Recently, a comment was made by the Chairperson of the Joint Select Committee on Foreign Affairs that Trinidadians are no longer cooking food and that there was a number of fast food outlets in Trinidad. This, she linked to the growing obesity rate in Trinidad and Tobago amongst the nation’s children. Ironically, this lady’s physique is a far cry from the lean side as she goes on to mention that there was a certain fast food outlet that had a special containing a piece of chicken, fries, biscuit and a drink all for the wonderfully low price of twenty dollars ($20.00).
People like media attention and would speak about certain topics to feel important and in this instance it is this fast food scenario. Yes, Madam Chairperson, the cost of fast food is low because, well, it is fast. Not to mention that the majority of people do not even earn five (5), six (6) or even seven (7) figure salaries and therefore, cannot afford to eat healthy.
Everyone knows that fast food is not healthy. However, the crux of the matter lies in the fact that fast food is the only meal that most people can afford, especially, with the fast paced lifestyle everyone is living.
Another issue here is that although people state the obvious with regard to any given situation, there are no recommendations or suggestions to deal with the problem. Yes, we know there is an issue, what is your solution to the problem? How can healthier alternatives be more affordable to the public? How can parents or guardians get more time away from work to cook a proper meal for their family?
Commuting to and from work or school takes approximately two to three hours and God forbid there is an accident because then that time would be increased by additional two hours. When one arrives at home, one is so tired that preparing a meal is the last thing on one’s mind.
When parents have to work from Sunday to Sunday, or work shifts, or work two jobs just to make ends meet, it is obvious that they would have less time to cook meals for their children or even for themselves and the easiest foods available are, guess what, fast food. Therefore, these outlets will continue to grow in their numbers to satisfy the need that is there and growing.
Nevertheless, if children used to run around and play outside like the old time days instead of sitting around for hours on their phones, tablets or computers, then obesity would not be such a huge problem. Therefore, in addition to lack of time to prepare meals and affordability of healthier foods, there is the added problem that technology and progress have brought into the fray, i.e., lazy ass children.
Yes, children hardly go outside and play anymore. The only thing that they are exercising are their fingers. This syndrome is not only exclusive to them. Oh no. The adults have it as well. Plus, we have a number of children making children and they themselves do not even know how to prepare a proper meal for themselves far less for their kids. With their limited income, of course the only available option is fast food.
So while it is all well and good for everyone under the sun to bump their gums about serious issues, when bumping, please have some solutions at the ready and ones that can be implemented speedily. It is so tiring to hear these high profile people come and say things that we already know and are either not suggesting anything that could remedy the problem or have loads of ‘consultations’ to discuss the issue with nothing ever coming of it.