Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kilojoules That Kill You

The 'Windows 7' promotional Whopper
- what operating systems operations
is it promoting?
I had a piece in yesterday's Canberra Times, 'Education, equality for better nutrition'.

The ACT, following NSW, is introducing new food labelling laws, requiring many restaurants to show the kilojoules/calories in their foods.

I'm discussing why this is a good first step, but by no means an end to dangerous diets.  A sample:
The mechanisms are complicated, but we know this: despite years of nutritional information, people with a low socio-economic status still have worse diets and poorer health. They are more likely to be obese. They are more likely to be sedentary, and to smoke. Increased health and fitness are, unfortunately, still correlated with higher education, professional status, income. They also require better work/life balance, so employees have the time and energy to cook; and better-planned cities which encourage exercise, not driving. Australia needs more equality, not just more nutritional stickers. 
Ultimately, the ideal is gastronomic education - not just how to cook, but what to savour. One of the hallmarks of better nutrition is a refined, restrained appetite. This is not a sackcloth diet, unhappily gumming on cardboard ''health food'' and swallowing vitamin tablets. Craving food can be a good thing, but it needs to be civilised.
(Photo: Phillipe.charles9)

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