The Fight Against Obesity — What’s Really Working?

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2010 at 4:20 am

Today, in the New York Times Business Section, an article caught my attention. The article talked about Hershey’s launch of new “Pieces” Candies — think Almond Joy “Pieces” and York Peppermint “Pieces” — Hershey’s is aiming to compete with the extremely popular Reese’s Pieces which has been around for quite some time now. The reviews of the new bite sized on the go candies, however, are somewhat mixed to say the least. The peppermint candies had a lot of customers and candy experts confused — inside of the pieces lies dark chocolate that tastes like peppermint as opposed to the memorable white creamy filling.

The launch was also prompted for another reason — the problem with full sized candies in our modern obese society. They are hoping instead of eating a package of either Almond Joys or York Patties people will share and give some to themselves and some to friends.

Another article written recently by Mark Bittman, the legendary food writer, described the ways in which TOBACCO can be compared to SODA. He explains the detrimental effects soda (in excess) has on children and adults alike. The statistics really surprised me most in the article — Bittman explains that MOST of the calories we consume in our diet are from sugary caloric sodas, not from food we consume – that surprised me. With that in mind, states are in the midst of talks about “10 percent taxes on all soda beverages” — some states have already implemented this law, however, it has not grown to encompass all US states, but it may in the near future. Similarly to smoking cigarettes, if the prices escalate either the amount of soda consumed will go down or the habit may cease to continue all together.

Another way companies are trying to curb the problem of obesity is by creating “100 Calorie Pack” foods — pretty much every type of snack and dessert on the market has been turned into 100 calorie versions. The problem with this creation is that not only do they look and taste nothing like the original but they are NOT filling and most likely people will be consuming more than 1 bag.

My question at the end of the day ultimately is…. what will really be the winning ticket to curbing obesity? I don’t think it’s mini versions of fattening cookies and “cakesters” nor do I think people will stop drinking their Coca Cola’s. I think it will take a restructuring of all schools, workplaces, and education in order for people to really start shaping their lives differently.


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