The Influence Of Food And Health

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Food and health have traditionally been very closely linked, but it is in the more recent years in which these ideas have been appearing more frequently. Through the analysis of government campaigns and reforms, this paper will discover how people are being pushed to eat healthier. All these take place in an effort to lower obesity rates and the risk of chronic illness. Because of these campaigns, society is exposed to the idea of eating healthy more so than ever before. However, people are also impacted through the media, something that becomes apparent the minute one turns on the television or flips through a magazine. All of these factors help influence the public into the idea of healthy food. Because of this, restaurants and food companies …show more content…
While obesity in itself is a problem - it is named as the second highest cause of death in the US, behind smoking - the real problem lies in the fact that people with high BMIs are much more likely to develop cancer and other NCDs. Though prevention of these can never be a surety, there are many organisations that are quick to connect the benefits of eating healthy with a lowered rise of disease. The American Cancer Society admits the fact that cancer cannot be prevented, as it is a result of genetic mutation, but they suggest that “[b]ehavioral factors such as smoking cigarettes, consuming foods along certain patterns of diet, and staying active across the lifespan can substantially affect one’s risk of developing cancer.” They also state that approximately 35 percent of deaths due to cancer could have been avoided if the people had adapted their diets to be healthier. Based on research done by the National Cancer Institute, between four and seven percent of new cases of cancer in 2007 were due to obesity. This research also shows that with the predicted increase in obesity rates, by 2030, the US will see 500,000 more cases of cancer. From this research, it is easy for one to see why we should be trying to encourage people to eat healthier and exercise …show more content…
Luckily regulations enforced by the Food Standards Agency make this task much easier than it was before. According to the FSA, the cost of obesity to the NHS from Scottish residents was 457 million pounds in 2007/8, and in an effort to reduce this cost, the FSA has tightened regulations for food package labelling. Beginning in July of 2013, the ‘traffic light’ labelling system shows the amount of sugar, fat, salt and overall calories in one serving of the product, along with a colour code so it is easy to tell if the product contains a high amount of one of these ingredients. With these new regulations, it is much easier to pick up a package and figure out if it is a healthy choice. Because this is a highly simplified system based on pure numbers, it has received some criticism. This can be quite clearly seen when thinking about cheese. Because it often has a red light because of a high amount of fat, this “means that they are seen in the same category as junk food.” Just because cheese can be marked as red does not mean one has to cut it out of their diet completely, as it does contain a high amount of nutrients, showing that people need to take a closer look at the package and not base their choices on the colour

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