Attempts to use modern tech- nology to monitor the healthiness or otherwise of food are laudable (News
, 1 October andLetters passim
) but can only ever scratch the surface of the problem of obesity and poor diet.
Engineering of this type may help provide some health information but in fact it is engineering, in the form of mass production of foodstuffs, that is responsible for many of the problems in the first place.
Whatever the information on the packet may tell you, food that has been processed is almost always unhealthy to some extent. The reason being that the production process involves adding things that are undesirable, such as excess sugar or salt, flavourings or preservatives.
This mass production is done to satisfy our desire for food that is both cheap and readily available, and that meets the basic cravings for sweet or salty food.
The long-term answer to the obesity crisis is to educate the population that choosing food that has been subjected to minimal processing is the preferable option, and making that food available widely at a cost people can afford.
This will require education and a change in habits by both the population at large and the food industry.