They are not keeping us active and alert and in shape. Therein lies the problem. Part of the economic apartheid in Scotland (and every country has its own form of economic apartheid, not just Scotland) is that in affluent areas you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, raw unprocessed ingredients to make your own food with. In poor areas you quite often cannot, and if you can find them then the price is so high due to lack of competition that processed foods and carry-out foods are actually cheaper to buy than the ingredients to make them in the first place.Arkaeon wrote:If deep-fried foods keep you active and alert and in shape, that's fabulous.
This has resulted in areas of the country where people know next to nothing about cooking their own food, let alone planning a balanced and healthy diet. They don't know about vitamins and minerals, they don't know about fats and proteins, and if they do cook something it is usually straight in the frying pan because they don't know how to roast, steam or poach. Some of them can use a microwave oven. Many of them cannot.
Average life expectancies in some of these areas are 20 years less than in more affluent areas only a couple of miles away. More salient to your point about quality of life, there is much higher prevalence of long-term health conditions like coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, COPD, asthma; and these all have a debilitating effect on the quality of people's lives. Let's not even get started on the smoking and drinking and taking drugs...
Scotland is now a post-industrial country. We are no longer the workshop of the world, all the steam trains and ships we used to build have stopped, the last Singer sewing machine has long since rolled off the production line. In fact the old Singer factory is now a retail park: that pretty much tells you what you need to know about Scotland's new economy. We are not doing so much physical work any more, and for the most part our diet has changed to reflect that. But in poorer areas (which, coincidentally, were hit hardest by the transformation to a post-industrial economy as it was unskilled labour that bore the brunt) that transformation of diet and lifestyle has not taken place. There are no fruit and veg shops, no gymnasiums, far too many fish-n-chip shops, far too many pubs, and shops that sell cheap and nasty booze at cut-throat prices, and make their profits on tobacco (by sourcing it tax-free through the black market? I couldn't possibly comment).
Bearing in mind that I am a socialist, and I consider it my place in society to look out for my fellow man, to safeguard their health through a free-at-the-point-of-access National Health Service, and to elect a government that is going to shape health policy to improve the quality of everyone's lives, especially those nearest the bottom of the pile, this is a very real problem that requires a very real solution.
Or a flippant thread on a forum about a pasta-based deity. Whatever.