Obesity debate: Is the food industry making us fat?

March 31, 2014 - Health & Nutrition

food 78655516Worldwide obesity rates are on the up, but who is to blame for the nation’s expanding waistlines?

This January, the National Obesity Forum (NOF) made a worrying announcement. In 2007, the influential Foresight Report warned that by 2050 more than 50% of people in Britain could be obese. Now, just seven years on, NOF suggests that this could be an underestimation and that the situation is actually far worse.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. In 2008, more than 1.4bn adults were overweight around the world. Now, 65% of the world’s population live in countries where being overweight or obese kills more people than malnutrition.

While obesity is widely recognised to be multi-factorial in origin, WHO acknowledges that one of the problems is that we are increasingly exposed to energy-dense yet micronutrient-poor foods high in fat, sugar and salt, which tend to be lower in cost but also lower in nutritional quality.

So, whose fault is it really that we are more obese? Is it the fault of the food industry creating these goods, or is it up to the individual? Aren’t food manufacturers simply responding to demand for cheap, convenient products? Isn’t it up to us to make our own choices about what we do and don’t eat?

Do you think food manufacturers are explicit enough when it comes to the nutritional value of products? What influences your decisions when it comes to buying food?

Pick up the latest issue of LighterLife Magazine to read the full debate and don’t forget to join the debate on our Facebook page – or tweet us @LighterLife using #fooddebate

One thought on “Obesity debate: Is the food industry making us fat?

Collette Lord

Food manufacturers play the political game with labelling… the simple red/orange/green food labelling system (which is advisory and not compulsory) has been refused by many food manufacturers – cynics amongst us would say it is because it is a simple system which everyone can understand – red – no-go, orange – caution, green go for it….. You try working out how many calories/fat/sugar there is in processed food – some units are in per 100gms (or some other unit) and you always need a magnifying glass to read it anyways, other units are in calories per unit, or half a pack….. Don’t tell me that manufacturers have ANY interest at all in letting us know easily and quickly what we want to know…. it is in their interest to sell food full of fat and sweetners and other addictive chemicals to make sure we go back and buy more… AND we have choice as to what to eat … but the food industry is used to such billions of pounds/dollars of profit it wont want to reduce them. Consumers have to fight back and boycott the worst companies….. we have the power if we band together……..

Comments are closed.