Submit Government involvement in American Diets The government has noticed that many Americans are obese. Many politicians are coming up with legislations to try and solve the problem.
The softer instruments are preferred by most governments, but there are growing calls for the law to used to help tackle obesity [ 33 ]. Laws and regulations, on the other hand, tend to be applied across the board, so state policies banning vending machines in schools should at least not increase inequalities and in fact may reduce inequalities if the schools in poorer areas had more vending machines in the first place.
Clearly, a comprehensive backbone would cover the policy action at all levels of government.
The private sector and non-government sector could also contribute policy initiatives, but in reality, most of the policy will need to come from governments. Examples of analysis grids for policies which may influence obesity are set out in an accompanying paper [ 34 ] and it is clear that there are many policy barriers to healthy eating and physical activity and many gaps that health-promoting policies could fill.
Importantly, virtually all of the hard policy options are directed at the environment making the healthy choice the easy choice and virtually all of the policies that directly target the population are softer options encouraging people to make the healthy choice.
Governments have not shied away from requiring certain behaviours of their citizens when the public health threat is high — seatbelts, workplace safety, smokefree areas, and illicit drugs are common, everyday examples. But requiring certain eating and physical activity behaviours to prevent obesity or chronic diseases is highly unlikely to happen.
Some of the policy options will be making existing laws and regulations less obesogenic. For example, an unintended consequence of regulations prohibiting the importation of fruit such as bananas and apples into Australia may mean that consumers pay more and thus presumably eat less of these foods.
Conversely, subsidies on sugar and plant oil production will make energy dense foods cheaper and thus stimulate consumption. Many government policy options have significant commercial implications and therefore it is not surprising that some of these proposals such as banning junk food marketing to children [ 37 ] encounter heavy opposition from the corporate sector.
This opposition, which is currently being led by the food and advertising sector but will no doubt be joined by the automobile and oil companies in the future, is one of the major hurdles that governments face in making regulations for obesity prevention.
Policy lessons from other epidemics Tackling many other public health epidemics and threats in the past has required a backbone of hard policies around which the softer options can work to amplify their effectiveness [ 3940 ]. Tobacco control is the classic case where taxation, advertising bans, and smokefree environments legislation served as the drivers for change with quit programs, social marketing and education providing added value [ 4142 ].
Reducing the road toll and injuries has required a substantial number of laws and regulations around speed, seat belts, vehicle safety, drink driving and so on to which has been added social marketing and education campaigns and a large amount of vehicle safety enhancements [ 43 ].
Infectious disease control is a highly regulated public health endeavour, as is the control of poisons and toxins. Reductions in cardiovascular diseases have been dominated by medical interventions [ 44 ] which has proved to be an effective, albeit very expensive approach.
Many parallels have been drawn between other epidemics and the obesity epidemic. Tobacco control is the usual analogy [ 46 ] and this is rebutted by the food industry with the statement that food and tobacco are completely different.
It is true that the products are completely different but the observed patterns of corporate responses to the public health pressure for regulations and the required spectrum of solutions for the epidemics, including regulatory and fiscal interventions, are remarkably similar. Combining obesity with other policy imperatives Obesity is currently attracting public and political attention but this may not be a lasting phenomenon.
Indeed, the stigma associated with being obese means that the public constituency agitating for change is quite small.Role of Policy and Government in the Obesity Epidemic. Nicole L. Novak; and MSc Kelly D. Brownell; PhDFrom the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Department of Psychology, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Obesity on Campus ESSAY Suggested citation for this article: Sparling PB. Obesity on the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. The awkwardness of discussing obesity should not deter us from addressing the .
The government should establish policies to control diet and obesity The World Health Organization () estimated that obesity and the national diet have become an epidemic around the world, which could be caused by limited attention in health and lack of consciousness of daily diet.
Why Government Should Not Control American Diets - America offers a culturally diverse diet. With restaurants that serve foods such as Chinese, Italian, and Mexican to fast food chains such as McDonald’s, Panda Express, and Taco Bell.
In light of these statistics, the government should establish relevant policies to address the diet and levels of obesity in order to enhance the individual’s awareness and transform the national unreasonable eating habits.
It might be said that it is the choice of the citizens to choose diverse diets. Government policies on food in government-supported establishments should be linked to local agriculture that can provide appropriate high quality food in .