Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CBC Radio Interview and the Psychology of Eating

Despite that they cut out a lot of our in studio discussion, I think our interview on CBC Radio yesterday morning went really well! We've got a lot of positive feedback about it from faculty, friends and peers so thanks to everyone who woke up early to hear it, or went out of their way to provide such nice comments!
For all of you who missed it, I couldn't figure out how to get an mp3 on this silly blog so I ended up making a little slide show of pictures to go along with the audio from the interview.

On a completely random note, I was sitting in a coffee shop doing school work this morning when an elderly man sat down beside me and started spilling out his life story. Somehow we got onto the topic of school nutrition policies and soft drinks in schools. He decided to go off on a rant about how useless Dietitians were because although we're telling people that soft drinks are bad for them, we can't actually make people stop drinking them. According to him, we're simply telling people what they already know. People know that fruits and vegetables are good for them, that eating highly processed foods pumped full of sugar, salt and fat are bad for them, and that drinking 8 cans of coke a day probably isn't ideal. What the world really needs apparently, is more psychologists to figure out why people are making these food choices in the first place despite already knowing what is and isn't good for them. He likened the obesity epidemic to smoking; smokers are very aware of the health risks associated with the behaviour, but yet many of them will never even attempt to quit. Maybe eating and smoking shouldn't be placed in the same category but there is research that indicates that these processed foods are just as addictive.

I must admit I found this whole conversation incredibly annoying because a) I was trying to be productive, b) this man was so convinced he was right that I couldn't even get a word in and c) because there was some truth behind what he was saying. It's true; as a RD I can advise and lobby about healthy eating practices, and I can help those who want the help, but I cannot force anyone to eat or not eat anything. Will taking pop out of schools cause kids to drink less of it? Maybe, but not necessarily. It's so accessible every where else that kids can simply walk across the street to the nearest corner store and get it if they really want. But regardless, it's a start. By making changes like taking pop out of schools and out of community centers and hockey arenas, we are putting pressure on corporations to produce healthier products to meet the demand. Unfortunately, a lot of these so called "healthier" alternatives to soft drinks contain just as much sugar and probably aren't THAT much better for you, but we've got to start somewhere right?

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