Have you ever wondered why you can’t stop munching on those chips or indulging in that chocolate bar? Well, the blame is on the food industry.
Manipulation of Sugar, Salt, and Fat
The dark side of the food industry is the use of addictive properties of sugar, salt, and fat in ultra-processed foods. The food industry has been manipulating these ingredients to make food irresistible, and it’s working. Scientists working for manufacturers try to find the perfect combination of sugar, salt, and fat to make food more addictive. Chips and snacks typically have salt on their surface, which is known as the flavor burst. The mouth enjoys fats because they create a sensation, while sugar is the most powerful of the three ingredients.
The Cost of Irresistible Food
The food industry uses these ingredients to make food more palatable, but at what cost? Research papers and Nestle, the world’s largest food manufacturer, acknowledge that the consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to the rise of obesity and that over 60% of their products are unhealthy. Changes in the lifestyle have led to an increase in obesity, called obesogenic or toxic, due to the promotion of junk food and poor quality food. Ultra-processed foods have high calorie content but do not make one feel full, leading to overeating.
Regulations Against Unhealthy Products
But what can we do about it? Governments around the world are taking action against the food industry. The UAE has implemented a sugar tax, clamp-down on adverts targeting children, and warning labels on unhealthy products. These regulations are fundamental in the fight against excess weight, obesity, and preventable non-communicable diseases. The UAE’s sugar tax was implemented in 2017, with a 50% tax on soft drinks and a 100% tax on energy drinks and tobacco products. This tax aims to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks and promote healthier choices. The authorities are implementing a clamp-down on adverts targeting children to protect them from being exposed to unhealthy food marketing. They are also implementing warning labels on unhealthy products to inform consumers about the risks associated with consuming such products.
Resistance from the Food Industry
However, the food industry continues to resist regulation and promote unhealthy products. The industry argues that it is up to individuals to make healthy choices, but with addictive ingredients in their products, it’s not that simple. The government needs to take action to protect consumers from the harmful effects of ultra-processed foods.
Promoting Healthier Choices
In conclusion, the dark side of the food industry is real, and it’s affecting our health. The use of addictive properties of sugar, salt, and fat in ultra-processed foods is leading to widespread obesity and health problems. The UAE’s regulations on sugar tax, clamp-down on adverts targeting children, and warning labels on unhealthy products are fundamental in the fight against excess weight, obesity, and preventable non-communicable diseases. It’s time for the food industry to take responsibility for their actions and promote healthier choices.