This weekend a friend and I decided to drive into the city to pick up a few things. We stopped at the Farmer’s Market, a sports store, a bakery and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) just because we were nearby. MEC, for those who don’t know, is a Canadian sports equipment co-op.
I must confess, I have a love/hate relationship with MEC. I mostly go to the clearance centre to see what is on sale. Which is where my friend found me with something she just had to show me.
My reaction is not fit to print. I have to say I see nothing sporty about the ability to make ice cream anywhere. This, to me, doesn’t fit the description of the core purpose of MEC, to “inspire and enable everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles”
How does an ice cream ball inspire active lifestyles? Maybe it actually inspires the eating of ice cream? If we had spotted the Ice Cream Ball at any other type of store I would have ignored it, but at MEC?
Obesity is a global problem. It is predicted that by 2025 there will be 70 million overweight and obese children, and this product is designed for children, it states on the back “Adult supervision required”.
Sugar is often blamed for the obesity epidemic. Recent studies have shown that simply cutting sugar from obese children’s diets for only 10 days improves every aspect of metabolic health. Children placed on a no sugar diet reduced cholesterol, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and markers of fatty liver even without weight loss.
There are so many ways that our environment increases overeating. If we keep food out of sight we make better food choices. Companies spend billions, yes billions, on marketing to help create positive associations between children and their products. We are often overwhelmed with food decisions and we know that the more choices you have, the more you choose. Do we really need to associate playing ball with eating, ice cream or anything else?
Most psychological cues that we experience everyday are to get us to eat more. The environment where we make our food decisions makes it almost impossible to be responsible for our choices. We are living in a world that promotes eating unhealthy foods, makes food available everywhere, easily accessible, cheap, high calorie food. There is no need for this and I guess I expected MEC to be a promoter of healthy lifestyles, not a marketer for food products.
Exercise is not an excuse to overeat. Weight loss is hard and habits set in childhood last a lifetime. Want to play ball? Get a proper ball and if you want to have an ice cream, just go out for a treat and enjoy one.
Okay, end of rant. I feel much better now.
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