Monday, September 27, 2010

Who Will Save Us From Ourselves???

Hank Cardello the author of Stuffed: An Insider's Look at Who's (Really) Making America Fat poses an interesting conundrum which you can read here:

This is the nut of the article:

And therein lies the consumer conundrum: that although many people desire to eat better, most are not wired to cope with the current food delivery system—the portions, prices, and practices—thus making it impossible to transition to healthier eating. Only the most Jack LaLanne-ish among us is fully equipped to either say no or to just eat the right-sized portions every time.

This reality runs counter to the current approach taken by regulators, health advocates, and activists that all consumers must follow prescribed set-in-stone eating formulas such as limiting sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day or saturated fats to 7 percent of calorie intake. They continue to believe that by simply issuing the next set of rules, consumers will automatically follow along. But demanding that consumers change who they are is a dead-end street, as evidenced by our lack of progress.

This implies that comprehensive, permanent change must come from another source.

So the main question is "who will save us from ourselves?"

The problem is, of course, that we have a political system which is totally incapable of actually protecting the majority of its citizens.

Political pressure from lobbyists and industry groups will likely derail any effort to help American citizens get their weight under control.

As it is, the new rule requiring chain restaurants to simply post calorie counts on their menus is in jeopardy, and the only thing that does is simply give people information. It doesn't actually do anything other then let you know when a salad may be more fattening then a steak.

Information, in fact, seems to be the new panacea to any problem. Consumers getting ripped off by banks???? Well rather then actually preventing the banks from ripping off the consumers, we'll just make the banks disclose that they are doing it.

American people dying from heart disease, hypertension and diabetes? Well, rather than require that restaurants and food processors lower the amount of salt, fat and calories in food, we'll simply make them post the information somewhere on the box or menu, so that they can see how fast they're killing themselves.


  1. I know, right? Wish I had the answer. It is a serious problem.

  2. Well and then there is the over abundance of processed, chemicalized food that mess with hormonal balance as well. There is more undiagnosed PCOS than ever...this condition is not just about polycystic ovaries and that's why no one is picking up on the fact that our kids can start life at puberty with this and it can lead to adulthood obesity. It's just amazing...and just what is the answer now that we are in crisis...I wish I knew too!

  3. Thanks for providing such great 'food for thought'. It's not always directly related to what's happening here in New Zealand but always relevant. I've tagged you for the Versatile Blogger Award - details on my blog on what this means (aside from 'I really appreciate your posts').

  4. Excellent post -- couldn't agree more. We need to fix problems, not just point out that they need a band-aid