The New York Times this weekend had a provocative piece by Mark Bittman in which he wrote that the struggle that many people have in maintaining a healthy weight actually is a struggle "between you and the Big Food marketers that sell you that junk — their most profitable products — and politicians who enable them."
Bittman goes on:
"More than half of our total calories come from ultra-processed foods, and our ancestors, no matter where they’re from, would not recognize our diet. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the number of calories consumed in snacks nearly doubled. We tend to blame fast-food restaurants for our poor eating habits, but much of what’s now consumed at home is ultra-processed food. The result has been an average weight gain for adults of more than 24 pounds between 1960 and 2002, and an epidemic of chronic disease.
"In short, most of us are overweight, and losing that weight is so difficult because we’re set up to eat too much food that’s high in calories and bereft of nutrients. The new diet is believed to cause chronic disease, led by insulin resistance, which in turn causes Type 2 diabetes, a precursor to a variety of cardiovascular diseases."
Bittman argues, "The playbook for much of the junk-food marketing is similar to what the tobacco industry used for decades: advertising strategies focused on young people, a shirking of responsibility for poisoning entire populations, and an emphasis on individuals’ responsibility for their own health.
"Unfortunately, ultra-processed foods aren’t as readily condemned as tobacco."
But maybe they should be.
You can read the entire piece here.