Look at pictures of the Gulf from fifty years ago, and the vast majority of the population appear lean, fit and thin. Look around now, and you’ll soon notice that for much of the population thinness is something they can only dream of (usually during a nap after the afternoon meal.)
Now, in what is a disaster for health campaigners everywhere, (not to mention English teachers struggling to teach correct spelling to their students), Krispy Kreme are becoming the latest fast food retailer to invade this tiny Gulf country. And what is worse, not only are they recruiting more victims for the massed ranks of obesity sufferers - they are going for them young.
It is already well known that Krispy Cream are offering a years supply of donuts to the winner of the competition - I believe it is the first 12 people to buy from their store opening on Friday.
However, not only are they dangling this bait in front of Qatar’s sugar loving population, it has also been alleged they are going for them young. At least according to one Qatar Living contributor, who claimed that her son came home from school with a box of six donuts. It seems that Krispy Kreme have been going round some schools offering free samples to the young students.
School ought to be the one place where children can escape the e-numbers, sugar and junk food that permeates our society today. As anyone who watched Jamie Oliver's superb campaign on school food in the UK, a bad diet at an early age can cause behavioral problems, poor educational achievement and a host of other problems. Perhaps as a result of this, many of Qatar's schools, including government schools, have banned soft drinks and other unhealthy products from the school grounds.
Krispey Kream’s tactics are no new innovation invented just for Qatar. The hole truth - what you don’t know about donuts reports that:
'Krispy Kreme has a brilliant marketing strategy. It delivers free doughnuts to local leaders, charities, and reporters as it moves into a community. And the media, in turn, fuel the Krispy Kreme craze.'
"When a store comes to town--any town--it's treated like a news event, from the time its plans pass the zoning board to its meticulously razzmatazzed grand opening," writes Jill Rosen in the October/November 2003 American Journalism Review.'
They certainly seem to be successful in doing that. The mother I mentioned above, for example, was far from angry that her child was being given large quantities of junk food without her permission. Instead she said:
"son got home fr school and got me a box of 6 krispy kreme doughnuts(bless that child he did not eat it all himself-AMEN)they were giving out samples at the school by the boxes too.....they are heavenly i tell ya.....hmmm now i cant wait to sink my teeth into them doughnuts over the week end.......lalalallallala>sings-I'M DREAMIN OF DOUGNUTS TONIGHT......."
But maybe you think I'm a spoil sport, and my rant is over the top? Well, consider these facts.
Fact 1: Diabetes in the Gulf is the highest in the world, affecting over 50% of Gulf Nationals.
Fact 2: Diabetes in Qatar is the highest in the Gulf.
Fact 3: Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputation and early death.
Fact 4: According to Professor Philip T. James, chairman of the International Obesity Task force, children as young as ten are now being affected by diabetes, and they are likely to become blind and suffer kidney failure by the age of 25. (See CMUQ in novel plan to monitor diabetes.)
Below is an extract taken from: The Hole Truth: What you don't know about donuts
The good news: the most popular doughnut at Krispy Kreme, the Original Glazed, isn't as bad as most of the chain's other doughnuts. The bad news: they're so light and airy that stopping after only one ain't easy.
It's not the 200 calories that'll get you (though 200 times two, three, or four sure might). It's the six grams of saturated-plus-trans fat. That's nearly a third of a day's worth of bad fat in every ring. It's like eating a slice of white bread smeared with a tablespoon of lard (plus a tablespoon of jelly).
A Sugar Coated or Glazed Cinnamon--or Glazed or Cinnamon Twist--will do about the same damage. Even the Chocolate Iced looks the same to your arteries. (The chocolate icing is mostly sugar, so it adds about 50 calories, but no more fat.)
What pumps up the calories, fat, and sugar in Krispy Kreme's filled doughnuts? They're heavier. Krispy offers more than a dozen varieties that do away with the doughnut's healthiest feature: its calorie-free, fat-free hole.
Filled yeast doughnuts--including New York Cheesecake, Chocolate Malted Kreme, Caramel Kreme Crunch, Key Lime Pie, and Chocolate Iced Creme Filled--pack 300 to 390 calories and eight to ten grams of harmful fat. Some weigh nearly twice as much as an Original Glazed. Eating one is like having a nine-ounce filet mignon to tide you over until lunch.
Experienced consumers know better than to expect actual fruit in a fruit-filled doughnut. At Krispy Kreme, though, you never know. You get apples in the Cinnamon Apple Filled, but no raspberries in any of the Raspberries. To Krispy, "raspberry" means sugar, gums, artificial flavor, and a finely tuned mix of Red #40 and Blue #1 food coloring.
And the Glazed Blueberry (cake) doughnut uses nothing but corn cereal, corn syrup, and enough Blue #2, Red #40, Blue #1, and Green #3 to make "blueberry gumbits." Yum.
The blueberries may be missing, but the calories aren't. Whether it's Blueberry, Sour Cream, or Devil's Food, each Glazed cake doughnut packs 340 calories, seven teaspoons of corn syrup, and half a day's artery-clogging fat--nearly twice what you'd get in an Original Glazed. That's because glazed cake doughnuts--despite their holes--weigh as much as most filled doughnuts.
(Note - since this was written, Krispy Kreme have announced that all products sold in the US will be free of Transfats. The list of ingredients for their US products only can be viewed on their website. Ingredients for their products in other countries are not available.)
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