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HomeNews The Globe and Mail: Former wrestler Trish Stratus on junk-food warning labels
05/22/2013, 12:07 AM

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The Globe and Mail: Former wrestler Trish Stratus on junk-food warning labels

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Courtesy The Globe and Mail / By Anthony Jenkins

What is your junk food of choice? What fatty, greasy, delicious stuff do you crave, alone on a rainy Sunday night?

Okay, you got me! I LOVE me some fish and chips! But I don’t restrict my consumption to lonely, rainy Sunday nights … any day of the week, rain or shine, and a group!

What qualifies as junk food? Orange juice is full of sugar. Would it qualify?

The further a food gets away from its original form, the more processed it is, the more “junky.” Orange juice is okay, a natural sugar that your body can process. The crap in soda – your body says, “Hmm, not sure what this is, I’ll just store that for now.”

Governments are being pressed to legislate warning labels on junk food similar to those now on cigarette packages. Would this be a good move?

I think that would be a great idea, actually. I’m constantly surprised how unaware people are about what they’re putting into their bodies. People just don’t know! I think if people realized how detrimental some of this junk food is to their health, they really would think twice. And maybe it wouldn’t stop them from eating it, but it certainly might cause one to see the benefits of practising moderation.

We’re a free society. Should anyone be allowed to tell us – or even warn us – what to eat and drink?

Personally, the more informed I can be as a consumer, the better. The decision whether to consume this product is then my own responsibility.

How graphic should junk-food warning labels be? Would photos of fatty livers or massive love handles be acceptable?

I hate to say it, but I think the picture of massive love handles would leave more of an impression than the fatty liver. How many people do you know who say, “I’m going to the gym for my (insert organ)”? Unfortunately, we seem to be more concerned with the way we look on the outside than how we feel on the inside.

Should government merely educate or seek to alarm with the labels?

The goal of the labels should be to educate. So that may include photos, or it could show you a chart of what an average person’s daily calorie intake should be versus what the calories of this “junk food” are. Or perhaps a subtle note saying, “If you eat this, here is the kind of physical activity you would need to do to burn this off.”

People are aware that junk food is bad for them. Will graphic warning labels work? Should the cigarette label campaign be a model?

I think people know it’s not healthy, but I don’t think they realize just how bad some of the junk food is. I think if you educate the consumer, then they can make informed decisions and, ultimately, they can take more responsibility for their choices.

Can you suggest the warning label wording on a box containing a bacon double cheeseburger or a meat lover’s pizza? Should staff at fast-food outlets be compelled to say, “Do you want fries with that, lard-o?”

“You will need to do three hours of yoga in a room heated to 100-plus degrees Fahrenheit to burn this off,” or simply, “This will make you FAT.”

source: theglobeandmail.com

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