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They say “Quick and Easy” and “Have it Your Way” but are we really getting it our way? 

The Scene Is Set

Human physiology has not changed substantially in thousands of years. Back then, there was very little available food and lots of time. Our bodies have remained adapted for those circumstances.

But today, there’s an abundance of food and the foods that are readily available only minimally resemble what our bodies are best equipped to stay nourished by.

Additionally, we are less active and this exacerbates the situation. Being relatively sedentary, however, is not the primary root cause of why we get cravings, eat more than we need, gain weight and struggle to lose it.

Making matters more challenging, we live in a time where we have a lot of tasks on our plate, unlike thousands of years ago when the primary concern was getting food and shelter. In our world, time is in short supply and, although food is abundant, obtaining it is frequently an afterthought. How many times have you thought on your way home from work, “What are we going to do for dinner?”

The Plot

The food industry takes advantage of our fast-paced, high pressure environment; we have a lot to do and very little time to do it. We need to eat and feed our families but don’t have the time and/or desire to prepare it. So we rely on others to prepare what they deem to be “solutions” for us and we accept them. The food industry understands our circumstances, if a customer doesn’t get what they want when they want it, they will move on and get it from a competitor. So, they focus on providing us readily available alternatives that are esthetically attractive and tickle our taste buds. What could go wrong?

Buyers beware: what you see is not exactly what you get. Motivated by profit, big corporations employ food engineers whose purpose is to design food that is convenient, tastes great, within our budget and gets us to eat more than we need. They frequently use inexpensive and potentially harmful ingredients to do so, maximizing their profits. Additionally, they spend huge sums of advertising dollars tempting us to taste their products. When we bite, we’re often hooked. It’s no accident that it’s difficult to limit our intake and ultimately put on weight.

Our body tries to adapt to the influx of excess calories. Initially this works but ultimately our body’s physiologic changes, paradoxically becoming maladaptive, causing even more weight gain. As we put on weight, we tend to be less active. As we get older, we accrue more responsibilities and have even less time available. Insidiously, a vicious cycle is created as the food industry invents more and more ways to get us to eat more and more. They are constantly using new combinations of ‘flavor enhancers’ that act more like drugs to accomplish their end. As we consume more, corporate profits increase and so do our waistlines, as our health and self-esteem decline. We are being dealt with like sheep being led to slaughter. 

We are smarter and better than this! There’s hope once we understand the underlying Plot and the hand we’ve been dealt.

Part 3: The Solution coming next week.

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