Do we need to ban certain food because people do not know how to consume in moderation?

When I was a child we had fizzy drinks and lollies on special occasions -- Christmas and birthdays were two of those occasions.  Now everyone consumers fizzy drinks all the time, quite often in large quantities. An entire aisle at my local supermarket is dedicated to fizzy drinks and chips (another aisle is dedicated to lollies and a third aisle to alcohol) -- it shows how much we buy. I work with a man (yes, a health fanatic) who drinks bottles of diet coke every day (2-4 litres per day .500/1 gallon) and sees nothing wrong with it.  

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bans big soda ban. He believes that banning the bubbles will combat obesity, diabetes, and other health problems plaguing the people of the Big Apple. (link)

It appears, considering the obesity epidemic we are currently witnessing, that people cannot eat or drink in moderation.  On top of all the fizzy drinks (that contain no goodness at all), we eat far too much take-aways, lollies, chips and alcohol. All empty calories that pack on weight, ruin our teeth, increase blood pressure, result in Type 2 diabetes and can lead to reproductive problems for women.

But do we need governments to ban 'bad" foods because we cannot control our intake. Or perhaps increases taxes on "bad foods"?  I'm inclined to say "no" as I think we have so many regulations these days and we should be adult enough to know when to stop.  However, if parents are not feeding themselves or their children probably, then what?

Preschoolers (4 year olds) are at the same time obese and shockingly deficient in nutrients needed to stave off chronic diseases, a study of Australian children has found.  The poor nutritional intake was found in children from both rich and poor backgrounds. Nearly all the children in some age groups were eating more than the recommended intake of saturated fat. (link)

Sadly we are more concerned about our individual rights to do as we wish (and eat as much as we like) and as a consequences we are now have a growing health bill that someone needs to pay.  Should it be user pays - if your health deteriorates due to poor lifestyle choices (self inflicted), you pay the bill? This of course raises some problems, poorer people tend to eat poorer diets and therefore have worse health issues (our Indigenous community is a good example) and wouldn't be able to pay their bills, then what.  Not the sort of thing done in a humane society.

It is a tricky situation and one that countries like the USA and Australia will have to tackle before the health bill gets too large to pay. In 2009 the US government was spending approximately $147 billion on obesity, probably much higher in 2012. That is a lot of money for an issue we have caused ourselves.

I'm not bitter because I can no longer consumer these "bad foods", in fact I feel liberated as I have discovered that there is an abundances of wonderful healthy food to eat, why would I waste my time on empty useless calories (not that I am perfect all the time, far from it) when I can make so many wonderful dishes from scratch.

Even the Bible warns us against eating and drinking too much.  All things in moderation. A homemade brownie is perfectly ok in moderation (and eaten occasionally) and is far better than any equivalent bought from the supermarket.

In my home I am on a mission to cut back on sugars, increase fruit and vegetable (make it the bulk of our groceries), eat a little less meat, increase fibre and move to organic foods to reduce our intake of nasty chemicals. Not an easy task with a husband that loves his chips and lollies! But with love and dedication I just might be able to move him in the right direction!!

Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. 
Proverbs 23:20-21


  1. The funny thing about saying that people who are poor can't afford to buy healthy food is that it isn't true. For example, if you were to feed a family, McDonalds (considered a less expensive food option) to feed a family would cost a LOT more than a chunk of meat, some vegies and rice (for example) - and you get more food for your money. Meat and vegies cost less than junk food, especially if you can't afford to buy organic and so just buy everything non-organic from the supermarket. And even with the chemicals and hormones and such added to meat and veg, I would say you would still be more healthy eating that, than you would to eat the junk food - which not only adds calories, but also has absolutely NO nutrition!

    The REAL problem, in my opinon, is that (1) people are lazy - it's a lot easier to grab prepackaged or pre-prepared foods and just consume them, and (2) people are addicted to the junk food/processed food - and they have been forced to be addicted by the additives etc that MAKE a person come back for more and more. It's all a big lie that EVERYONE has been dragged into, subtly.

    The gluttony is a side-effect of what is added to the foods (addiction additives) that make people want more and more because it tastes SO good, and their body is crying out for nutrition. It's a vicious cycle because they don't ever get that nutrition unless they turn their whole diet and lifestyle around!

    Just my two cents. ;)

  2. Clara - "poorer people tend to eat poorer diets" (of course this doesn’t refer to all people on low incomes, but it is proven to be the case for many very low income families) - this is due to a number of factors including the lack of knowledge on diets and food (healthy options). Going hand-in-hand with very low incomes is poor educational outcomes which results in a poor understand of buying healthy food. Your decision to buy health is a result of your personal research and reading – if you lack these skills (and as mentioned previously – reading levels are poor in this country) and have no-one to teach you then it makes it very difficult to make better choices. You also have the initiative to undertake research, this is a result of your up-bringing and education, not everyone is as fortunate as you or me.

    Yes, going to McDonalds is expensive, however if you don’t know any better, then what. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are lazy, it’s just that you are not aware of these differences – to understand the cost of Macca’s compared to a basket of fruit requires some maths – lacking those skills (basic life skills) means you will be disadvantaged. I was reading a website recently that has created a cookbook for people who have never been taught to cook healthy – or cook at all (mostly aimed at Indigenous people in rural areas) – we tend to forget that some people don’t have the skills of cooking and that those skills we have come from our mothers. But if our mothers are also lacking these skills, then no one is going to teach us any better. If we are led by TV advertisements and the media that tell us to buy pre-made, then we may not have the skills to make better choices.

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    1. Hmm... I hadn't thought about the lack of skills leading to the poor diet, although really, cooking shouldn't depend on reading recipes. In an ideal world, cooking a basic meal would be a life-skill (like it used to be), rather than the privelege of the educated (after all, indiginous people cooked healthy foods from nature long before they learned to read). And, consider the types of women who used to be cooks/servants - they were FAR less educated than those they served - this world is truly messed up!!

      When I wrote about the laziness, I was speaking of the educated - those who SHOULD know better... In those situations I think it truly IS laziness, and I know this, because I have been guilty of that before - who hasn't?? ;)

    2. Oh, and I was thinking, the fact that poor people no longer know how to eat, is also possibly still a result of laziness - when processed foods got cheaper and were more convenient, they lost the skills they did have (perhaps generations ago), and turned to the easier option. There have been times in history when poor people lived in forests or by rivers and caught fish or animals and cooked them over a fire and ate them - along with wild fruit and vegies... They were poor, they were unskilled, but they still knew how to eat better than modern poor people. Don't you think? I mean, somewhere along the line they HAD to have known how to eat better - the world has a LONG history of eating well that goes way back into the beginning of creation. There have been times when people were truly SO poor that they could only eat the scraps in the trash cans... Is that when people lost their skills? Or where along the line did they lose it? Processed food has only been around for 150 years or something, so this junk food diet is fairly new, really.

    3. Clara - I have been pondering your question - I wonder if the decline in cooking skills started with the introduction of the supermarket which led to the start of processed food (fast food). I do think (sadly) that as women started to go off to work, and believed they didn't have time to cook, they stated to grab those quick meals from the supermarket so their children never saw mum cook. It would be worth doing some more research into this and let you know what I find!!

    4. Yes - please do let me know what you find! It has definitely been lost somewhere along the way - and you might be right - the supermarket as we know it is part of the revolution that has lead to so much processed and prepackaged foods etc... and thus the loss of those skills.

  3. This is one reason I fast regularly. It helps me control my flesh ~ & that includes what I eat. I like sweet things & it is important, so far as I am concerned, that I do not always give in to that ~ less for health reasons than for spiritual reasons. One of the fruits of the spirit is self~control & it is a fruit w all need in all aspects of our life.

    I am not for regulation. When has that ever made any sort of a difference? I am all for those of us who proclaim Christ proclaiming him in all areas of our lives ~ including our diets!

    Have a lovely day. ☺

    1. I think the lack of control is our biggest problem these days, but I wonder why we have got this bad.

  4. I think a major problem today is the amount of information we have as consumers. Some of the information is good, some bad (duh). But how to distinguish which is which. This often becomes confusing. People's health issues are often caught in the middle of all the information available to them. It can all become too much in an already time deprived society. People will always take the easy road, hence the fast food market will never be without it's adherants.

    1. Whilst those who have a good comprehension can work their way through the information and decide what is fact or fiction - many can't or don't have the time. You are quite right, one moment one thing is bad for you, the next moment it is something else. I think just sticking to healthy fruit and veg, dairy, limit sugar and fats, boast grains and legumes and eat a sensible amount of meat you should be ok

  5. Hmmm.....I don't think taxing or banning unhealthy foods will help instead making healthy food cheaper will definitely along with education to those lacking it. When we were on a tighter budget I found it extremely difficult to cook healthy balanced meals. Carbs are so much cheaper to buy than fruits and vegetables! I personally find eating healthy to be more expensive. Even some cuts of meat that are cheaper are full of fat! So, I think making healthy food cheaper would be better I think. Just my humble opinion.
    There's more I can say lol!

    1. When I lived in Darwin, fruit and veg were very expensive so we only ate what was in season and I was careful about what I bought so there wasn't any wastage. It wasn't until I moved south did I realise how much more I was paying. For more remote areas the prices are even more expensive - many people simply can't afford the healthy options and if you lack cooking skills it makes it very hard to make dishes with only a small selection of foods.

      Meat can be expensive, which is one reason why I love Aldi - meat is much cheaper, likewise my local butcher. It just means visiting more shops to get what I want - I might have the time and energy, others might not.

  6. hi im visiting some friends to invite them to the tuesday's musing...its a way to share your cooking recipee a thought Gods word..and to make friends..hope you will join..thanks if you do..blessings

  7. Several people have mentioned the addictive additives but this lack of self~control is evident in all aspects of our lives: Road rage, vandalism, divorce yadda~yadda. Me, me, me. Not much has changed since that first garden. We will still prefer to indulge ourselves no matter what the cost.

  8. Hi Joluise,
    Living a healthier lifestyle is my goal.....but..I find my love of lollies derails my good intentions at times.
    Still, I keep trying.
    Have a good week
    Barb from Australia

  9. This has been an on going conversation in our home..all my adult children are extreme health nuts (that is a good compliment) and what bad habits we have they are quick to point them out. We have been discussing the US issues of obesity and I am starting to notice it in children...mine were always skinny, but they also played outside a lot.
    Yes to better eating and better health...totally agree

  10. Hello,

    I hopped over from "My Little Cottage."

    I think it is no ones business to decide what others should and should not eat. I don't even believe in seat-belt laws or bicycle helmet laws. I believe parents should have the right to decide these things for their children and themselves.

    I grew up in a low income family and we ate healthier foods than most people, and I do believe God blessed the food we prayed over. We were very health family of 15 children.

    I prefer the King James Version:(Proverbs 23:20-21)

    20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

    21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

    :) Hope

  11. That's a good scripture you chose at the end. I totally agree!

  12. I completely agree with Hope, who commented above. :)

    I truly believe if more mothers would stay home and take more time to prepare good meals for their families, that things would get better for everyone. People need to learn self control and wiser habits...and that starts first at home! :)

    1. I am a full-time working mum (my children are now all grown up) and so too was my mum and we always have home cooked (from scratch) meals. I rarely buy take-aways. I think working parents use the fact that they are working as an excuse, because making healthy home-cooked meals doesn't take very long once you are organised. As my cousin asked me the other day - do people waste time these days and I am beginning to think they do - and use this as an excuse. I'm no super woman, but to be honest it isn't rocket science.

      I find it interesting to look in peoples trolleys when I go shopping and its quite interesting, people buy rubbish - perhaps we need to re-educate the population! My children learnt to eat (then cook) healthy food by watching me do it.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  13. OH I do so agree with this! I think people need to learn some 'control' after all that is part of the fruit of the spirit & I'm all for going back to basic food & home cooking. I anti most/if not all processed things.
    I am finding that more and more the excuse of the 'working' mum has come into being the reason for lack of decent meals & I can state that as a working mum it seems (from my opinion) that its just a big excuse!
    Yes, I have to plan our meals
    Yes, I have to make time to make our meals
    Yes, it takes some effort - but hey, I'm the mother of this home & I consider it my job/duty to provide meals for them so I do so with a cheerful heart, knowing that the result of a family sitting down to a healthful meal together is more valuable than any 'extra time' i might get by ordering take-away or having packet chips everyday!!
    That said, yes I also agree that there is a time and a place for a treat! I enjoy treats too! Who doesn't!

  14. oh and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the picture on the top right hand corner of your blog with the lady holding the lemons - the dress looks like it would be just so pretty!

    1. So do I, but I didn't take it - I would love a dress just like it!!!


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