December 11, 2009

Are Americans food illiterate?

I recognize there are several paths to tackling a complex problem of American obesity. Here are several interesting points of view.

The Economist magazine recently debated whether governments should take a stronger role in guiding food and nutrition choices.

Kelly Brownell, Professor of Psychology at Yale University argues, three major food issues face the world. Local, national, and global governing authorities must take bold and innovative action to avoid catastrophic health consequences, political upheaval, and political and financial instability around the globe. Read more...

Of course on the opposition is Melanie Leech Director General of the Food and Drink Federation.
She counters that the food and drink industry shares society's concerns about the health of the nation, particularly rising obesity levels, and it is committed to playing a positive role in responding to this vital debate.

...the government is often not best placed to deliver such strategies. Its priority should be to develop a stable long-term policy and regulatory framework which harnesses rather than impedes both the wealth of knowledge the industry has about consumer needs and behaviour, and the power of industry and other players to invest and innovate to deliver the strategic objectives. Read more...

The cynical public -- especially the British public -- has a different view of American obesity: Let them eat cake. Here's a recent post.

Dear Sir,

"46% of the U.S. population are functionally illiterate"

If people are realy [sic] so dumb, shouldn't we let natural selection deal with them, for improvement of the future of the species? Eating himself to death is much more pleasant than being eaten by sabre-toothed tiger.

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