Negative Response on Healthy Eating Habits
Obesity is a situation when individuals are so overweight that the weight becomes a threat to their health. Obesity normally results from over-eating and lack of exercises. Unhealthy diets increase the chances of developing obesity in individuals through overeating (Edelstein, & Sharlin, 2009). Obesity incidences have risen in the US over the last thirty years, where about 60% of the adults are either overweight or obese. The biggest obstacle that is encountered when solving the obesity epidemic in America is a poor response towards healthy diets by the American citizens. This paper discusses this obstacle and suggests ways in which the obstacle could be dealt with, in an attempt to counter the obesity epidemic (Schlosser, 2002).
There is a negative response towards consumption of fast foods, fructose and trans-fatty acids by the citizens. It is for this reason that the obesity incidences are increasing day by day. Since 1960, the incidences of obesity have doubled, and this epidemic has become a major cause of preventable death in the US. Despite the attempts to discourage the consumption of fast foods by the government and other health groups, the consumption of these foods has risen adversely. The total consumption of fast food has risen from 3% to around 10% for the last twenty years. This survey has shown a negative response from the public, concerning healthy diets (Oliver, 2006).
Another driving force for the poor response on healthy diets and the increased fast food consumption is an increase in fast food restaurants. There are about 250,000 fast food outlets in the United States of America. The availability of these fast food outlets has a positive relationship with the increased consumption of fast foods. The consumers of the fast foods have different arguments for their consumption if the foods. Some argue that the foods have a good taste; others argue that there is ease in visiting the fast food restaurants, and others argue that fast foods are quick. High-income earners constitute a higher percentage of the total number of consumers of fast foods, while low-income earners constitute a lower proportion of the consumers (Edelstein, & Sharlin, 2009).
To combat poor response on healthy eating habits, the government and health organization groups should hold public-health campaigns to enlighten the public on the dangers of unhealthy eating habits. These campaigns would be helpful because some people are rather not ignorant on their eating habits but lack knowledge of the dangers associated with unhealthy eating habits. The government may require restaurants and fast food outlets to label calories, fat, sugar, fiber, etc. on all items (Oliver, 2006). These may enable the consumers to consume the items with low fats and sugar and hence prevent obesity.
The government should make an effort of ensuring that fast foods are not readily available to the people. The government may achieve this by imposing high taxes on fast food outlets, which will discourage the businesses (Schlosser, 2002). When these businesses are discouraged fast food consumers will have limited accesses to fast foods. The food will be more expensive to cover for the high taxes and through this move most of the consumers of fast foods will find other eating options.
There is a need for the government to make strategies concerning public health, to control obesity. Obesity is a risk factor to other most common diseases e.g. diabetes, stroke, heart disease, etc. obesity can also cause depression and disability. The unhealthy food supply, being the main cause of the spread of obesity, the government should offer support to healthy food producer. This could be through offering of subsidies to enable the growth and production of healthy foods (Edelstein, & Sharlin, 2009). If the government tries to reduce the availability of unhealthy foods, then the problem of negative response by the public will be reduced as people will have no option but to eat healthy foods.
Edelstein, S., & Sharlin, J. (2009). Life cycle nutrition: An evidence-based approach. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Pub.
Oliver, J. E. (2006). Fat politics: The real story behind America’s obesity epidemic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Schlosser, E. (2002). Fast food nation: What the all-American meal is doing to the world. London: Penguin.