We as a society are indoctrinated with different messages about food. On one hand, we have fast food companies filling our brains with the thoughts of greasy, incredibly unhealthy meals. On the other, we have packages which proclaim their products as being “Guilt-Free!” and the idea of this phrasing being obtainable in foods implies the opposite. If there are guilt-free foods, there are most certainly foods which we should feel guilty about eating. Despite the fact that we have been encouraged since a very young age to partake in fast food culture, we are simultaneously told that food consumption can be something sinful, something which should be looked at with a wary eye.
This creates cognitive dissonance within children and adolescents. Should they eat everything presented to them or should they regret each and every non-low fat cookie? Some people have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food as a result of these differing messages. The sheer commercialism associated with the food industry and the way in which it has fetishized eating as a whole is something which should be seriously reconsidered. The concept of food as being fuel for our bodies is something which is rarely taught in schools. While we should be able to enjoy whatever it is we want to enjoy, at what point should we draw the line between healthy and unhealthy ways to view food?
Quite honestly, I’m not entirely sure where the answer to this question lies. I feel as though there are many things which we can do in order to help shift the tide. If schools were to start teaching more about healthy nutrition, this would help with the childhood obesity crisis which we are currently facing. Although most eating habits are passed down because children eat what their parents do, if we were to start educating children on healthy and unhealthy eating habits, we may be able to make some sort of change in the ongoing cycle of generation after generation of individuals getting more and more unhealthy eating habits.