Junk food is practically everywhere. Such is our appetite for fast food to go with our fast living, that it is rare now to find a location, that does not have a takeaway or fast food joint in it.
What is interesting was that growing up as a child in the 70’s, we would have the local chip shop and the odd Chinese takeaway business, but ready meals to buy in shops were so extortionate, that only the “well off” people could afford it. Fast forward to today, and you now find the opposite. Ready meals are geared towards those with a limited income, plus there are so many takeaway options which can be ordered from your sofa, without having to move a muscle.
There is no doubt in my mind, that this junk food explosion is going to have a damaging effect especially on this young generation. Food laden with fats, sugars, salt and additives are like a killer cocktail, because people cannot seem to stop their constant desire for it.
So how do you stop this junk food epidemic? The simple answer is, with great difficulty. The people I have helped have had one thing in common, and that is that they are addicted. I have noticed with many of them, that their taste buds seem unable to pick up delicate flavours, and they seem only excited by bad ingredients.
The answer is a complicated one, which has had many a person scratching their heads for many years. Is better education in schools the answer? To some degree it is. Although the lure of teenagers going with their mates to the burger bars is always going to be there. Is taxing such establishments the answer? I have found that if someone wants to eat it, then they will find the money to buy it no matter what. What about the traffic light and calorie info on foods? Yes it is useful to the people who understand it, but to many it still appears confusing. Plus some just don’t care. They could have a set of red traffic lights and warnings, and still eat it no matter what.
For me and why I am not a fast food fan, has been all about having the knowledge of what some of the ingredients used can do to your body. This information has to some degree helped people get on a healthier eating regime. However, they have got to want to know. Like the old saying says, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink. I like to use simple ABC language too. Nothing over medical which is not easy to understand. For example with diabetics, many do not know the problems they could face, so I just lay it bare to them, that they could go blind and have limbs removed. It is less about dancing around the bush and more laying it down straight. I am never sure as to why in the UK we faff about with getting to the facts. Maybe more hard-hitting campaigns is one of the answers. I think there will be proportion of people who want to be helped, but sadly a massive section of society that don’t. Cheap, convenient and quick will always be the way for them. That is a real problem. However, the more people engage with healthy eating the more I find jump on the band wagon. Surely that can only be a good thing?