How governments can help us make healthy food choices // The Lancet

THE LANCET, a well-respected medical journal, published a flow-chart about what governments can do to support healthy food preferences: here.

WHAT DOES IT TALK ABOUT?

THE CHART SUGGESTS AN ARRAY OF MEASURES TO HELP STOP OBESITY. Governments could tax unhealthy foods and subsidise healthy food providers. Food providers could increase shelf space for healthy foods.

WHAT ARE MY PREFERENCES?

THERE ARE TWO SUGGESTED MEASURES WHICH I ESPECIALLY LIKE:
– preventing display of unhealthy food where children gather. I see a lot of candy displayed in the low shelves of the supermarket aisles, and this bothers me because: fruits and vegetables are never placed low enough to tempt children, which is a shame!, and all these health-concious parents have to go through tantrums when their kid wants a chocolate bar that they really can’t have! Placing unhealthy foods on a higher level would prevent so many supermarket tantrums and fruits and veggies could be placed there instead 🙂 (is any health-concious supermarket making notes on this amazing advice I’m giving?)

– giving incentive to healthy food retailers to sell in low income areas – and I don’t mean like a Whole Foods in South Park. But how great would it be to have a shop with fresh veggies and fruits no matter where you live?! (at reasonable prices!) A couple of my friends used to live in bit of a dodgy neighbourhood, but there was a fresh grocer around the corner, who always had the most beautifully looking vegetables and amazing fresh figs – amazing!

Get the Lancet pdf here.

WHO GETS TO DECIDE?

THE BIG QUESTIONS IS: which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy – and who gets to decide?

Obviously we would all agree that vegetables are healthy. But, aside from that it’s difficult to agree on a lot. In the foodie world and scientific world there’s even debate on the health aspect of fruits. Since fruits contain (natural) sugars, some foodies believe that it’s only healthy to eat limited amounts of fruits and even then, mostly berries (such as in the Paleo diet), while some stuff dates (an extremely sugary fruit) into everything they make. On the other hand, some scientists show that eating more than 2 pieces of fruit per day is exceptionally good for you and most doctors will say that a healthy diet should contains lots of fruits and vegetables.

THAT’S JUST FRUIT. Imagine how difficult it would be to agree on foods like meats, snacks, grains, breads etc. Hmm.. something to think about.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Which measures do you think would work to help prevent obesity?

Flow-chart here (on Lancet website).

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