Kraft Canada is sponsoring a program that confronts teens' obsession with unhealthy body image. As North America becomes more and more food obsessed, with obesity, anorexia and bulimia all growing in prevalence, the need for nutritional advice is greater than ever. Programs such as Kraft's not only bring food manufacturers good PR, but may also help them to develop new products that meet physicians' and governments' healthy eating criteria.

North America is becoming increasingly unhealthy and food-obsessed - as many as 59% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese, another 1% of women have eating disorders and up to 10% of female college students suffer from bulimia. In a country where people turn to the freezer for dinner and would rather drive to the local grocery store than walk a couple of blocks, government and medical institutions are desperately trying to raise awareness of the issues and redress the balance.

Conversely, bulimia and anorexia are also both on the rise as people, particularly young women, strive to attain magazine model figures without being aware that, in most cases, they are physiologically unable to achieve that look.

Food manufacturers are increasingly becoming involved with such causes and their role will be instrumental in combating food-related health issues in a society that is increasingly turning to meal solutions and on-the-go snacks for nutrition.

Kraft has become involved through its involvement with the 'Kraft and Dietitians of Canada - Speaking of Food and Eating Awards'. The ceremony is designed to recognize the efforts of organizations and schools who work to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and self-acceptance.  Part of the issue, according to Kraft Canada's senior manager Marilynn Small, is that consumers have access to a lot of nutrition information but find it 'difficult to make healthy informed food choices'.

With no 'quick fix' in sight, food manufacturers are in a strong position to champion the cause of healthy eating and develop products that underline their commitment to consumer well being. However, it is unlikely that the products on supermarket shelves will be revolutionized unless consumer demand is there. Taste is everything in the continent where bigger is invariably better.

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