Let’s face it, the obesity epidemic is well and truly a #FirstWorldProblem. Ethiopia doesn’t have an obesity problem, nor do Somalia or Rwanda.
We variously blame lack of willpower, genetics, epigenetics, parents setting bad habits or junk food advertising for our ever-expanding girths.
You know what I think? I think that part of the problem is that we just have too much food available to us.
Aren’t we lucky to have such a dreadful problem?
Nobody ever got fat through lack of willpower if they had nothing in the cupboard to resist. Watching all the junk food ads in the world will not put a single kilo on your hips if the fatty and sugary foods aren’t available at your local edible goods dealer.
A day in the life of a junk foodaholic
I went back to work today with great intentions of eating healthy foods. I was well rested after several weeks of sun and sand and my willpower was at an all time high.
I resisted the urge to stop at the local bakery to buy a pastry or croissant on the way to the train station.
I merely glanced at the kiosk inside the train station selling chocolate bars, chewy and celebrity gossip.
I brushed past the vending machine on the station platform and leaned up against it confidently.
I stomped on the urge to order a coffee and raisin toast from the three cafes I walked past on the way to my building, ignored the chocolate and Coke Zero mecca that is the vending machine in the corner of our communal kitchen, filled my mug with herbal tea and plonked myself smugly down at my desk.
I forgot to bring my drink bottle with me so every time I wanted water I had to go back to the kitchen. I get very thirsty. As I stood there filling the largest glass I could find, the call of caramel and nuts coated in chocolate became louder.
By 11.00am the Turkish Delight was begging, ‘Pick me, pick me, I have fewer calories!’
By 12.30pm I had a caffeine withdrawal headache and considered visiting the cafe downstairs for a cappuccino. And maybe a friand. Just a small one.
No, no, NO! I steeled myself and went to the kitchen to make an instant coffee.
‘Eat the Wagon Wheel!’ a sugary voice sang out to me as I stirred in my skim milk and low calorie sweetener. ‘I’m even cheaper and I’m practically just a biscuit. It’ll make you feeeeeeel better my preeeeeeciousssss.’
That caffeine withdrawal does strange things to your head, I tells ya.
By 2.00pm I’d run out of homemade snacks and fruit to distract myself with. Finding a $5 note hidden in my drawer among the paperclips was the final straw.
Somehow I found myself drifting into the kitchen, sliding the note into the invitingly shiny ebony slot and walking away with a bright red, shiny Kit Kat.
I have excellent willpower. But even I can only deal with so many tests of my resolve.
What do you think? Who or what is to blame for our obesity epidemic? Are you a junk foodaholic?