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Nutritional information, dietary advice and scientific information on health has never been more accessible and available to us. Why then, are we still making bad choices when it comes to food? In his new book, food psychology expert Jack Bobo takes on this question. A former senior advisor of global food policy at the U.S. Department of State, Bobo unpacks the real drivers of our often unhealthy relationship with food, how we might be able to get smarter with our choices, and what food environment changes we can make to change the broken food system.
The average consumer has never known more about nutrition in this day and age, yet rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic health problems keep going up. While we might not think about this conundrum like a food policy expert would, most of us can agree that it’s commonplace for the average person to make not-so-good food choices, whether we like it or not.
Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices dives into this question, digs into what’s going wrong, and outlines how to fix this. Backed by decades of experience advising four U.S. Secretaries of State on food and agriculture, author Jack Bobo, who now leads future foods insight consultancy Futurity, acts as a personal mentor in this new book, revealing to readers the broken food system that has been “invisibly controlling us in grocery aisles, at restaurants, in front of the refrigerator, and in every other place we make crucial food choices”.
Unaware to many of us, all these hidden influences have had a real impact on how we process information and make our food decisions. It turns long-held beliefs in the latest diet craze or “gaining willpower” on its head. From gradually shifting portion sizes to misleading marketing tactics plastering the word “natural” on products, the system has been geared towards one thing: sales.
Only then does it become apparent why our current approaches haven’t worked and how genuine and achievable solutions can be found.Stephen Ostroff, Former Deputy Commissioner of the FDA
While it might seem like the odds are stacked against the individual consumer, Bobo believes that by leveraging behavioural science, understanding the psychology of food, we can change our mindset surrounding food – and as a consequence, change our physical health, and the planet’s too.
“Bobo exposes the not-so-obvious but real drivers of our complicated relationship to the foods we choose and why it’s proven so hard to change our poor eating habits. Only then does it become apparent why our current approaches haven’t worked and how genuine and achievable solutions can be found,” says Stephen Ostroff, former deputy commissioner of the FDA.
More than guiding readers through how to make better decisions to live healthier, Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices also gets into the nitty gritty about how we might deliver impactful changes to the overall food system – whether it is from a regulatory or policy level, or simply becoming a positive influence on the diets of those around your community.
It’s a roadmap for changing our food environment to deliver healthier outcomes.Jack Bobo
His billion calorie project exemplifies this much-needed big-thinking as we consider ‘One-Health’ accepting responsibility not only for our own health, but also for that of our planet.Professor David B. Allison
“It’s a roadmap for changing our food environment to deliver healthier outcomes,” Bobo tells Green Queen Media.
Professor David B. Allison, dean of The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and among the top scientists awarded the most grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), believes that answers to solving the interrelated global health and climate crises driven by our broken food system can be found in the “breadth of fascinating research findings” uncovered in the book.
“He challenges common misconceptions and asks the reader to think anew, to think broadly, and perhaps most of all, to think big,” commented Professor Allison. “His billion calorie project exemplifies this much-needed big-thinking as we consider ‘One-Health’ accepting responsibility not only for our own health, but also for that of our planet.”
Why Smart People Make Bad Food Choices will be available in May 2021 through bookstores and e-commerce platforms including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Booktopia and others.
Lead image courtesy of Mango Publishing / TEDx.