Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Diabetes Prevention by Horse Power?

It can’t have missed anyone’s attention in the last couple of weeks that the ready-meal industry among others has been hit by a massive scandal. While horsemeat in food is not harmful in itself, the reputational damage to these products and their providers is huge – being suspected of misleading your customers is not a great way to encourage them to shop with you.

The other recent headline-grabbing health issue has been the epidemic of obesity, with the ‘fattest town in Britain’ having about one-third of the population in the obese category of weight. ‘Something must be done’ screamed an alliance of doctors, a powerful voice describing the impending explosion of ill health and poor quality of life to come for a generation.

Am I the only one to think of a potential positive connection between these two issues? It goes something like this…

Ready meals and burgers especially the ‘value’ brands, have often been criticised for containing higher than desirable levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Eaten often by some because of their cheap source of calories, they contribute to weight gain and hypertension, 2 of the key ingredients in the recipe for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So would it not be a great move for a savvy supermarket to keep their previous ready-meal customers loyal by steering them in the direction of equally simple to prepare, but healthier alternatives at the same price and gradually ease out ALL the hidden risks from the shelves along with the horsemeat and other contents not mentioned on the labels.

What a victory that would be, in the race not only for the customer’s money pound, but also their fleshy one, by helping to hold back the tsunami of ill health destined in part by consumption of their current products. Come on food providers, it’s your chance to shine!