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Monbiot on obesity in the Guardian

theguardian.com/commentisfr...

A provocative article. He seems to be saying the biggest difference between then and now is that we used to cook more. But he's not as blunt as that.

What do other people think?

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Not read the article but yes, i would agree with him. Supermarkets, pre prepped food and takeaways have all taken their toll on society!!

The fact you can buy a frozen baked jacket potato is proof enough for me how lazy we have become!

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I'm with you there Steelad, I can't get over how many people buy frozen Yorkshire puddings - & the panic when they're aren't any. How difficult is it to whisk up a bit of batter & put it in the oven? It's not just youngsters either, although I don't think they are taught the basics of cooking nowadays 🙄 God, I sound so old 😂🤣

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It is true though. People in 50 years time will call putting a tray in the oven cooking!!

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I'm sure they already do 😁

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Really interesting article derrygeel and thank you for sharing. 😊

To summarise, apparently we are consuming a similar number of calories and exercising around the same amount as we were in 1976 BUT buying far more convenience foods, especially sugar laden drinks, confectionery and desserts, after being hoodwinked by supermarkets who employ psychologists to convince us these things are good for us.

I especially like Monbiot’s sentence “After spending billions on overriding our willpower, they blame us for failing to exercise it.”

And a brilliant summing up

“Just as jobless people are blamed for structural unemployment, and indebted people are blamed for impossible housing costs, fat people are blamed for a societal problem. But yes, willpower needs to be exercised – by governments. Yes, we need personal responsibility – on the part of policymakers. And yes, control needs to be exerted – over those who have discovered our weaknesses and ruthlessly exploit them.”

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That appears to be a fair summary.

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Did I spoil it for you? 🤣

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I wouldn't disagree with your summary. Surely though there is also personal responsibility, when we know that prepared food is so bad?

Pn another note i moved from UK to Ireland in 2004. At that time there was significantly less processed in the Irish supermarkets than in uk, but I've seen it creep up since.

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Certainly, but education too. Many busy mums find processed food easier, especially when they convince you it’s ‘fortified’, made from ‘natural ingredients’ and ‘now with real chicken breast’ etc etc

I cringe when I think of my children eating coco pops when they were little 😕

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I grew up on a subsistence level Irish farm where there was a robust appreciation of food. No variety, bacon and cabbage on weekdays fish on Friday and roast on Sunday. However we always had to get 'the besht' cut of meat. Anyhow it decreed in our house that there was more 'hoult' in the cardboard packaging than in the cornflakes!

So that upbringing saved me from thed breakfast cereal route.

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Love it 😊

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I'd read it and wondered what to say. You did a better job than I could have.

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I do think they put too much salt,sugar and saturated fats in foods.

It is easy to call working people lazy, but modern life doesn’t leave a lot of space for thinking let alone cooking. I understand how people end up eating it.

I am sick, my husband does all the cooking and has no weight issues. To ask him to always cook everything from scratch seems so unfair. Mostly he does but sometimes we do have the odd vegeburger. If a family has kids and stuff happening (activities, homework etc), it must be so easy to reach for ready made.

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I found as a working dad who had 4 kids growing up it was easier to put convenience food in the oven to cook for them for a fast meal but when I had the time I cooked stews and soups and things from scratch in big batches then froze half for another day. But during the week what with various clubs and after school groups that they all took part in it was easier to cook pre-made convenience foods that they could put in the microwave when they got in.

I cringe now at what they used to eat.

We have all worked out that it is better for us to have a healthier lifestyle and cook or prepare all of our meals which is what our parents would have done when we were growing up (well people over a certain age) we have to try and re-educate our children and anyone else who will listen and maybe we can stop the rise of obesity along the way.

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I do think more women work full time now .Not using as an excuse but a lifestyle . There are more ready meals and take outs . You collapse in a chair then phone Just Eat . So many ads on line and voucher codes for 40% off in many high street chains . I feel where you live does make a difference .2 of my sons live in Central Manchester . They pass so many cheap eateries on the walk home .

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I’m not female but I cook mostly for family, I live in Manchester too, I work in a supermarket with all the convenience foods and all the prep and cook your own foods but I make a conscious decision to get them and make my own so that I know exactly what’s in it, besides which I think it tastes better when you make it yourself.

I think a lot of it is related to how long people are working as before I started working in a supermarket I had a very stressful job where I worked 12-18 hours a day (shopfitting) so didn’t have long to cook and eat food before needing to get to sleep so it as easier for me to go and get a take away. But on a weekend where I wasn’t working I’d make a big batch of meals for the kids to eat but not for myself! Now I work 6 hours a day early in the morning till dinner time then I have the rest of the day off to cook and prepare my meals for the day, so I’m less stressed and now able to cook healthier food for everyone so for me it’s a win win situation, big pay cut but life balance is 1000% better than it was.

Like the original post was relating to we have a worse life/work balance now than we used to we all have to make the decision for ourselves to make it Work somehow.

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You have made some really interesting points Budda . As a Mum to 5 boys who were at one time all under 11 - now grown up - I couldn't afford ready meals and take outs were rewards / treats . However I worked nights and weekends so had most day times to shop/ cook . Sometimes the kids helped me . Our home revolved around the kitchen and we ate very well . I don't think this would be been easy had I worked during the day and collected the children at night . We planned for me to work certain hours so we maximised my time at home .

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So true you had a home/work balance that worked for you mine were the same as yours 4 under 5 but all grown up now so they now cook/shop for themselves in their own houses. But I still cook for my step kids (3 under 15) and they like what I cook for them and it’s all homemade, my only problem with them is they won’t go out to play they just use technology for entertainment! When new school year starts we’ve already decided tech off times for the kids and they will go out and play/ ride their bikes!

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