World faces battle of increasing bulge

Never in the history of the advanced world has food been so abundant or accessible as it is now – nor perhaps quite so dangerous. Quite apart from food crises and the dangers lurking in mass-produced food, obesity is becoming the scourge of the inhabitants of the developed countries. Most strikingly, despite the abundance of guidelines on proper nutrition, people’s eating habits are going from bad to worse while the food consumed is deteriorating in quality. World Food Day, on October 16, found nearly half of all Europeans (48 percent) and 65 percent of American citizens to be overweight or obese. For Greeks, the problem seems not to be so much quantity as quality. Long stretches of time spent in front of the television and snacks are particularly beloved of obese people. There is hope to be found in the large proportion of people who are aware that keeping down weight depends not only on the number of calories eaten but on those burnt as well. But exercise is a good habit that is all too easily dropped. Notwithstanding the theme of World Food Day – «Biodiversity and Food Safety» – food is becoming all the more uniform. Greeks declare themselves in favor of quality and want healthy food, without preservatives, says a survey conducted throughout Greece. But most, in fact, make mass purchases at the supermarket, buy more than they need, and give more priority to the packaging than to the contents.