It is no secret that we have a problem in the US with obesity and related diseases. Some effort has been made to make school lunches healthier and to improve fast foods, but when I ran across this article by Michael Moss in the NYT (see links in Did You Know), it became clear that junk food is addictive and that food manufacturers work hard to make it so. Having grown up in post-war Germany, I never developed a taste for junk food and it never became a problem in my life. This is not the case for my husband Steve, who grew up with fast food and became addicted from a very early age. It took an enormous effort for him to break his addiction. He does not eat fast food anymore, but it took willpower and courage over several years to break away and to start enjoying a more healthy diet.
The NYT article is fascinating and I have also linked under Did You Know to his book “Salt-Sugar-Fat. The article explains how our food industry promotes addictive foods and reminds me of the tobacco industry years ago. I believe in profits and am not talking about hurting profitable businesses. I am talking about socially responsible profitability offering a win-win for corporations and for consumers.
Each of us can make choices and normally no one is forced to eat what is not good and healthy. But when our children are the target with the goal of life-long addiction to excessive fat, sugar and salt, we should think twice. Children may not have the knowledge to make healthy choices and are sometimes under heavy peer pressure. I still remember how I wanted to belong to the “in crowd” and was willing to light up that “first” cigarette. Unfortunately, “addicted children” grow up to be “unhealthy adults” which not only affects adversely the general health of our population but also the staggering cost of health care in our country.
Educate yourself and your family on the risks of eating junk food, and plan how you can keep your family on a regular diet of good, healthy and wholesome food. Please give your thoughts on the Forum. We would love to hear from you.