First it was the perfectly put together home.
Then they wanted fair treatment at work, paid maternity leave, more productive and effective meetings and even flexible work.
Then they went for the boards of our finest banking institutions.
Now they’re destroying waistlines and the healthcare system, one abandoned home cooked meal at a time.
Last night on ABC’s The Business Hungry Jacks owner and Domino’s Chairman Jack Cowin said that convenience and fast foods have become a large part of today’s diet, due to women working.
“Fast food, convenience food, is a very large part of today’s diet with women working, 50% or 60% whatever the number is, today it’s part of every day life,” he said. “It’s a valued component,” he said.
He didn’t say working mothers. But I suspect he may have been suggesting that mothers are no longer making (or have) the time to cook for their families.
And that means more convenience foods.
As Cowin himself said, “If you eat too much of one thing, there will be consequences!”
The consequences, apparently, are not up to fast food companies to deal with. They provide what tastes good, said Cowin. It’s up to individuals to balance how much they should have.
Nor should the fast food industry, apparently, take responsibility for our growing obesity problems.
Almost 30% of Australians were found to be obese in 2015, according to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, up from 20% in 1995. A much larger portion of Australians are either “overweight of obese”.
With that in mind, it’s a good thing that we’ve hit 60.5% on the workforce participation rate for women, given the Australian economy could really use the help in order to account for the strain on our healthcare system. Indeed, if we could go on to also advance women’s equality, we could boost the Australian economy by 12% or a massive US$225 billion a year, according to recent research from McKinsey.
Cowin was responding to questions from the ABC regarding a dismal report card for 11 different fast food chains in Australia.
The Deakin University report released yesterday found Domino’s Pizza scored the worst of out all 11 of the chains assessed on their commitment to healthy eating and fighting obesity, taking just just three points of out of 100. Hungry Jacks scored 28 out of 100.
The report authors say Australians spend 32% of our weekly budgets on takeaway food and eating out and suggested a “real opportunity” for fast-food companies to address the obesity epidemic by introducing policies that help people to make healthier choices.
If Australians are increasingly feeling no option but to turn to convenience foods due to being busy at work, then those aiming to meet the demand of being ‘convenient’ need to up their standards and take some responsibility for how those products affect those who consume them.
Encouraging ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’ is not enough.
Meanwhile, employers need to question how both their male and female staff can have the time to better manage their health and wellbeing.
Let’s not blame the working mothers of Australia, again.