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The politics of diet and obesity

We have known for decades that diets in rich countries contain too much fat, sugar and salt and are making some of us ill. But as consumers will not change their habits, governments and food companies may have to save us from ourselves

By Rosalind Sharpe   August 2004

Food is ubiquitous in rich countries. On top of the array of food in supermarkets and restaurants, it has become almost impossible to leave your home without being confronted by an astounding range of snacks, tailored for the need of the moment.

This represents a triumph for the food industry in its long battle with perishability. Building on the success of tinned corned beef and frozen fish fingers, food technologists have, over the past 30 years or so, developed systems for manufacturing, packaging and transporting food which mean that all kinds of things, from muffins to burgers to cook-chill trout…

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