The world of “cheap”: the world of cheap

With the return of the great consumer orgy at the end of the year, this series ends on the “cheap” in the world Study the effect of cheap food Fast food, Like The fast track of health problems and the obesity epidemic.

One pandemic can stick to another.

Public Health Canada lists obesity as a “risk factor for serious disease and complications from COVID-19”. Significantly overweight people under the age of 60 are seven times more likely to be hospitalized in intensive care with infection. Corona virus likes fewer negatives.

California politically incorrect comedian Bill Maher repeats that obesity is a much worse social problem than many others in his bloated country.

In August 2021, 53 Americans died in a shooting, as he noted on his show. At present (HBO) from September 6. That’s awful! Do you know how many died of obesity? 40000! Chubby Humiliation [fat shaming] It must not stop: it must come back. Smokers and those who do not wear seat belts are ashamed. Polluters and most racists are ashamed. Shame is the first step in reform. “

Excuse me a little. If the population is getting fat, there as it is here, it is clear that it is because they eat a lot and poorly while becoming more and more sedentary. We don’t move, we stick to screens and swallow empty calories. In Quebec, one in five adults and one in nine children are considered obese.

“This is one of the biggest paradoxes of our society, where abundance becomes a problem,” summarizes Sebastien Rioux, holder of the Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Food and Welfare at the University of Montreal. Some do not have enough and some eat and eat poorly. “

Of all the items in this series about “cheap” in the world, here’s the one that has the biggest impact on everyone’s daily life, from 7 months to 107 years. Also in the United States, where this disease is worse, 1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 and 19 eats one in three. Fast food At least once a day.

But Professor Rio refuses to talk about the obesity epidemic. “It’s the medical side that tickles me,” he explains. We tend to medicalize the issue of excess weight. However, there is an undeniable increase in the number of cases. The World Health Organization estimated that about 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2016, including 650 million who were obese. “

It is also believed that the number has increased over the past two years. The pandemic hasn’t made him any more active anyway. It was the Germans who coined the new terms.” CoronaSpec To describe bacon added during containment.

The geography of junk foods

Sebastian Rio is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography, which may seem strange at first. On the contrary, he explains, the link between space and food remains fundamental. Food is produced in one place, processed in another, and served in another, often in a large-scale global movement.

“I come from the countryside,” he explains. I grew up in a farming environment. When I began my studies, I realized that food is at the core of all social dynamics. “

One of the great transformations of the Industrial Revolution and the Green Revolution is that the vast majority of people now consume food that they do not produce. The French philosopher Michel Serres made the almost complete disappearance of the peasant one of the keys to reading XXe a century. “This means that a very small percentage of the population feeds 100% of the community,” continues the professor from Quebec. This gives opportunities to develop other sectors. “

This revolution has made food very affordable, at least compared to the olden times. In the 1960s, about a third of a family’s budget was still used for food. Today, including restaurants, it will be between 12 and 15%. The recent pandemic-related inflation and employment and supply problems will moderate this downward trend.

Sugar, salt and fat

However, it is only the abundance of cheap food, whether good or bad, that causes an abundance of fatty bodies. “The cost and accessibility of this food has gone down a lot at the same time as the skills or culinary abilities have diminished,” Sebastian Rio comments. It’s easier to get a pizza or buy a frozen pizza than to make it. “

The professor adds as a reason for the new lifestyles: we work and become less physically active. It also points to changes in the food processing industry, which uses more sugar, salt and fat in fast food as in grocery products, from frozen to ready-made.

We must add the inequality in front of the grocery cart or the restaurant. Residents of all neighborhoods of the city, rich or poor, can absorb a lot of fatty calories, and obesity among the less well-off also masks a “hidden hunger” and a lack of vitamins and micronutrients.

“When you live in a food desert, the chance of getting fresh fruits and vegetables is little. Food often suffers. I’m not saying you should stop eating pizza or poutine now and then. But if you want a healthy population, you need a diverse food supply. When, for many reasons, it becomes difficult to do otherwise, we have a serious problem.”

The opposite signs multiply at the same time as restaurants Fast food. Professor Rio observed what he called the “re-politicization of food” for twenty years with vegetarianism, veganism, flexibility, organicism, anti-species, food supremacy claims, and regulations for food.

He concludes, “This perspective amounts to saying that people have the right to feed themselves, and to decide what will be produced and how it will be produced.” More and more people are disgusted with the established diet that is downright harmful to the environment and health. “

Hamburgers, snacks and sandwiches

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