Thechoice of type of food that people tend to eat plays a critical rolein their daily activities. With the increase in frequency oflifestyle diseases like obesity, many people place a special concernabout the type of foods they eat. In the article, “Food PolicyDebates”, Robert Kiener reveals the caution taken by Americans tolimit the amount of unhealthy food in their diets. Also, the articleindicates that unhealthy foods contain high levels of sugar, salt,fat, and additives. It could explain the reasons why many peopleencounter diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Thearticle acknowledges the mandate of government in controlling thefood market to protect its citizens from dangers emanating fromchemicals and the high sugar content in the factory-made foods.Healthy-eating activists suggest that the government tax sugarysodas, mandate expanded nutrition labels and limit portion sizes.While preferences are being directed toward consumption of organicfoods, the author questions whether concerns regarding food qualityare warranted and the role of the government in regulating foodslinked to dietary diseases. Adopting the practice of consumption oforganic foods would help reduce dietary associated diseases and thegovernment must take an active role in regulating unhealthy foods. Isuggest the government should take up the task of regulating theunhealthy foods in the market to reduce the effects.
Amongthe leading factors as to why the government should regulate the flowof unhealthy foods in the industry is protecting people from harmfuleffects. Unhealthy foods in the market are a health risk to thepeople, especially in causing food-borne diseases. Some people thinkfoods sold in the market are safe for their health. They buy foodsthey think are easy to cook, but do not pay attention to additivescontained in the foods. According to the article, the author writes,
“theFDA doesn’t even know of the existence of new additives, which caninclude chemical preservatives, flavorings and thickening agents”(822).
Manufacturersproduce and market additives without FDA control. People are likelyto get foodborne diseases if they consume foods containing harmfuladditives on a daily basis. When people eat unhealthy foods, theadditives accumulate in their bodies, a move that could result in thedevelopment of cancer. Regulatory agencies such as the FDA should begiven power to exercise control on food factories. Also, someindustries conceal harmful ingredients in their products. Theirproducts do not have the warning labels. According to the article,the author writes,
“Companiesadd high levels of sugar, salt, and fat to processed foods in ‘aconscious effort – taking place in labs and marketing meeting andgrocery-store aisles – to get people hooked on foods that areconvenient and inexpensive”(819).
Somecompanies hide some dangerous ingredients in their products to getmore customers to purchase their products resulting in more profits.They are not concerned about people’s health. Thus, the governmentholds the legislative powers to instruct companies to indicatewarning labels on display to their customers as an indication of thecomposition of foods in the market, whether healthy or unhealthy.Therefore, if the government takes extreme measures to ensure thatthe foods on the market have a low-risk rate of diseases, andcontrols tightly some producers with their compositions, people willnot encounter health problem from unhealthy foods.
Moreover,the regulation of the unhealthy foods may bring benefits toindividuals and society in general. Firstly, people will save moneythey would have spent on taxes and the sugary and unhealthy foods.The government imposes high tax rates on foods that bring harm to thepopulace. The taxes imposed on companies that introduce the chemicalfoods to the population would provide the government with an extrasource of revenue for the development of the nation. In suchprocesses, the government will ease the burden on the cost of organicfoods, and it would help people save up their money. Moreover, peoplewill save money on health care costs. If people reduce consumption ofunhealthy foods, they will not get obese. According to the article,the author indicates,
“thedirect medical costs of treating obesity alone are estimated to be$150 billion – $210 billion annually, costs that boost everyone’sinsurance premiums as well as taxes to pay for ever-increasingMedicare and Medicaid bills”(824).
Thecost to treat obesity-related illnesses is expensive, so thegovernment should regulate junk food to help people reduce healthcare costs.
However,some people believe the government should not regulate the illegalfoods. Among the reasons that the people think as to why thegovernment should not regulate the food is the idea of personalchoice. Individuals have a fundamental right to choose what they wantto eat, excluding the importance of the government to control theireating habits. The regulation of the foods from the government woulddeny people the desire to consume tasty products and eat satisfyingfoods and beverages. However, some people are unaware of theingredients contained in foods. People have a poor eating habit, andfail to decide whether it is healthy or not. If people consume junkfood in the long term, they are at a high risk of developinglifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity. So, the role of thegovernment should raise the awareness levels among the population tohelp people make the appropriate choices regarding what they consumeat mealtimes as illustrated by Kiener:
“Ifpeople do not understand the risks of sugar consumption, then theappropriate policy response is information”(833).
Therefore,the government should regulate junk food to help people reduceconsumption of junk food.
Inconclusion, the various unhealthy foods bring some diseases topeople. The government should regulate junk food to protect peoplefrom harmful effects of unhealthy foods, and to help people savetheir money from health care costs. However, some people do not haveknowledge about the foods which they eat every day. They do not knowthe ingredients which are contained in foods. They just eat withtheir habit so that they can get obese easily. The government plays avital role in the protection of lives of citizens. Overall,regulation of unhealthy food products would be instrumental inensuring that the public does not face adverse consequencesassociated with them. The government must meet its legal mandate ofprotecting citizens and ensure that manufacturing industries adhereto the established standards of production of foods that are healthy.It would be helpful in promoting a healthy population free fromdiseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Kiener,Robert. "CQ Researcher". Cqresearcher.com.N.p., 2014. Web. 3 Oct. 2014.