Fondazione Zoé

The research into the perfect lifestyle is becoming a mass market.

This week’s online issue of the BMJ included a meta analysis that proves the preventative and salvific qualities of chocolate. So it seems that eating a large amount of this marvellous food accounts for a 30% reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Great news, I thought, I belong to the ubiquitous category of chocolate fiends, I just love milk chocolate. And it is also clear from the results that drinking red wine in moderate quantities everyday does you good, in the sense that you live a little longer and better than teetotallers. I also like red wine, so that’s two pieces of good news in one fail swoop. Then however you ask yourself, at least I was asking myself, what do our livers think about all of this and how is the consumption of two-high sugar foods related to the increase in diabetes.

To stop anti-campaigns explaining to people that they can’t drive after having a few glasses of wine- I refer to the Dipartimento di Medicina Legale (Forensic Medicine) and everyday I witness the consequences of even the most minimal quantities of alcohol. And who is right? Who told us to change to a a sad but healthy vegan diet (soya chocolate, or rather chalk, but at least they let us still have wine) or shall we return to eating steaks morning, noon and night in order to be tonic and splendid like the trendy Middleton sisters (Pippa’s bottom is now a male fantasy, to which all young women aspire), heedless of cholestrol and clogged-up kidneys?

Overall research into the perfect lifestyle is en vogue and it is also a mass market. In fact the French government, searching for a way to alleviate their cash-flow problems, similarly to us, have decided to implement a series of new taxes on fizzy drinks and on food which contributes to the rise in metabolic diseases. The French diet is exemplary, because it has always been full of fat and alcohol (it is simply enough to walk through Paris after 5pm, sit in a bar and watch the neighbouring tables to see this) yet it is a paradox as it allows you to eat and drink well whilst remaining thin, and that is the next real dream of Western civilisation. For which it is enough to be caught up in the wonder whilst noting that alcoholic drinks are harmful but no, not terrines or pate’, which are, to tell the truth, above all infitintely more appetising than a glass of wine. And are we certain that our poor, ever more obese kids will be so because they drink disgusting drinks and not because we live in a society where they are not permitted to run freely in the street and overeat?

Final thoughts. Our local health authorities have also decided to integrate themselves in the the game of advising people how to live better. So they organise walking groups. Because even a short walk has now become an obligation to keep fit rather than something pleasant. We live in strange times, apparently without any common sense (it is clear that if you overeat and binge drink you will put on weight and that walking is good for you by evidently we are not capable of consequently acting upon it). Is it good that lifestyle becomes a moral obligation to save you on your health expenses? Where will this end? And who will have the power of choosing how we behave, governments, economies, doctors? Wll we be punished in some way if we refuse to let us ourselves be conditioned by all of this?

Today the sanction is social- if you are slim it is easier to find a job, for example- in some countries lifestyle places a strain on the health resources which you have accessed. But maybe a more accurate reflection would be done on the models that determine how our kids behave. At least that, naturally, like what is happening in France, will be opportune to have such behaviours punished in the future to increase our taxes.

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