Mary Schmidl on “Globesity”

University of Minnesota’s Prof. Mary Schmidl spoke Wednesday about the issue of “Globesity,” a talk that centered around the question that everyone would like to know- who is to blame?

As to be expected, there are so simple answers. One reason is due to the fundamental changes that have taken place over time have altered the way we think about food. Food has been made cheap, everything is convenient, and we drive everywhere.

For school age children, difficult economic times means math and science won’t get cut, but physical education may.

“Why not change the paradigm? Get kids to walk to the bus stop and then walk to rest of the way there!”

Schmidl spoke about how in the creation of public policies, economic policies are followed by agricultural policies, with nutrition policies coming in as a distant afterthought, instead of having the policies integrated.

So what’s the answer about who’s to blame? The truth is, it’s individuals, technology, schools, communities and public policies that are all to blame.

“It’s a social, cultural, scientific, and multi factorial challenge for us,” said Schmidl. “From the farm to the consumer to public health, food scientists are right in the middle. It’s the whole system working together that’s going to make a difference.”

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