I think Rio Iriri hit the nail on its head with her deduction that the anti-fat hysteria isn’t really about fat at all, it’s about our collective fear of death.
“We’ve come a long way, and we’re so technologically advanced that we can prevent untimely demise in ways that were never before dreamed possible… So when someone raises a spectre of early demise in the form of adipose tissue, of course we want to “do something” about it.”
I think the looming predictions of major US food firms will reaffirm this conclusion.
NUTRAIngredients.com reports that the Campbell Soup Company expects a major shift in the wellness market, which will affect the way its products are developed and marketed.
According to Chor San Khoo, the firm’s vice president of global nutrition and health, longevity will be the next big trend to hit the industry.
“Wellness is a huge market, and is growing at double digit rates. But the way consumers consider wellness is changing, and we predict there will be great changes in the market over the next ten years, which will impact how we develop products, how we market them, and possibly how we regulate them,” she said.
“When the health and wellness market first emerged, the focus was on foods with health benefits. Now it is on a better quality of life. In the future, consumers will want to live longer… In the next ten years, I predict we won’t use the term ‘wellness’ anymore, we’ll use ‘live longer’ as a basis for how we market products,” she said.
And of course Campbell’s has jumped on that thin bandwagon, which heralds obesity as public enemy no. 1.
“We’re getting older and fatter. Obesity is the cross point to multiple disease conditions,” said Khoo.
The hypothesized link of obesity to disease is tenuous at best, often perpetuated by companies who have a vested financial interest in seeing obesity further stigmatized and classified as a disease. For more information about the health fallacies surrounding obesity, here’s a primer.
All debate of obesity as an indicator of poor health, aside. Shouldn’t the measure of a human life be based on quality, not quantity? Someday, when I am old, gray and wrinkled, I will look over the course of my life and lament those precious moments spent lost to dieting, obsessing over how I look, the years spent railing against my body when I should have been inhabiting it. What could I have accomplished had I taken the energy and passion I put into changing my body and instead directed it at changing the world?
Pity Prometheus, whose punishment was to live forever in eternal suffering.