Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why America is fat

I haven't been eating in the train's dining car for a number of reasons. It's surprisingly expensive, for one thing. It runs on its own schedule, rather than mine, is another. I try to eat fairly light when traveling, and that's not really conducive to doing so.

Fortunately, the train has a snack car as well, which has drinks, nibbles, and even sandwiches. Surprisingly, the few things I've tried aren't half-bad, considering their prepackaged nature.

Anyway, I stopped down there to get a cup of coffee to, I hope, get rid of this headache I've picked up. There I saw a cinnamon roll that I swear actually called my name. Considering that, since the train is now five fracking hours late, it might be dinner as well, I decided to listen to it's siren call. Briefly checked the back and saw: 240 calories. Not so bad, so I picked it up. It wasn't until I got back to my seat that I also noticed on the package: Servings per container: 3.

This isn't a package of Pop-tarts, that are easily divisible. Nor is it something you're likely to eat part of and share the rest with a friend. This is obviously supposed to be a single-person, eat-in-one-setting sort of snack. It's forty percent of an adult's caloric intake, and sixty percent of an adult's daily fat intake. I'm a reasonable sort of person; I make an effort to read labels, and yet I was still taken in by it.

Just another reason why America is fat.

(2006-08-20 17:11)

1 comment:

Vogue said...

Oh, yes, the now-required "nutritional information" label on food in the United States. I know it isn't new anymore, but I don't remember it so much when I was a kid. This is a good idea, but it is so terribly abused that it hardly does any good to the consumer. First, it seems they can include whatever information they choose. I don't mean they can leave things out, necessarily, but the highlighted information varies. Secondly, as you found, the "servings per container" can make something seem better than it is. Yes, it is our responsibility to read the label completely in order to get all of the information. I do not deny that. However, if something is in a single-serve type package, I feel the information should be reflected in that manner. So, your cinnamon roll should have reflected its full nutritional information on the label, not 1/3 of it.

This is only one reason America is fat. The quality of ingredients and the amount of chemicals that go into foods are another big reason. I understand, perhaps, some of these chemicals may be necessary. Although, it has been said that the way food is prepared, preserved and distributed is for the benfit of the food maker, not the consumer. I believe that in many cases. The company is not concerned about your health, but their bottom line.

I find it ridiculous that it is MORE expensive to eat "healthy" in our society than not. Our household recently has had a battle over groceries. Usually we would buy the much more expensive organic, no salt added, no sugar added varieties of products. These can cost at least double the amount you would pay for the mainstream products. We can no longer afford these items in our current financial state.

Our system of food seems designed to keep you unhealthy in this country.