In my Dec. 2016 book on corset waist training, I survey a few countries that, like the US, have suffered from growing obesity. Sadly, the other day I saw a news article that there is now a line of plus-sized children’s clothing. I guess that’s a good thing, but reflects a sad direction in our children’s health.
The NYT on Sunday Sept 17 featured a stunning front page article on the above trend, stating that there are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide and 108 of them are children. It went on to feature the super-sizing of Brazilians (“How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food”). As incomes have increased in Brazil, so have food preferences for fast foods full of sugar and fat. In that country obesity has nearly doubled in 10 years to 20 percent, and overweight individuals have tripled to 58 percent.
Mere obesity is not the problem, malnourishment is.
One of the primary culprits is Swiss food giant Nestle. Nestle now markets (since establishing the basis of the program in 1976 as to integrate with the host country) door-to-door push-carts for low income neighborhoods (think Mary Kay or Tupperware, or from my childhood, the musical ice cream man trucks). The carts feature packaged sweets full of sugar. Sadly, cart sales help the cart owner to earn money to feed her family (most owners are women, apparently). The lady pictured in the article weighs over 2oo lbs. Meanwhile, Nestle markets itself as committed to health and wellness — two current catch words that are replacing the dread word “diet”.
The article mentions that big food is also attacking health in China, South Africa and Columbia, with growing political influence. The problem of growing waistlines and weight is no longer a US phenomenon.
I’m not sure where I am going with this astounding but not unexpected information, except to feel even more disturbed and saddened by the state of Big Food in corporate America. The US almost defeated Big Tobacco, but it took over 20years of consistent airtime on tv for public health announcements, and citizen’s speaking up — many of their stories frightening and tragic when the decimated victims of tobacco spoke in public against smoking. The story makes me sympathetic to the challenges that all of us face from irresponsible media messages, and re-committed to doing my best when and where I can to encourage anyone to reduce, and to just give up, white sugar, preservatives, dyes, and prepackaged food. At some point we have to behave like a nurturing adult to our adolescent urges to just give up and give in and follow the herd.