A friend mentioned to me recently about an ad that he saw recently that he was in disbelief on how it could be considered a Healthier Choice Item. (For those not in Singapore, there is a government program run by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), which is the local public health department which approves the use of a symbol on “Healthier Choice” items.) I saw this ad on a couple taxi’s this week – it is for Zero Sugar Coca Cola. I had a discussion with this friend that the HPB has specific criteria for manufacturers and if they meet the criteria, they can be approved to use the symbol.
This discussion made me realise how many people who may not have as much knowledge on food, take this symbol as their marker for foods that are better for them and will think that diet soda is healthy. It also made me realise that there are many big businesses which are not going anywhere, so the best outcome I can hope for anyone is that they are able to make better choices most of the time and meet their needs for nutrient requirements.
I have come to the realization that the focus needs to be on eating behaviours, not on specific intake or exercise requirements in order for the health concerns with weight and other chronic diseases to stop proliferating. (See my previous post here) I have my own little one who I have been trying to teach healthy eating behaviours with and he gave me a reminder of the goal this week. I gave him about 20-25 dark chocolate M&M’s one night for dessert with dinner and he left 6 of them in the bowl when he said he was full from dinner. This is the epitome of the desired behaviour – knowing when you are full and stopping full and satisfied with the meal you consumed, even if you leave food on the table, especially favourite foods. Many people, myself included were raised to have very different eating behaviours than ideal, but you can always start – one meal, one day at a time.