Delegates at this week’s Food Matters Live event in London were treated to what must have been one of the liveliest presentations ever in relation to food and nutrition.
Dr Alex Ruani, Research Director for The Health Sciences Academy spoke of ‘The Brain on food: what influences our food decisions?’ It was fascinating to learn that on average, we make about 227 decisions every day about food - and that obese people tend to make about 100 more food decisions than those who are overweight.
Such studies - indispensable if those who are obese are to be helped - have recently received an important boost from the advertising industry. Just last week, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) “announced changes to the advertising rules that will allow, for the first time, advertisers of responsible lifestyle weight loss programmes to make reference to obesity in their advertising, and therefore target people who are obese.”
At the end of her presentation, Dr Ruani spoke of the need for each one of us to become our own ‘choice architects’ when it comes to what we eat. It is encouraging that the advertising industry will now be helping obese people to build the right choices into their daily lives.
“In light of the fact that some of these programmes have become recognised as safe and effective ways for people to lose weight, CAP considers it is disproportionate to prohibit them from advertising their services to people who are obese,” said the advertising rule-maker in a statement. “This rule change provides those who want help in losing weight, and who might benefit from a lifestyle weight-loss programme, with more information, choice and support.”