I found an article in the latest Listener magazine and it addresses an issue that many people face on a daily basis. That is the social pressure to eat unhealthy food.
I can give you the perfect example. In our office, a celebratory morning tea will be a selection of danishes. The other day after saying “not for me thanks” to the question of what sort of danish did I want, the response was “well I could buy you a healthy danish with currants or fruit in it.” Now that really did make me laugh because how can something full of butter and sugar be healthy – even with currants added?
I used to work in an organisation where food was an important aspect of providing hospitality to visitors. But you would never find a platter of vegetable sticks there – it was always platters of pizza slices, sausage rolls, mini mince pies and quiches. That made it very hard (and still does) for healthy-minded people to be comfortable in those social situations.
Quite apart from the willpower required to stay away from the table of food, is trying to cope with the peer pressure from colleagues. If you don’t eat the unhealthy food you are constantly asked why are you not eating anything. BECAUSE I DON’T EAT THAT CRAP you scream in your head, while politely saying “I’m okay thanks, I’m not hungry at the moment.” The psychologist in the attached article sums it up perfectly “You have responsibility for everything that goes in your mouth… It won’t have any impact on the cake-maker if you’re piling on the pounds, which means ultimately the decision is yours.”