Time to scare ourselves skinny, America - The Packer

Time to scare ourselves skinny, America

10/12/2012 09:25:00 AM
Tom Karst

Freshfel, the European produce association, was taking the next steps in boosting the EnjoyFresh Initiative. Those steps included the launching of a YouTube channel called FreshFel TV.

If the universal good is fruits and vegetables, it is expected that some would try to hijack the message for their own purposes, to water it down and dilute it.

Like the U.S., Europe and the United Kingdom have processed food manufacturers who try to snatch the halo from fruits and vegetables.

The Fresh Produce Consortium of the United Kingdom issued a news release in July that said “the U.K. Government must sort out widespread inaccuracies of 5 A Day claims which abuse consumer trust.”

The consortium, the leading fresh produce trade association in the U.K., said processors were overstepping their bounds. The FPC said the Channel 4 Dispatches program “highlighted many of the ridiculous declarations made by processors and the government’s failure to stop unscrupulous hijacking of the 5 A Day message.”

Particularly, a couple of short documentary newscasts illuminated the high sugar content of fruit drinks.

“It’s time the U.K. government sorted out this confusion. 5 A Day must return to its core principles, based around the convenience of eating fresh fruit and vegetables, to avoid misleading the public about the nutritional content of their food basket,” Nigel Jenney, chief executive officer of the FPC, said in the release.

“The government must do more to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.”

The release went on to say that research by Oxford University stated thousands of lives could be saved every year “if everyone in the U.K. followed dietary guidelines.”

We have heard that before, haven’t we?

Here in the U.S., the Robert Wood Johnson report “F as in Fat” was another reminder of the great costs society bears because of obesity.

Importantly, the report pointed out seven of the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity were also in the bottom 10 for fruit and vegetable consumption.

Can we assume that the 10 states with the highest per capita Double Stuff Oreo consumption were also the most obese?

Even more alarming, researchers found the number of obese Americans could grow from 32% in 2011 to 50% in 2030.

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