The crippling obesity epidemic has driven the attention to categorize obesity rates as a public health enemy. From healthy lifestyles to innovative ways of extreme dieting all have surfaced into popular media as people scramble to find the fastest way of reducing obesity rates. The list of factors that affect obesity can include many, but one of the aspects not often taken into account is the effect of labels on consumer behavior. Those labels mislead the consumer to believe they have made a healthy choice. Although the obesity rates keep increasing, there is much more into play than an individual’s eating behavior that affect obesity in the United States.. Not much talk happens when the topic surrounds the industry that provides our food as well as how the industries promote their products with misleading labels. Misleading labels which may seem insignificant brings on a whole realm of vague regulations the food industry successfully maneuvers for profit. How can clearer regulations imposed by the F.D.A reduce obesity rates in the United States?
Vague requirements administered by the F.D.A. allows for industries that provide the food to find loopholes promoting products as healthier. While theses labels claim to have the healthier benefit, relative to other products, the labels convince the customer of choosing the healthier choice. Not only does it sway consumer shopping habits into buying the labels claiming low-salt and low-sugar that lead the consumer or a person attempting to reduce obesity that what they are actually choosing to eat is healthy. From the external point of view these food industries leave to the customers to trust their labels but in a fast paced American lifestyle many do not take a glance into nutrition facts. Regulations of the F.D.A. fail to clearly state and categorize healthy options to improve the health of the population. The continuously increasing epidemic of obesity definitely has many contributors of but it is important to note that exterior factors such as indirect regulations have some significant impact. Some might say it is up to the individual to decide whether or not one has a healthy balancing diet, factors such as price and the availability of healthier choices also play into the role of determining what a healthy society exemplifies. Another factor that plays into this is that indirect requirements by the FDA allow for loopholes which do not always make a product healthier.
According to an article, “ the role of Nutrition labels and advertising claims in altering consumers evaluation choice” weighs into the idea that the apparent “ambiguity” when it comes to “labeling laws” has been able to successfully continue in the shelves of grocery stores because there “is no standard definition of the term natural.” Usually labels only take into consideration a portion of the product otherwise known as the serving size as […..]. The reality is that when a product is made for a meal then how can it be taken as low sodium when it only is taking half of it into consideration. Such classification of products can be like taking a huge container a highly concentrated item of salt but according to serving size the product is low sodium only if the consumer eats the serving size. The consumer cannot follow a low sodium or low fat when the product is considered a full meal therefore the salt content is much higher than what a label can claim it is. By not considering the product as a whole will then allow for the label to actually claim it is low sodium. Those labels do not take into consideration that in one sitting to eat the whole product is more likely to be finished then to eat a small portion of it. Cleverly the food industry has allowed for claims to be made that persuade the consumer into a “healthy choice” as it does not really include the whole product.
Something that has lead the food corporations to produce, claim, and promote the products as healthy even though they are not are the private interests. The FDA with the little power that it holds fails to implement regulations to accurately use the claims of low-salt and low 0 sugar. With the implementation of transparent food labeling this relationship of trust can be founded and the trust of the community will allow for the decreased obesity rates. The American lifestyle takes what is claimed as healthy to be healthy but the reality is that behind all the pretty looking labels who have been created to technological advances has lead to the decrease in the availability of actually healthy products. Not everyone can go to the nearest organic store and purchase [products that are relatively higher in price and have the equality of products that can be used for a healthier lifestyle.
As of right now it is up to the customer to decide what is healthy and what is not , but the corporation behind the food industry are not interested in selling a healthy product but selling a product claiming to be healthy for economic purposes. The reality is that these corporation take advantage of the weak and unclear regulations that the FDA has implemented to this day. This results in higher obesity rates as it does not imply poor food choices but poor regulations described by the journal called “cochrane Database of systematic reviews” as “actual misbranding and permissible” . This has also lead to the call for a regulatory response from the FDA. The question you might be asking is what does it all have to do with obesity and public health? This in fact has to do with public health as it FDA lacks the power to correctly categorize the products and lack the political support as the attention is drawn to healthcare and medical facilities instead of underlying causes such as the incorrect food classifications.
The transparency would allow for the reduced obesity chances in the american population as food labels say what they say they are would decrease obesity rates as in as an underlying cause that contribute to the growing obesity epidemic. The american lifestyle sometimes does not permit for time consuming shopping practices that make the consumer stuy food labels everything. In a society where fast is easy the consumer begins to trust food labels without a second look to the nutrition facts. “These outcome call for the establishment of standards to avoid the use of unjustified and potentially misleading information displayed on the front of the food packages, and emergent need in increasing obesity rates and diabetes pandemic. The journal not only call obesity a disease but a pandemic as theses misleading food label reach more than the normal average small community but at a global scale. The effectiveness of the FPA message wa further depend on consumers health motivation and healthfulness perception of carrier products. To promote a healthier lifestyle the American must be able to trust the food labels to be sure of healthy choices.