Sunday, August 2, 2009

Obesity and Processed Foods

Today in the Washington Post, on page 2 of the Outlook section in a column called Outspoken, David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Adminstration, talks about the connection between processed food and obesity. Also today, in the New York Times Magazine, is an article called Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch. It is about: the movie Julie and Julia, the disconnect between TV food shows and cooking. . . and the connection between processed food and obesity.

The NYT article quotes Harry Belzer, "a veteran food-marketing researcher". In answer to a question on how to "undo the damage that the modern diet of industrially prepared food has done to our health", he says,

"Easy. You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It's short, and it's simple. Here's my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That's it. Eat anything you want -- just as long as you're willing to cook it yourself."

Looking at the soy allergy in a glass-half-full kind of way, I say we're way ahead of the rest of America on this one. We have to cook a lot of our foods from scratch and we don't eat out much. I won't say I couldn't lose (ahem) a few pounds, but I still eat processed foods. Granted I had to hunt them down in Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and among the gazillions of foods on the regular grocery store aisles, but I eat crackers, breakfast cereal, cheesy-poofs and the like.

Maybe I'll stop.

1 comment:

aefeilbach said...

Hi Kay,

I also have an allergy to soybean. I have had it all of my life. I'm in my late 40's. Of course, like you, I bake and cook most of my food from scratch. I also like to look at my allergy from the "glass half full" perspective. I do feel like my food choices are healthier and that my overall health refects that. However, I could stand to lose a few pounds myself (it's still hard to resist homemade bread even when you have been baking it for over 20 years!). Also, I have to say that even though the cooking and baking are time consuming and a necessary hobby, I really do enjoy it most days. My husband has always appreciated our homemade cooking (and he loves to cook as well so he knows the time commitment, etc.) and now that my children are approaching adulthood, they have told me many times over that they really like the food at our home vs the processed foods they get most other places.
I hope we are all healthier for it.