food industry wants us to eat more and more and the medical industry wants to find a magic pill that we would have to take for the rest of our lives. Neither of them can be trusted. Ultimately though, the choice of what we put in our bodies is up to us. While there is a very small minority of people who are obese due to some medical issues, the vast majority of obese people are that way ( me included ) because they eat too much and move too little and the stuff they do eat is mostly processed crap. - 8/26/2008   2:13:32 PM
  • 31
    Personally, I believe even the nutritional information we receive from our governmental agencies is often driven by the agricultural lobbyests and the food industries. That food pyramid ( www.mypyramid.gov ), for example, comes from the Department of Agriculture, not the National Institutes of Health. They're selling us on what they want us to eat, not necessarily what's really good for us. It's all concerned with international politics and the industries taking the money out of our pockets. Sorry to be so cynical.... ;D - 8/26/2008   2:04:28 PM
  • 30
    Positively humorous!

    It is, ultimately (and I've said it before) the responsibility of the consumer to make their choices and live with them. The choices we make dictate the life we will lead...

    Companies are companies, bottom line is the dollar. But, on a bit of a pitch for the 'social responsibility' of the industry...having true nutritional information and alternative choices is also necessary, I think, so that consumers CAN make those informed choices. - 8/26/2008   1:19:05 PM
  • 29
    Alcohol is out there. So are cigarettes, drugs, hookers, and all sorts of bad stuff. It's personal responsibility and willpower!

    So, it costs a little more to buy healthy? Cut costs on clothing and other unnessescary things, lower your water, phone, gas and electricity bill by using less. If your health is important, you will find a way to afford healthy foods. - 8/26/2008   1:00:48 PM
  • 28
    So if someone has a metabolic syndrome, Hashimoto or other thyroid disorder or eats cheaper foods that have all kinds of hormones added etc. are they under the umbrella of too much food around? I know you may say that is a small percentage of the obese/overweight population.

    My comment then is why is obesity on the rise at astounding levels. I did not read other posts so you may have already addressed that. I apologize if I missed the point totally. Or if I am repeating others comments.

    Fear of obesity and not eating can trick the body into starvation mode. I bet a percentage of the obese don't realize not eating enough calories is just as bad.

    I would counter this group, that walked out of the meeting/conference, to fight for lessening the processing and additives so as to not actually compound the obese population problem of "too much food". Also make healthier choices more affordable. Some people can't afford Organic or hormone free etc.

    In conclusion, there is no one clear answer to obesity on the rise. It isn't JUST "too much food available" or just poor food choices on the part of obese people. There can be numerous cause. Obesity doesn't lend itself to generalizations.

    Hope this was clear. I tend to leave out words or make incomplete thoughts when I am passionate about something. I could rant more but I will stop. Thanks for trying to read and understand my position.

    - 8/26/2008   12:44:29 PM
  • 27
    It all comes down to choice and moderation. There are far too many junk foods in our grocery stores, but something unhealthy once in awhile is not an issue. The problem is teaching our children that eating those things everyday is ok.
    I compare it to alcohol with adults. When it's taken to excess it totally destroys the body, but an occasional glass of wine is ok! We have to use common sense and teach it to our kids. - 8/26/2008   12:26:01 PM
  • 26
    It's not just the food. We have gotten more sedentary as a society. Children spend all day in school, where PE has been cut so teachers can teach the students to pass standardized tests, then they come home, watch TV or play on their Gameboy or talk to their friends on the internet. The days of seeing children riding bicycles or playing tag, sadly, seem to have passed. My daughter does judo several times a week, but she is not as active as her father and I used to be. - 8/26/2008   12:17:17 PM
  • MIKISTEWART
    25
    Marketing ploys aside, the remedy is simple. Each of us is responsible for the foods we consume. More regulation and market control is unnecessary if there are no buyers for the products. There are not Snack Food Police at the markets impelling us to add chips, dips, and candy to our orders -- and they certainly don't jump into the cart unbidden!

    Eating healthy is also a money saver. Ten years ago, my husband and I decided to buy only whole foods -- we stay out of aisles that do not contain needed items. Popcorn and nuts are our chosen snack foods. The grocery checkout expressed amazement at how many groceries I buy for $45 to $50 per week -- about 6 bags. She reports that most people put $50 in one bag. - 8/26/2008   12:11:16 PM
  • 25%GONE
    24
    It really does come down to money - the cost of producing "shelf stable" kinds of foods is probably quite low for the company so most of the cost to the consumer is actually profit. For those kinds of things, it's easy to offer $0.50 off. But, like someone else noted, you rarely see $0.50 bananas!

    The only thing you can do is try to find a farmers' market and buy stuff in season as much as possible. You can always freeze stuff and use it later. - 8/26/2008   12:10:53 PM
  • 23
    Our family has just started a discussion each time we watch a TV program at the commericial times: "Does this commercial MAKE you want to buy its product?" Certainly makes us think! Marketing has been in place for ages. It's up to us to choose to buy or not. - 8/26/2008   12:01:04 PM
  • 22
    After reading the wonderful book "A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING" by Bill Bryson (who has written many great books), he points out how rare our planet Earth is in the Universe. We need to deal with our own problems here, as obesity isn't necessary. Sparkpeople teaches us that. - 8/26/2008   12:00:34 PM
  • 5FOR35
    21
    In the last hundred years, actually let's face it: 15 years, the explosion of potato chips, cookies, candies and other sweets has taken over grocery and convenience stores. Grocery stores are becoming mega warehouses just to make space to display all these options! Is it really necessary to have 6 (or more) types of M&M candies?! Is it necessary to have an entire aisle devoted to cookies and snack bars and another for the numerous flavors and options for potato chips?! Gas station mini markets are 60% junk food aisles, 30% soda fountains and glass fridges for sodas, and the counter and aisle space makes up the last 10%. They make it SO easy (and attractive with colored packaging) to reach for those things rather than something healthy. I think stores should at best have one of every option. If you want 45 choices of sour cream and onion potato chips, then tough luck. - 8/26/2008   11:54:32 AM
  • 20
    I totaly believe that junk foods should be taxed as much as cigarettes and alchohol. The taxes can go towards camps and other rehab efforts for over weight persons. Atleast make them cheaper to the high percent of low income families that are obese.
    I also think that schools should not provide junk food for their students. I was glad to find out the local schools have pulled out all the junk food vending machines and increased water and 100% fruit juices on their menues. This is not going to stop the older ones from brining things in but it is a start.
    - 8/26/2008   11:44:45 AM
  • LADYMOONWILLOW
    19
    I do believe there are other worlds out there, but wouldn't they have more impotant issues to worry about, like war and the homeless. I do like the article, it makes one think....and thinking is good. Thank you for this. - 8/26/2008   10:59:00 AM
  • 18
    Dean, I thought your blog was entertaining and thought provoking. I don't have much to add, except that I've been slowly eliminating processed foods from my household with a focus on HFCS and artificial sweeteners. I know that they have both been around for a long time, but that doesn't mean that they are healthy or people should consume them.

    I have found that I have more energy and feel more alert now that I'm not stuffing my body full of that garbage. It's not a scientific study and you could argue that the change I feel is because I'm substituting those things for fruits and vegetables. I know that I feel a lot better now that I'm focusing on eating healthy, natural foods. - 8/26/2008   10:54:12 AM
  • 17
    Wow. Some interesting debate and comments on what I took to be a bit of a giggle.

    There is some study into a person's predisposition for obesity. I dare say that shouldn't be overlooked. Just as cheaper, unhealthier alternatives shouldn't be overlooked.

    I commend you B1ONDIE420 for your dedication to providing healthier options for your family as well as trying to be fiscally prudent.

    Living in the city, it's a challenge to find healthier alternatives than what are offered at traditional grocery stores. Thankfully there are farmer's markets and such that make there way into town (although I did read an interesting article about supermarkets faking "home grown" produce at some farmer's markets. Right down to leaving the lables on peppers and the like!)

    I am bigger now because I choose to eat more and be less active.

    However, I have been bigger all my life, and not made such poor food choices and was much more active. What do you suppose the reason was then? It sure wasn't portion size! - 8/26/2008   10:25:44 AM
  • 16
    I believe it has a lot to do with the world we live in today. Everyone's in a hurry. We work long hours and then we involve our kids in everything possible. We don't have the time and food companies know this and create foods that will make our lives easier. Just take a look at drive thru lines at fast food places. In my city they are always busy. People are always in a hurry. We need to change people. We need to teach people to make better choices and that there are actually healthy alternatives that really taste good. If more people started caring about what went into their mouths, I think you'd see a big difference in the marketing of food. - 8/26/2008   10:16:00 AM
  • DELERIUMB32
    15
    The only person who controls what I eat is myself. If there's demand for a product, companies will produce it. The reason fatty, sugary, msg-laden, HFCS foods abound is because they sell, and they sell extremely well. The food companies don't care what you're buying, as long as they're making money.

    I'd like to respond directly to Lisa.Lou's comments:

    "Our bodies handle HFCS in a much different way than sugar."
    Your statement is incorrect and highly misleading. Fructose, the same sugar found in fruits and considered "natural" is digested in the same way as high fructose corn syrup. HFCS, however, is digested very similarly to sucrose ( http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retr
    ieve/pii/S0026049505001666
    ). The supposition that HFCS blocks the body’s ability to know when it is full is based on improper extrapolation of data gathered with pure fructose—not a suitable model for HFCS—at exaggerated dietary levels. Recent research directly comparing HFCS to sucrose—a far better model—shows no difference on appetite or satiety control hormones. "High fructose," does not mean that it has lots of fructose, either. HFCS has a similar glucose to fructose ratio to honey ( http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/c
    ontent/view/446
    /). Obesity is increasing world-wide, even in places with little HFCS.

    "hey say HFCS is cheaper than sugar. Not any more! So why do they use it?"
    Great question! Let me tell you the real answer:
    Price may have catalyzed the switch from sucrose to HFCS 20 years ago, but its unique functional properties have sustained its use. It benefits consumers by reducing
    food spoilage, retaining moisture n foods, helping canned foods
    taste fresher, enhancing fruit and spice flavors, and prolonging shelf life. Food companies value its ease of use in liquid formulations and its stability in acidic
    products, providing superior performance in carbonated beverages and fruit preparations.

    "Interestingly enough, MSG also causes you to over eat by failing to have your brain tell you that you're full in the same way."

    Actually, MSG doesn't cause you to overeat. MSG tastes better, and people tend to eat more of what tastes better. My proof: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/phys
    beh
    . The study to which you were referring (here: http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/
    v60/n1/abs/1602263a.html
    ), found that rats at 3 times the normal amount of food when fed diets containing much MORE msg than what would be found in the normal human diet of typical foods. Additionally, humans and rats do not have the same physiology.

    Drawing the conclusion from these studies, which were referenced from a highly biased and unscientific site, is inaccurate and misleading. Your information about irradiated food is also highly biased and misleading and can create a real danger to consumers. Trying to stop food borne illnesses on fresh produce is admirable, and irradiated food has been around for years with no adverse effects having been shown. It's impossible to show that something does NOT cause harm, and even water in extra high doses can kill. Critical reading is key for understanding the science behind food.
    - 8/26/2008   9:45:55 AM
  • 14
    I have to agree that the FDA does anything but protect us from the scams of the food industry. HFCS is found in almost any foods from "healthy" breakfast bars to salad dressings and ketchups. MSG has so many names, who can keep them all straight and is added to most foods. Both of these are highly addictive and cause our bodies to crave more. Let's not even begin with all of the commercials for foods on TV. How often do you see one for BRs ice cream and begin craving one knowing it will ruin not only your calorie intake for the day but your goal of cutting out sugars and bad fats. The food industry and government is doing everything they can to keep us fat and to make matters worse is that they are aiming a lot of their tactics at our children. Go ask your school how much fat they are required to have in every school lunch. I was shocked when I learned how hight that one was.

    B. - 8/26/2008   9:44:17 AM

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