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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Theme park outrage

As an Australian, it is highly likely that you have been to Dream World or Sea World at some point in your lives. It is also highly likely that you mum, or girlfriend or wife packed some food to take with you for the day. Sure, you enjoyed a treat of ice cream or hot chips at some point during the day but you saved money and looked after your health by taking some decent food with you. No more is this the case.

Over the last week Warner Village Theme Parks has decided that we can no longer take our own food into the parks. No, it is to not protect wildlife or because they are implementing a brand new healthy menu, it is simply because they want to make sure you are buying your food there.

The decision of Warner Village Theme Parks to ban patrons from taking their own food provisions to the family focused locations is both disappointing, and quite possibly irresponsible given the current health climate in Australia which indicates that 25% of Australian children and 60% of Australian adults have significant weight issues. History indicates that the most foods available at event venues are high fat, energy dense food choices including pies, hot dogs and soft drinks. Given this decision, is Warner Village able to confirm that meal options available for families to purchase on site will be both nutritious and affordable?

We think this stage anyway....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is reduced sugar confectionery a good thing?

A media release issued by food industry giant Nestle detailing the company's plans to reduce the sugar content of its confectionery was met with mixed reviews from nutrition spokespeople last week. The main feeling was that improving a product that is 100% bad still makes the product bad.

While confectionery is never going to be on a list of healthy food options, the reality is that confectionery is not going anywhere either. If you consider that when a company the size of Nestle decides to change the nutrient composition of their products, it ultimately has an impact on the health of millions of people.

There is also a growing body of scientific evidence to show that the human brain can become primed to want increasingly sweeter food items. So, based on this reducing the sweetness of confectionery will be of benefit from population health perspective.

No one is saying that confectionery is good but at least a changed formulation may result in confectionery that is lower in calories than previously.

Now, if food companies then advertise the confectionery more in order to increase consumption; then we have a problem :)