Thursday, May 11, 2017

If You Serve It, We Will Eat It (Ontario Medical Association Edition)

For the past 4 years or so (not sure exactly), I've been a delegate to the Ontario Medical Association and as such, along with a few hundred of my MD peers, attend their biannual council meetings.

The councils are each a terrific opportunity to see the passion and energy of my colleagues, and also a great opportunity to see how strongly our food environment impacts upon our freedom of choice.

22g of sugar (4.5tsp) per bar (more than in a Snickers)
Short version? Because all of the MDs here are human, when faced with indulgent dietary choices, they choose them.

Soft drinks, potato chips, pastries, and candy bars (Clif bars with as much sugar as a Snickers) - all of these are offered to us during our meals and snacks.

Offered at lunchtime. By afternoon break, 2 bags remained
And guess what? Once offered, away they go.

And yet I'd be willing to wager that were these options not provided by the council organizers, not a single physician would have walked over to the hotel's variety shop to buy them.

If even the Ontario Medical Association enables and encourages terrible dietary choices at physician events, why would anyone expect better from others?

Until we stop leaning on the theoretical ability of people "just saying no" as the sole means to address a food environment that offers and pushes nutritional chaff at every turn, we're not likely to ever see change.

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