Increases in Obesity Rates – Food for Thought






I remember when I was growing up we and all of our neighbours planted and grew vegetables in our back yards. Our parents cooked meals using fresh produce and the occasional canned or frozen items. I also recall that the obesity rates were quite low back then. However, life…and associated progress…happens. Women entered the workforce in droves. Cooking from scratch was reserved for the weekend, if cooking was done at all. Reliance on “convenience food” skyrocketed. I have suspected for some time that there is a direct correlation between eating such food and obesity. However, I am not in a position to conduct an in-depth study. Fortunately, others can and have done so. Of course, there are the naysayers who will deny the link.

However, in developing countries obesity was not a problem until recently.  What has changed? The traditional food is being usurped by processed, packaged foods. My personal theory is supported in the book Fat Planet – The Obesity Trap and How We Can Escape It by Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Margaret Leitch that obesity is on the rise in countries

“…where healthy, traditional diets are being replaced with far more energy-dense, less nutritionally sounds, Western-style eating habit.”

They are not the only ones who are studying this trend. Drs. Lewis and Leitch cite L. Webber, et al’s article “The future burden of obesity–related diseases in the 53 WHO European-Region countries and the impact of effective interventions: a modeling study.

“The process of globalisation and foreign direct investment into food processing has been directly linked with the shift in diets amongst emerging economies.”

As consumers of such food, we have NO control over the ingredients that go into these food items, nor in how they are prepared.  We cannot control the salt and fat content nor the various compounds that are used to give these foods the extended shelf-life that they have.

Manufacturers are constantly creating new offerings in order to get their cut of your food budget. They are getting rich and taking your health along with your money. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means but one has to wonder. In the United States medicine is a for profit business. If eating processed food leads to obesity and associated health issues, then who else is profits? Food, pharmaceutical and health systems are BIG business.

When next you shop for groceries, think about where your money goes. Will you be feeding yourself or feeding the shareholders of business and healthcare?


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