I am reading a book called Food Fight
by Kelly Brownell, PhD, of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders. So far, it starts out with an interesting, however slightly depressing, insight into the biological design of the human body. This is followed by an eye-opening discussion on how the environment we now live in is toxic to humans, compared to, say, our ancestors who had to forage, hunt and gather, then suffer through starvation in the winter months, our food supply is cheap, nutritionally unsound, abundant, and available 24 hours a day, not to mention marketed by a powerful machine with a big budget. Our bodies were designed to crave fat, carbs and protein, which we store for later use when food isn't as readily available. But then it's always there. And They make it cheap and tasty. The authors also explore the decline in activity in Americans, caused by a number of issues, urban sprawl, technology doing more for us so we do less for ourselves, and time spent in front the television and computer.
Obesity is a crisis of epidemic proportions, and not just in America. Surprising at first, but really makes sense, doesn't it? Oh yes, the more westernized a country becomes, the higher the rate of obesity and related illnesses. The authors went as far as to compare overeating to the likes of drug abuse and cigarette smoking, and even other dangerous practices such as not wearing a seatbelt or motorcylc helmet. The nation was given information and opportunity to regulate themselves on these issues. But at some point, they had to be protected from themselves. Public awareness campaigns have had minimal effect. Most people know the dangers of overeating and lack of exercise. The people of this nation spend billions of dollars every year on diet and exercise products, yet we are getting FATTER!! Do we need more regulation on the food industry's marketing techniques? Cigarette manufacturers are forbidden to market their disease causing cancer-sticks to children. Yet, somehow soda companies are allowed to manufacture baby bottles with logos! Don't even get me started on fast food restaraunts targeting children. In general, I am an advocate of less government, and the free will of people. Let them destroy themselves. But I live this battle everyday, not just as an overeater, but also the parent of three young minds, who are so easily influenced by these advertisments and enticements. I fight a battle everyday against a creative marketing machine with a near unlimited budget. I think I have enough battles already, thank you very much.
So I can't wait to read the rest of the book and see what other strong feelings arise.
What are you reading tonight?