- April 13, 2020
Obesityissues: Does the food industry cause obesity?
Obesityis a global concern that has been on the rise, over the past years.Health professionals and nutritionists have delved into the matterwith the aim of determining the appropriate course to prevent theskyrocketing obesity rates. The food industry has a predominant roleto play in the increasing obesity incidences across the world.Research studies assert that food manufacturers are producing morefood for the population, which narrows down to more calories perperson[ CITATION Nes13 l 1033 ].The paper seeks to determine how the food industry has contributedto obesity condition around the world and how the government couldintervene to ameliorate this health concern.
Accordingto statistics, estimated 65 percent of Americans are overweight[ CITATION Sta10 l 1033 ].The obesity condition has been pervasive inthe recent years, and research studies have linked it to variousfactors such as the food industry and lifestyle changes, amongothers. In the 1960s, there were fewer cases of obesity while in1970s, the rates remained relatively steady[ CITATION Sta10 l 1033 ].Obesity became a major concern in the 1980s after a report from theSurgeon General’s office indicated that obesity was at 13.4percent and reached 34.3 percent by 2008[ CITATION Sta10 l 1033 ].
Thefood industry among other factors such as poor food preferences, lackof physical exercises, and genetics are to blame for the increasedcases of obesity. The food industry has taken the opportunity toprovide processed food for the modern people who are busy to preparefood in their homes. Processed foods contain high levels of grainsand sugar, which are the main precipitators of health conditions anddiseases such obesity and diabetes. In 2014, data records showed adrastic rise in the intake of sugar, which comprises of corn syrupand other sweeteners[ CITATION Nes13 l 1033 ].In the recent past, food companies have started integrating sugarinto various foods so as to gain customers’ traction.
Someresearchers stipulate that sweet food has an addiction that pushespeople into wanting more. Regrettably, it is evident that even thehealthiest foods contribute to weight gain and obesity. Additionally,food manufacturers’ change of business objective to profit orientedhas led to increased portions of processed foods and created moresnack time. As a result, food manufacturers have contributed to theincreased consumption of fast foods by increasing their availabilityand accessibility through the introduction of vending machines ininstitutions such as schools and companies.
Governmentrole in reversing obesity trends
Thegovernment should encourage and advocate for policies such aslabeling, health campaigns and increased access to physical exercisespace. There are myriad intervention measures and programs that thegovernment could employ in the food industry to ensure obesity ratesremain down. However, efficacy in combating obesity can be achievedby addressing the problem from different fronts[ CITATION Wie13 l 1033 ]. For instance, the government should initiate health literacyprograms and awareness in institutions and restaurants. It is vitalfor the government to take obesity prevention measures such aspromoting the establishment of exercise gym and creating awareness inschools and workplace.
Thefight against obesity has become a global concern, and theinternational community has intervened on the issue through varioushealth policies and regulations. Besides food industry, the othermain contributors to obesity need to be addressed not only from thegovernment side but also as a community. Research projects increasedobesity rates in the future, as food industries continue to producemore processed and fast foods. Therefore, the government ought tojoin hands with relevant stakeholder in addressing obesity condition.
Nestle, M. (2013). Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. California: University of California Press.
Stanish, J. R. (2010). The Obesity Epidemic in America and the Responsibility of Big Food Manufacturers. Inquiries Journal, 1-5. Retrieved from: http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/320/the-obesity-epidemic-in-america-and-the-responsibility-of-big-food-manufacturers
Wiens, C. (2013). The Experts: What Role Should Government Play in Combatting Obesity? The Wall Street Journal, 1-16. Retrieved from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323741004578419031512580080