Friday, September 11, 2009

Food abuse in the west

I got to thinking the other day, why do we have this problem with food abuse in western society? Food abuse is really like any other form of abuse (alcohol, drugs etc), only instead of syringes filled with heroin the problem is KFC buckets full of fried chicken.

I am befuddled when I try to think of why people go down this path, surely nobody actually enjoys the feeling of eating a greasy Big Mac or similar? Each to their own (and there is no finer hangover cure than a bacon Double Cheeseburger taken before bedtime after a big night out), certainly, but of course no one can deny it becomes everybody’s problem when we have the resultant health problems within society (obesity, diabetes, heart disease etc.).

All the public health initiatives we have seen over the past 20 years have not helped (think ‘life be in it’), in fact the problem is growing ever worse. We have an increasing nanny-state where parents want food ads banned from TV (ever heard of just saying no to your kids?) and certain foods/drinks are banned from school cafeterias but none of this makes any difference.

The problem is that food has become just another opiate for the masses; people don’t appreciate what they are putting in their mouth as they haven’t had to think about it. It’s cheap, quick and mass-produced and it makes them feel good. More often than not it’s also laced with hidden fat, chemicals, salt and calories that equivalent food made by hand just would not have (compare fasta pasta spag bog with what you could make yourself). There have been suggestions in the scientific community that sugar is just as addictive as smoking and I’d believe it.