Reset-it

May 2, 2024

The Food Industry’s Coding of Consumption: Impact on Our Health

BY Marc Mathys
Introduction: 
In the modern world, our dietary decisions are influenced by more than just hunger. The food industry has become so sophisticated in its marketing and production strategies that it’s almost like we’re programmed to consume certain products—many of which are causing a health crisis. 
Programming by the Food Industry: 
The food industry has capitalized on our biological cravings for sugar, salt, and fat. These once rare components, crucial for our survival, are now available in abundance and unfortunately, our bodies haven’t evolved to limit the intake. 
The food industry, understanding this, packs these components into their products, making them irresistible. Moreover, the industry utilizes powerful marketing strategies. Advertisements are everywhere—we see them on TV, our social media feeds, and billboards, creating a constant presence in our lives. They often target vulnerable populations, like children, embedding brand loyalty from a young age. 
The Food Industry and Our Health: 
The overconsumption of processed food, much of which is high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, has led to an alarming increase in obesity and other non-communicable diseases. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer are on the rise, and our diet plays a significant role in this. Moreover, our mental health is not spared. Studies have linked unhealthy diets to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. The food industry is not just making us physically sick, but also impacting our mental wellbeing. 
The Way Forward: 
While the problem is daunting, we are not helpless. Awareness is the first step towards change. Understanding how the food industry operates can help us make healthier decisions. Next, we need to prioritize whole foods over processed ones. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can protect against many of the diseases mentioned above. 
Finally, policy changes are needed. Just like the tobacco industry, the food industry needs regulations to protect consumers. This could include restrictions on marketing unhealthy foods to children, clear food labeling, and taxes on sugary drinks. 
Conclusion: 
The food industry has indeed programmed us into a pattern of consumption that’s proving detrimental to our health. However, by raising awareness, making conscious dietary choices, and advocating for policy changes, we can reset this unhealthy programming and chart a healthier course for ourselves and future generations.
 

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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.

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