On March 7th, Marion Nestle posted a blog on foodpolitics called, “U.N. Special Rapporteur: Five Ways to FIx Unhealthy Diets,” and can be found at http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/03/u-n-special-rapporteur-five-ways-to-fix-unhealthy-diets/.
These five tips have little to do with breaking individual habits, but rather with the way the unhealthy foods are advertised and made available to us. Oliver de Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on “The Right to Food” recommends: 1) Tax unhealthy products. 2) Regulate foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar. 3) Crack down on junk food advertising. 4) Overhaul misguided agricultural subsidies that make certain ingredients cheaper than others. And 5) Support local food production so that consumers have access to healthy, fresh and nutritious foods.
I agree with advice number one, to a certain extent. Yes, this may decrease the amount of unhealthy products families choose to purchase, however, it could just put more families into economic distress because junk food can be a very hard product to just eliminate completely from a diet. I absolutely agree that foods high in saturated fats, salt and sugar should be regulated.. but why are they not already regulated? Junk food advertising could do with some monitoring, so I am alright with that recommendation as well. In fact, the rest of the list I have nothing but support for.
De Schutter explains that many people suffer from “hidden hunger” of micronutrient deficiency. In other words, people may have enough food to eat, but not enough of the right food.

He believes that by continuing to prescribe medical remedies like nutrition pills or slimming pills we are not really solving anything. We need to “tackle the systematic problems that generate poor nutrition in all its forms.”

“In better-off countries, the poorest population groups are most affected because foods high in fats, sugar and salt are often cheaper than healthy diets as a result of misguided subsidies whose health impacts have been wholly ignored.”

This statement ties in to my research project, about how convenience can affect our diets. The availability of fresh foods is not located everywhere that it needs to be.

 

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