Day 24

‘The great food debate’

There is a long running debate in the media about the obesity crisis and the state of the nation’s health, specifically with regard to food. This is my take on it, (well a summarised version anyway). Food is great ~ I love to eat! Truly I am one of those people who lives to eat, rather than one of those who eat to live. There is a definite difference. Food can be our friend or our enemy, and many people have a distinct ‘relationship’ with food. For many it is not just fuel to live but it is linked to our social circle, our leisure time, our comfort even. Go down any High Street and see the many eateries we are exposed to.

In my grandparent’s day, food would have been scarce, local, seasonal and they would have lacked choice. Now we can buy anything, at any time! We don’t just eat 3 meals a day, but tend to just eat our way through the day. No wonder so many people struggle with food.

It is also I believe linked to our emotional state. I eat for comfort, especially the sweet stuff. This tends to start off quite young. As babies we may have a comforter – blanket, dummy, teddy. As we grow we may be weaned off these. Then the parents, grandparents or well meaning relatives and friends may give sweets, chocolates, biscuits and so on. Sometimes as a reward, sometimes to keep the child quiet in place of the comforter. It may be because the child was good and ate his/her dinner, was quiet round the shops or whatever. This can quickly then turn into a habit. Think also of our special occasions – birthdays, Christmas; celebrations of all kinds, these again tend to centre around food and sweet things – cake in particular may feature highly! We therefore reach for these things because it is habit – it is what we have always done, or it is something we do to induce feelings of happiness, comfort, love or whatever.

‘Food for thought?’

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