All About Food by Mike Smith

over weight boy

Over weight boy

All About Food

The healthy you

With so many TV programs all about food we are becoming obsessed over the presentation and taste of what we put in our mouths. Gone are the days of basic but wholesome home cooking. Today we eat out so much more, whether it’s fast food or restaurant-style cuisine. Our towns are teeming with places to eat, whole streets are dedicated to cafe after cafe, restaurant after restaurant.

We all know that excess of anything is bad for us and food is one of today’s biggest excesses. Ease of access to fast foods equates to unhealthy living and, for busy parents, sending out for pizza or burgers and fries is all too often the easy option.

The western world has a high percentage of over-weight people of all ages and it has got so bad that we are seeing it develop as early as infancy. Where this is the case, what chance do our young have of leading a healthy lifestyle?

Diabetes is on the increase and with it comes health complications that can affect many parts of a diabetic’s body – kidneys, liver, heart, blood to name some.

Eating Habits
Because we are the sum total of our eating habits, we need to learn to eat wisely to retain our good health – our mantra should be `Eat Healthy,’ starting from pre-school age so that, as adults, it becomes intrinsic in our thinking for the rest of our lives.

Yes, the majority knows this. We know what’s good for us as well as what is not so good yet we still go on our merry way, living an unhealthy lifestyle, eqating what we please and what is easy. We know the dangers but choose to ignore them in favor the quick, easy and the tasty fast food that is so readily available and accessible.

Beating the Odds
Society is well-conditioned.  Advertising is everywhere we look, tempting us to try the newest, biggest, most delicious burger or the latest tastiest meal in a can. The photography is so good that it makes our mouths water just to look and the advertisers play on this – they know that presentation is half the battle towards getting us to taste what they are pushing. The photography is amazing and, underlined with blurbs that make the product sound so delicious, what can we do? We just have to try it – just once, we tell ourselves. But because the manufacturers are experts at what they do, using flavor enhancements (we should really stay away from), the actual taste of that first bite mostly lives up to the advertising blurbs and back we go for more. Like in the cooking programs, it looks good so it must be good.

No one wants to be fat. If we are honest, we all want to be slim, fit, healthy and look good. Unfortunately, the manufacturers and their teams of promoters are too good at what they do – their very existence depends on how well they push the benefits of their snake oil to the general public. Sadly, for many, the odds are stacked too high and resolve fades quickly.

What happens next?
Until governments come to the conclusion that unhealthy fatty foods are just as dangerous to their citizens’ and tax payers’ health than cigarettes, nothing is going to change. Imagine if fast food chains were outlawed, or were forced to put disclaimers on all their advertising, and street signage was limited in size.
I can see you shaking your head. You are right – it will never happen that way. But one positive step is if governments got behind an education program showing pre-schoolers, and schools in general, a healthier way of eating. Do it in stages.
Stage One – Pre-schoolers
Stage Two – Junior schools and so on.
One bite at a time instead of a hit and miss approach, costing and wasting millions of tax payers dollars.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

The world needs more TV food personalities like Britain’s Jamie Oliver who has long been crusading in schools, promoting healthy choices. I recently tried his version of chicken nuggets – the healthy way – it was quick, easy and delicious.

One of the newer book sites on the internet is  who are just starting to post a few food books. Click on this link All About Food  and check them out. Any ideas on this, or personal experiences, are welcome, it’s all about creating the lifestyle you want.

Mike Smith

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