jeudi 17 mai 2012

Welcome to Obeciety !

There is no doubt for anyone that we have well entered in the Obesity Society (1)
In many countries blame has been put on individuals to become overweight or Obese but ... has anyone asked himself or herself if the real suspect was the society or the community as a whole ? Even pathophysiological aspects are the results of the mutation of the society and it's related environmental impact.
In many developed countries often seen as economical and societal models, the lifestyle could be sum up by"more is better".
That lifestyle has generated overconsumption and norm shifts. In USA, where now the major part of population, not to speak about Saudi Arabia or some oceanian states, the norm is being is actually overweight and obese. In fact, as WHO has defined it, we have reached an epidemiological level at the global level called “Globesity”, a worldwide new epidemic. However, unlike diabetes being a silent killer, Obesity is usually accompanied by a constellation of social and psychological discomfort and thus being compared to what Leprosy was in the ancient and modern times since the individuals' image and place in the society is being at stake.
IIndeed, this norm shift has invaded many territories in our ways of life and many industrial groups in diverse sectors own most of responsibility despite they do not endorse it since the consequences has become critical only during the last 50 years.

Food Industry : progress made but more effort is needed
Of course the Food Industry is a major contributor to "Globesity", although not the only responsible and despite recent effort.
Industrial food was supposed to ease our lives by gaining time in meal preparation, by ensuring food supply to maximum of people and price access to every individual. However, to have its customer buying it as a pavlovian reflex instead of an intended action, some companies in the Food industry have well abused on tasting ingredients like fat the make the meals flavorful and overused marketing techniques thru any existing communication channel. Therefore bringing more participants in this “calorie race”, backed by the Pharma Industry efforts to market anti-obesity products: a win-win situation between those two giants.

In fact, some products have been enlarged and their smaller version has been removed from the market. If you consider that the number of kids per family has declined over the years almost everywhere on the globe, it is a nonsense to have bigger products except if the Industry want us to eat more per individual. But this is exactly what's happening and thus the average calories intake is "x" folds what it was 50 years ago, "y" folds compared to beginning of last century and "z" folds compared to middle age.
To be honest, many effort has been made after Industry has recognized the epidemiological status of obesity and some of key actors should not be necessarily pointed at bad. So keep it up guys, and keep promoting diet or naturally hypocaloric beverages and other "true light" meals.

My Car, My Superbody
According to the Department of Transportation in US they were roughly 250 million passenger vehicles registered in 2010, that’s almost one car per pair of legs. In fact, we understand that cities has been built to cope with car traffic. How come many cities around the world have suppressed sidewalk for short-distance walking, if not for having us being transported by car instead by our feets ?
So now you go by car to the Supermarket-Drive or Fast-Food drive, eat or buy your calorie enriched food without having a toe hitting the ground ensuring most efficient fat and sweet incorporation to your body.

Fortunately, now many car makers are integrating electronic components that will be able to monitor health parameters and if you’re using your GPS for a walking distance, why not having a voice shouting from the speakers :
“We suggest you to go walking. Outside temperature is perfect and you might want to visit Aunt Betty on the way and take her for a nice walk and take the opportunity to buy the vegetables recorded on the shopping list from the Bio Market on your way".
Nevertheless one question remains, is this new race to better health and nutrition condition will be having a price affordable for all?
It's time to consider generic regulation within the agro-food industry too, isn't it?

And perhaps, the time of "More is over" has come and is replace by "Less is Healthier".
(1) I claim here to be the first to create and use term "Obeciety" unless proof of prior unpublished publication is made.

I like to warmly thank my friend Dr. Mohammed CHARKI for personally reviewing this post and for his suggestions that led to a more persuasive text than the first version.

Adam M. SELAMNIA , PhD/MBA (Paris, France)