Every time I return back to the West from the East I find one thing sticks out the most and I often find myself thinking ‘why are people here so fat?’
There is no doubt about it, there is a huge problem with weight in the UK and indeed globally. As countries such as Vietnam become more modern and ‘westernised’ the positive aspects of such growth inevitably give rise to negative aspects creeping in alongside.
It wasn’t until recently that Mcdonalds opened its doors for the first time in Vietnam to a huge welcome. Since the first store opened in Ho Chi Minh more have followed and I expect many more stores will see the light of day here in the near future, hmmm.
Western type food franchises have traditionally struggled here in Vietnam. Burger king has closed many of its restaurants as the locals often turn up their noses at bland western fayre.
I’m starting to see a turnaround though since my arrival here and this concerns me. It’s not surprise that so many people in the west are overweight and one could argue that this is due to the prevalence of cheaply available high calorie convenience food 24/7.
We all have a choice though as to what we put into our bodies, however you can’t walk far down the street in the UK without being confronted by a plethora of takeaways and fast food joints.
This is still comparatively rare in south east Asia.
As countries such as Vietnam move toward a more consumerist demographic with higher wages and more disposable income I predict a rise in obesity and the the associated health problems that accompany this. I regularly walk past the local western fast food joints here and see kids scoffing down huge plates of fries alongside sugary drinks.
The Vietnamese diet in generally very healthy, based around vegetables rice and meat, high in nutrition with adequate calories. This sudden exposure to western food is detrimental especially as locals often aspire to eat as a form of ‘status.’
The main problem is lack of education in regards to world food and diet.
People also have bigger problems than worrying about what type of food they will eat that day, as many are lucky to eat at all.
People eat well without thinking about it because that’s how their parents ate. They don’t generally realise how healthy their traditional diet is compared to processed western convenience food and this is worrying.
America leads and the world follows…