RegulatingUnhealthy Foods

Inthe article “Food Policy Debate”, Robert Kiener reveals thecaution taken by the current American populace to limit the amount ofunhealthy food in their diets. More so, the article reflects upon thevarious complications that unhealthy foods bring to the people. Amongthem is the heart diseases, obesity among the children and the old,and diabetes, all caused by the unhealthy foods present in themarket. The article additionally questions the role of the governmentin the regulatory process of unhealthy foods in the nation. Thegovernment has the mandate to control the food market to protect itscitizens from the various dangers emanating from the chemicals andthe high sugar contents in the factory-made foods. I suggest thegovernment should take up the task of regulating the unhealthy foodsin the market to reduce the effects of the unhealthy foods.

Recently,the choice of the type of food that people tend to eat plays acritical role the in their daily activities. With the increase in thefrequency of the lifestyle disease, many people now place a specialconcern to the type of foods they eat during the various meal times.In the article, “Food Policy Debates”, Robert Kiener reveals thecaution taken by the current Americans to reduce the amount ofunhealthy food in their diets. Also, the article indicates thatunhealthy foods contain high levels of sugar, salt, fat, andadditives hence why many people encounter various diseases such asheart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. The article additionally showsthe government has the mandate to control the food market to protectits citizens from the various dangers emanating from the chemicalsand the high sugar content in the factory-made foods. Healthy-eatingactivists suggest that the government tax sugary sodas, mandateexpanded nutrition labels and limit portion sizes. Therefore, Isuggest the government should take up the task of regulating theunhealthy foods in the market to reduce the effects of the unhealthyfoods.

Amongthe leading factors as to why the government should regulate the flowof unhealthy foods in the industry is protecting people from harmfuleffects of unhealthy foods. The various unhealthy foods in the marketare a health risk to the people, especially the food-borne diseases.Some people think some foods that sell in the market are safe fortheir health. They just go to the market to buy some foods they thinkthat foods are easy to cook, but they do not pay attention theadditives, which contain in the foods. According to the article, theauthor writes, “the FDA doesn’t know of the existence of currentadditives, which can entail chemical preservatives, flavorings andthickening agents” (822). Nowadays, some producers can producetheir additives to market without FDA control. People might getfood-borne diseases if they consume the foods which contain theadditives everyday. When people eat some unhealthy foods, theadditives will be assembled more and more in people’s bodies, andpeople might get cancer easily. Thus, the presence of governmentalbodies such as FDA should be a clear indication of the apparentefforts to control the food factories produce their products whichhave the additives. Also, some industries conceal some badingredients in their products. Their products do not have the warninglabels. According to the article, the author writes, “Companies addhigh levels of sugar, salt, and fat to processed foods in ‘aconscious effort – taking place in labs and marketing meeting andgrocery-store aisles – to find people hooked on foods that areconvenient and inexpensive’” (819). Some companies hide some badingredients in their products to get more customers to get moreprofits they do not concern about people’s health. Thus, thegovernment holds the legislative powers to instruct companies to havewarning labels to display to their customers what is the compositionof the foods in the market, whether healthy as unhealthy. Therefore,if the government takes extreme measures to ensure that the foods onthe market have a low-risk rate of diseases, and controls tightlysome producers with their compositions, people will not encounterhealth problem from unhealthy foods.

Moreover,the regulation of the unhealthy foods may also bring some benefits topeople. Firstly, people will save money they would have spent ontaxes and the sugary and unhealthy foods. The government imposes hightax rates on the foods that bring harm to the populace will place anextra cost on the easy access process for the high sugary foods andsodas in the market. More so, the taxes imposed on the companies thatintroduce the chemical foods to the population would provide thegovernment with an extra source of revenue for the development of thenation. In such processes, the government will ease the burden on thecost of organic foods, and it would help people save up their moneythey would have spent on taxes and the sugary and unhealthy foods.Secondly, people will save money on health care costs. If peoplereduce to consume unhealthy foods, they will not get obesity.According to the article, the author indicates, “the direct medicalcosts of treating obesity alone are estimated to be $150 billion -$210 billion annually, costs that boost everyone’s insurancepremiums as well as taxes to pay for ever-increasing Medicare andMedicaid bills” (824). The cost to treat obesity-related illnessesis expensive, so the government should regulate junk food to helppeople reduce health care costs.

Counteractively,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 personal choice. Thefreedom of the people demands that they have a fundamental right tochoose what they want to eat, excluding the importance of thegovernment to control their eating habits. The regulation of thefoods from the government would deny people the desire to consumetasty products and eat satisfying foods and beverages. However, somepeople are unaware. They do not know about the ingredients whichcontain in foods. People just eat with their avidity, and they cannotdecide whether it is healthy or not. If people consume junk food in along term, they will get some diseases easily. So, the role of thegovernment should raise the awareness levels among the population tohelp people make the appropriate choices regarding what they consumeat the mealtimes as illustrated by Kiener “If people do notunderstand the risks of sugar consumption, then the appropriatepolicy response is information” (833). Therefore, the governmentshould regulate junk food to help people reduce to consume junk food.

Inconclusion, several unhealthy foods bring some diseases to people.The government should regulate junk food to protect people fromharmful effects of unhealthy foods, and to help people save theirmoney from health care costs. Therefore, the government plays a keyrole in protecting the lives of the citizens.Hence, the governmentshould be leading agency to regulate the presence of the unhealthyfoods in the market. Despite the huge responsibility placed on thegovernment to control the unhealthy foods, many people still thinkthe government should let the food industry operate freely, whichpromotes the consumption of the unhealthy foods. The people suggestthat the choice of food is a personal choice, and not one to becontrolled by the government. Despite the reasons, it is pivotal thatthe government remains at the forefront of fighting the battle forthe elimination of the unhealthy foods in the market. With thepresence of bodies such as FDA, the government shows the willingnessto allocate the adequate resources that will help curb thedetrimental effects of the unhealthy foods among the population.


FedUp. 2014. DVD.

Kiener,Robert. Food Policy Debates: Should the Government Regulate UnhealthyFood? 2014. Print.