Why does there have to be food everywhere? It baffled me when I started seeing snack foods for sale at Staples. Now you can get groceries at Walmart and Canadian Tire. Nearly every store seems to sell food in some shape of form these days. Oh sure, it’s convenient to be able to pick-up your socket wrench and milk at the same time but I don’t think that ease of purchase is necessarily a good thing. In a time when many people are struggling with being overweight or obese should we really be making it easier to get food? Especially when the most prominent and commonplace foods are often calorie dense and nutrient poor.
I’ve been wondering if the reason that some European nations have lower obesity rates than North American nations might not be more closely related to how they shop than to what they eat. Sure, I love that I can go to the grocery store and get all my food plus clothes, nail polish, and a BBQ but maybe we’d all be better off if we had to put more effort into obtaining food. If we had to go to one store for produce, another for bread products, another for dairy, another for meats, and yet another for candy then maybe we would all be a little healthier. If the option to toss a chocolate bar onto the conveyor belt at the checkout wasn’t there and we had to go to a different store a few blocks away to get one we might take pause before we made that journey.
I used to be a little envious of provinces that carried alcohol in corner stores. However, that’s not benefiting alcoholics to be exposed to alcohol when they want to grab a loaf of bread. Apparently 4% of Canadians are dependent on alcohol (1). Yet, about 25% of the Canadian population is obese (2) and that’s not even counting the proportion that’s overweight. With such a prevalent problem why are we continuing to make it easier to obtain food?