Friday, March 22, 2013

Making junk food healthy?

The only pragmatic and workable solution to help beat the global health battle against obesity and non-communicable diseases is for industry and policy makers to work together to reformulate processed foods with better nutritional values, says Jack Winkler.

Jack’s got a point - he says “the problem is processed foods, the greedy companies who make them and the cowardly governments who fail to control them.” 

He’s right on other counts too - he says that diets don’t work and 30 years of education about healthier food choices haven’t worked either. The population has just got fatter and fatter (and more and more unhealthy). 

So now, with the horse well and truly bolted - what’s the answer? Winkler suggests there are 3 options - altering agricultural policy, taxation on foods, or regulation. But he also says that as solutions these are technically ineffective, politically impossible or both. His suggestion is to take the foods that we have - and make them healthier, citing the example of iodised salt. In other words, “rather than trying to change the people, we change the foods instead!”

Good luck with that one mate! I’d like to meet the manufacturer who can put all the trace elements, phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, ensuring all the synergies that sustain optimal health, into a Mars Bar ... and make it affordable! And he says that's the pragmatic approach ... ? In your dreams Jack.

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