Friday, January 10, 2014

Eight Thousand Seven Hundred

A Japanese Twister
When I came back from Ethiopia the first time I was 8 kg lighter than when I went three months before.   I was quite pleased to have lost that weight but was amazed at how quickly I regained it all.  I lost a couple when I was in South Sudan last year but again, quickly regained that when I got back - and then some!  My cholesterol and my Blood pressure were borderline when checked, so I have been taking a bit of notice of my weight and my diet over recent months, stimulated also by the attention in the Press to the "Obesity Epidemic" that is overwhelming the west.

I am sure the main cause  of this epidemic is not our sedentary lifestyles, though they are part of the problem,  but the sheer volume of food we eat. Simply put, we eat much more than we need to, and our bodies store the excess kilojoules of energy as fat. We are encouraged to do this by a constant barrage of advertisements for food and drink,  the endless parade of cooking shows and competitions on TV, the Takeaway food industry and the proliferation of "Convenience" foods. Even take-away coffee is served in a huge cup unless you ask for a "small" one - which used to be the standard size. And why is it that people cant watch a movie unless they have a massive bucket full of buttercoated popCorn, a litre of Coke and an ice-cream?

All I actually wanted to write about this time was an advertisement seen dozens of time by anyone watching the test Cricket on TV last week, for a KFC product called a "Twister". Its promoted as a fun tasty snack. I wondered how much of an adults daily recommended energy intake would be supplied by one of these things - so I looked it up.

Now, you need to know one thing, and this is your fact for the week - the average daily energy intake for an adult, is 8700kj (kilojoules) - if you only ate at three meal times that would be 2900kj per meal.
But remember, as we have an obesity epidemic on our hands this average is probably too high. And its much much too high for kids, the ones who are eating this stuff.

I predict that if you ask any one who has seen the Twister ad to guess how significant a contribution one of those would make to their daily energy requirement, they would answer "not much" and generally regard it as a minor food item you consume  to get through to the next proper meal if you're feeling a bit peckish. I haven't asked anyone so I might be wrong but thats my guess.
From a Blog that Compares what they advertise with what you get!
Well, if we are to believe the KFC website, a BLT Twister on its own supplies just over a quarter of your daily energy requirement (2273kj)  It costs $6.95 in Melbourne, but for three more dollars you can get a BLT Twister Combo ( chips and pepsi Max)  and 1000 more kilojoules : 37% of your daily requirement. The Large Combo ( just more chips and more Pepsi ) for two more dollars is 4453kj, just over HALF your daily energy needs! I noticed they also have an enormous amount of salt.

Who would  have guessed these numbers were so high?

1 comment:

  1. Hi David, I check into your blog regularly. I appreciate you posting anything you think is cool. I am a fellow sailor and if I recall, I got your link from Webb Chiles' site. Although sometimes really brutal in terms of reality from here in the West, you provide a totally different perspective of obstetrics in third world countries. It is really terrifying and enlightening how lucky we are in developed countries. It is a different perspective on life, and your first hand accounts are fascinating.

    Keep sailing whenever you can too...I will probably never make it from the East Coast of the US to the cool places you've made it, but I can live vicariously. Glad to see Sapphire is looking good in Fiji!
    -Shawn from Maryland, USA