Some problems are considerably more difficult to solve than others. Despite multiple contributing factors, number of people involved or sense of personal responsibility, the logical solution never changes – tackle the root cause. Band-aide solutions not only prolong the agony, they create unfair burdens on those involved. Recognizing a problem exists is admirable – wimping out by ignoring the cause while scolding those caught in its web – pisses me off.
A plan under consideration by Public Health England to combat alarming obesity rates epitomizes half assed band-aide solutions. These geniuses want to involve major grocery chains in a program to shame customers whose carts overflow with fat, salt and sugar. Based on analysis of purchases, customers deemed guilty of unacceptably high unhealthy choices, would find a printed “health alert” on their receipt. Messages cautioning purchases fell short of nutritional requirements, or where unacceptably high in salt or sugar. Holy crap – they can’t be serious.
We live in a rabid hotbed of marketing hype – words like natural, healthy, whole grain, real fruit or lightly sweetened assault from grocery shelves. Natural can’t contain synthetic or artificial ingredients – so far so good. Good until you grasp they can be processed within an inch of their lives, contain pesticides, genetically modified ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup. How about “Made with Real Fruit” – real fruit usually means a small portion of fruit concentrate. Take Betty Crocker Real Fruit Strawberry Gushers – in reality, a minute amount of pear concentrate, Red Dye #40, and almost half their weight in sugar. Lightly sweetened – in the U.S. the term isn’t regulated, the claim means squat as products contain any amount of sugar the manufacturer sees fit.
Staggering obesity results from a multitude of of factors. This ponder isn’t about anything other than asinine bureaucrats plugging their ears and covering eyes, while patting themselves on the back for finding it brilliant to publicly scorn unfortunate victims of corporate poppycock. Honestly – one of the stupidest, not to mention misplaced attempts to solve a problem I’ve ever encountered.
Did it occur to any of these nincompoops to go after manufacturers? Turning a blind eye to corporate deception, allowing half truths and blatant manipulation – somehow unaccountable because “Joe average” doesn’t know any better? What is wrong with you people!
Problem solving wastes time unless you’re willing to look the root cause straight in the eye.