Innovation / Packaging / Columns

Editor's Note: Making a difference in the battle of the bulge

November 1, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Thank you to the food industry members who are making access to nutritional information easier.

Is it stress? Is it the economy? Is it modern lifestyles? Maybe it’s all of the above. Many Americans are just saying no to low-fat food and light beverages. And while many claim they want to drop pounds, most continue to eat high-calorie foods when dining out, bypassing the salad selections.

With a third of Americans now considered obese, experts fear we may reach a 50 percent obesity rate in 20 years. According to an NPR report, even in health-conscious Colorado, obesity has risen from 20 to 21 percent. The trend also continues in traditionally fit nations like France where obesity is increasing. Some researchers believe the culprit is the change to modern lifestyles mimicking the American culture of larger portions and plentiful options. As cultures become more urbanized, young people are no longer interested in learning how to cook. As more women enter the workforce, they are no longer able to shop daily for fresh foods and take the time to prepare healthy meals for the family. 

Nutrition experts say it’s OK to indulge once in a while and that most people cannot maintain a restrictive diet for very long. The challenge comes in managing cravings for tasty treats.

I, for one, am happy to see calories listed on websites and fast food wrappers. In fact, I often consult a fast food website before my visit to the restaurant. I look for the wise options and check for whole grain bread offerings.

I know I’d also think twice before ordering certain dishes in casual dining restaurants if calories were listed on their menus. It would definitely help manage my portion control, too.

Last week, for example, I took advantage of a free frozen drink offered by a chain where I’m a loyalty card member. I checked the website for calories when I got home and promptly threw away the remaining half. It just wasn’t worth the calories.

Some people think obesity can only be solved by the individual’s self control. I think our industry can make a huge difference in the battle of the bulge.

Thank you to the food industry members who are making access to nutritional information easier. It’s helping at least one American make intelligent choices.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Joyce Fassl, Editor-in-Chief

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering January 2015 Cover

2015 January

In this January 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how robotics can play a role in pick-and-place, packaging, case packing and palletizing processes, and know where to implement robotic automation.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.