Sunday, June 03, 2018

Fast-food restaurants must get with the program to end obesity

A smile came across my face when I saw an article entitled “Fast-food restaurants must get with the program to end obesity.” The author, Alexandra Jones, outlines how fast-food restaurants in Australia were upset about a new study rating them on their “commitment to addressing obesity.” She pointed out that the average rating was 27 out of 100 and none received a pass mark. She underlined that it is good that the companies are “all riled up.” She goes on to say that the businesses' public relations responses to the study were to be expected. However, what caught my eye was what she said about the replies made by readers. The replies suggested that “those who eat fast food deserve what's coming to them.” Alexandra highlights how “at a time when two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, this is misguided.” She states that it isn’t an immense lack of willpower that is at the center of the problem. Rather we are “living in a toxic food environment – surrounded by convenient, cheap foods high in energy, salt, sugar, and fat.”

The author proposes that Australians' waistlines would greatly benefit from “thoughtfully prepared dinners and packed lunches according to the Australian Dietary Guidelines.” To paraphrase Alexandra’s thought on the likelihood of this occurring: Fat chance! (I’m sorry but I couldn’t resist the pun!) She highlights that Australians spend “32 per cent of [their] household food budget eating out.” Also, other research indicates that “in any six-month period, more than half of [Australians] eat McDonald's alone and nearly two million Australians now use home delivery services like UberEats.” Alexandra concludes that “we must do more to get these fast-food restaurants to help us eat better.” To do so, fast-food restaurants must “make water the default drink, stop advertising to kids, use pricing to promote healthy options, and set specific targets to reduce salt, sugar, saturated fat, energy and portion size.” Last, although the government of Australia has a Healthy Food Partnership on its agenda, it’s voluntary and without much of an investment.

Although the article examines what is currently taking place in Australia, there is no question that this also applies to North America. The fast food conglomerates do anything to make a fast buck, and most people do nothing about it except fill their faces. So what is the verdict? We definitely can blame the producers and sellers of the slop. Then, we can equally blame ourselves for eating the garbage. And what do both parties of the problem have in common? The food of course! Yet again, we can actually blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

No comments:

Post a Comment