Why our food is making us fat

The article in the Guardian newspaper last week on “why our food is making us fat”  was riveting. It describes how in the western world we have become hooked on sugar, and the role of HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in creating an obesity epidemic, but gives an interesting explanation for how this has come about which struck me as being very much “thinking in time and scale”.

Thinking in time and scale is one of the TRIZ tools which helps us understand our situation more clearly by broadening our scope to include the big picture and the detail, and how they change over time. This can help us see trends, connections and new potential solutions: instead of saying people have become more fat because they eat more sugar (and imply it’s all their fault, the greedy things!), you look at what is going on in the wider context and in the details in order to understand what’s happening and see new ways of dealing with the problems.

I have been reading around this topic and there is a LOT of information out there (I have provided some of the references below) and it is easy to drown in information, but laying things out in 9 boxes helps you keep thinking clearly. I have summarised this below, and have included the fact that longer working hours and more working women in the US and the UK have contributed to this.

I’ve used this to think about what the solutions could be – this is a big topic but thinking about it in 9 boxes shows how there are many solutions to this, as any, problem…

References:

Farm Subsidy Database

Static Blog

The NY Times

Barbara Ehrenreich

European Food Information Council

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