This week has brought with it the news that Burger King are to introduce lower fat chips! The company are under pressure in the US, where there is an increasing need to do something about obesity, particularly amongst children. The fast food chain have reacted to criticism by introducing new fries which are 40% lower in fat. Call me cynical but this sounds about as helpful as tackling a forest fire with bucket!
Fast food has been a major contributory factor to the growth in obesity across the western world. There is increasing evidence that the high fat and sugar content of many of the foods is actually addictive and people are falling into a pattern of eating which is extremely hard to break. I don’t think the solution will be to offer slightly less harmful food which may be a little less fattening but is still nutritionally bankrupt. For those who choose this option the meals will still be addictive and unhealthy and I say for those who choose it advisedly, because if consumers are craving fat they won’t choose the new fries will they?
This is just a case of an organization anxious to look like they are doing something to help whilst not doing much at all. Not that anything they could do short of telling people not to eat their food would help and they are hardly likely to do that. I think we have all got to try harder to do this for them. It might be close to impossible to change the habits of adults but our kids could be saved by not taking them to burger restaurants and educating them better about the dangers. If they don’t acquire a taste for the junk they may just grow up having no interest in eating it.
I hope that one day junk food is seen in the same light as drugs and smoking. Some people will always partake but it will not be socially cool any more. It would be rather helpful if advertising was banned as with cigarettes and if the food was taxed out of the market. I am all for freedom of choice but if too many people wander down the wrong path then we have a problem and the junk food highway is rather congested right now.
Poor nutrition and obesity lead to so many issues as your life progresses that if kids really understood the implications they would be knee deep in muck digging up carrots in a flash. Sadly at this moment as many as 10% of children don’t even know what a carrot is! There is work to be done encouraging youngsters to eat well and exercise. If their Christmas presents could only be balance bikes, footballs and dancing lessons rather than games consoles and mobile phones we might make some progress. In the face of a media barrage to the contrary and peer pressure, however, kid’s aspirations are way off the healthy track.
Low fat fries at Burger King are going to make no difference at all. Avoiding their food almost certainly will but how many people are strong enough to take action?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop.