Food for Thought: Why we need to question the NZ diet
Healthy eating should be easy. Eat plenty of fruit and veges, strike the right mix of protein and carbs, cut back on the booze and sugar and she'll be right - right?
But ... unless you have iron willpower, temptation is tough to resist.
But ... how we process food is complex and not fully understood, and diet advice can be conflicting and confusing.
But ... food isn't just nutrition - it is social life, it is comfort, it is pleasure.
Healthy eating is deceptively complex.
But we also know it's an issue of some urgency for New Zealand. Our ballooning obesity rate presents a public health crisis, and much of that can be traced to diet (exercise and lifestyle too, of course - but we'll shelve those for another day).
In a series of stories this week, we'll ask if the Kiwi diet is broken and what we can do to fix it.
Consensus has formed around some of the culprits: the sweet sting of sugar, increased portion sizes, and more processed food. We'll explore those how those trends, shaped in part by the multinational food giants, have taken root in New Zealand.
We'll track how New Zealand's diet has evolved. In a matter of generations, we've moved from meat-and-three-veg to a generous buffet of fast food, prepackaged snacks, ethnic meals, and introduced ingredients from quinoa to kale.
And we'll look at steps individuals, families, and communities are taking to change their diets for the better.
We're not here to lecture you on how to eat (though seriously, ease off that added sugar...). But we hope this series will encourage you to question whether the way you eat suits your lifestyle, genetics, and physiology. Call it Food for Thought.