A lot of folks, particularly doctors and public health professionals, are alarmed at the “obesity epidemic,” which is also increasing risks of heart disease and diabetes, in the North American population. But nobody seems to have a clear idea of why it is happening. My left-wing columnist friend, predictably, blames the "sugar industry," although how they are all controlling us in order to do this he does not say.
|Ah, beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain...|
I think there is a simple explanation, and a simple cure.
First, as is more or less self-evident, just about everybody likes sweet flavours. Second, sugar is cheap. Therefore, the makers of prepared foods of all kinds find it good business to add sugar to their products: it increases their market.
But if people make the same foods themselves at home, that is, when they actually see how much sugar goes in, they use much less. Prepared food tends to scrimp on other ingredients, and cannot be as fresh, and so, home-cooked food can taste as good as or better than prepared food without the sugar.
To a great extent, the same is true for fats. Fat is a quick and dirty way to make fast food more appealing.
Thanks to feminism and the breakdown of the family, people are relying more and more on prepared foods and fast food instead of doing their own cooking.
|Slow food may be the answer.|
Ergo, people are getting fatter.
Note, in the chart above, how obesity is skyrocketing in particular in the US and UK, yet not in France. Why? Because France cares too much about food. They will not so readily accept processed foods as good enough.
Ideally, we should get rid of feminism and start supporting the traditional family. But that is a tough fix. There is a simpler one that would be pretty effective.
Only require that all processed foods display clearly on the label how much sugar is added, in whatever form, to their product. Require that this be expressed in teaspoon equivalents.
It would simply scare the trousers off most consumers to know that a soft drink contains 19 teaspoons of sugar; that each serving of spaghetti sauce includes two teaspoons; one squirt of ketchup adds one teaspoon; and so forth.
Do this, and I expect a consumer market would quickly appear for alternatives with less sugar. Note that the plateaus you see in the US and UK stats above as of the early oughts seem to reflect publicity given to the amount of sugar in soft drinks, and a corresponding drop in their sales.
In the meantime, this site, it turns out, illustrates the concept.