Indulgence foods or junk food? The case of potato chips


In unremarkable times Renato Carosone warned Italians about star-studded food extravaganzas with the famous refrain ‘Tu vo’ fà l’americano, mericano, mericano, ma sei nato in Italì’. From ‘whiskey end soda’ to ‘chips,’ it is always a case of paying attention.

Industrial chips are everywhere, in supermarkets and cafes, vending machines at stations, schools and hospitals, and so on. While our society seems to be moving toward even radical dietary choices–such as vegan–under the banner of healthism, ‘ruminating’ outside meals is now a practice. And it rarely applies to consuming the fateful 5 servings a day of vegetables and fruits, as ‘chewing gum’ and ‘chips’ are the most popular, along with drinks that are often sugary or sweetened as well as carbonated.

The results are there for all to see, in the crescendo of obesity and overweight as early as kindergarten, with serious consequences that tend to drag on throughout our entire existence. Where ‘extra pounds’ are not a more or less common aesthetic variable, but unfortunately a ‘weight’ contributor to the onset of chronic diseases, starting with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The causes are also obvious, especially now that nutrition statements are printed on the labels of several foods. But few have the courage to read, or at any rate understand ‘the weight’ of individual consumption choices on daily dietary requirements.

So let’s try looking together at the nutritional tables of a couple of references from the most distinctive ‘yankee’ flavor, BBQ:

Highlander (St. Charles), due to palm oil, has 14 g of saturated fat per 100 g of product. The modest serving size indicated (25 g) thus offers 17.5 percent of the daily saturated requirement recommended for an average adult. And if ‘one potato chip leads to another,’ finishing the bag (130 g) will reach 91 percent of the daily threshold (for an adult individual, please note),

Lay’s (PepsiCo), thanks to the absence of palm, has only one-third as much saturated fat (4.4 g) as Highlander. And yet, 100 g of chips offer 33.5 g of fat. That is, the aforementioned portion (30 g) provides 14 percent of the total fat recommended over the course of a day to the so-called average man. In this case, bottoming out the bag (110 g) accumulates 50% of the daily requirement.

The individual food is perhaps not enough to assess the quality of a diet-as Big Food always repeats-but the so-called. ‘HFSS (High Fats Sugars and Sodium) Foods,’ as seen in these examples, can occupy a significant share of daily necessities and lead to dangerous excesses. Consumption of such foods must therefore be really occasional and limited, especially in children’s diets, to prevent indulgence from turning into junk for the body.

Dario Dongo