Fast food and nutrition
Fast food and nutrition
Question three: To what extent society be influenced to eat healthier?
Is nutrition not one of the main backbones of health? Proper nutrition has been proved to impact positively on the health of individuals. The reverse however, could not be any true. Recent research has found that most people are consuming fast foods at a higher rate as opposed to healthy ones. This is experienced not only in Australia but also in other countries across the world. Unhealthy eating has contributed to most lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, atherosclerosis, some cancers, stroke and heart disease (The times of India, 2016). This paper seeks to explore what factors contribute to consumption of fast foods and what measures or interventions can be adopted to catalyze society’s healthy food consumption.
Firstly, introducing healthy eating school programs is a key tool to creating awareness to healthy eating. These should be developed as early as in child care service provision centers. This is because Most of the habits people develop when they are young they tend to carry them to their adulthood life and pass them on to the next generation (Brindal, 2010). These programs should have their main objective as promotion of healthy eating habits. The centers and schools should set an example by serving pupils and students with a balanced healthy diet. Healthy snacks such as fruits or fresh smoothies should be encouraged in between main meals. Nutritional supplements can be provided to malnourished children in order to boost their health. However, supplements are not to be provided in place of meals: their administration should not collide with main meal time (Wilson et al., 2009). These will influence the health of youngsters thus reducing the otherwise increasing rates of obesity.
Secondly, as Fao.org, (2016) identifies, it is the role of all concerned parties to ensure that food consumed is nutritious enough. Socialization begins from the basic unit of society which is the family. Other units encompass the community in which people identify themselves with. This could be social media communities such as Facebook or even Websites. Therefore, this can be achieved through creation of a website where all the concerned parties can air their views. For examples, one of the main reasons as to why people consume more fast foods is their convenience nature. Most late night food outlets are fast foods. Consequently, this can be curbed by putting effort to establish more late night healthy food restaurants and bring it to the public’s attention through advertisement. This is likely to realize more people adopting healthy eating habits especially when time beats them up.
Thirdly, Market deregulation has been a contributing factor to increase sell of fast foods (WHO, 2016). This implies that if measures are put by the responsible government authorities then it is possible to regulate what reaches consumers in handy. Development and implementation of policies that deter the increasing consumption of fast food could be a key strategy to reduce the increasing obesity cases and other lifestyle diseases. One of the marketing strategies used by most fast food outlets is advertisement. This is a mode which reaches a huge number of people within a short period of time. It raises their urge to try out these snacks for example chocolates or cakes. Therefore, imposing strict restriction against advertisement of these foods can reduce their consumption (Bobba, 2013). Most fast food companies increase their awareness by sponsoring events hosting many people for example holidays or football. Banning them from enacting the latter then can reduce their products consumption.
Lastly, adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility in food outlets is a key tool in reducing consumption of unhealthy foods. It ensures that an entity takes responsibility in ensuring that their services and goods have a positive impact to the lives of the people they serve and the environment in general. It guards companies against focusing on the amounts of profits they would realize at the expense of peoples’ needs (Guler & Crowther as cited by Bobba, 2013). Most fast food outlets get huge margins of profits for example McDonald which gets over thirty two percent profits. Corporate social responsibility is a tool for sustainability since it will ensure that the clients are well served with healthy foods and thus they will live longer and consume the products.
It can be concluded that fast foods are the highest contributor of lifestyle diseases especially obesity in Australia. Despite their high income contribution towards Australia’s economy, they ought to be regulated for the sake of the Citizen’s health. Creation of awareness and empowerment to adopt healthy eating habits ought to begin from early child development years. The extent to which the society adopts healthy eating habits can only stretch as far as all the concerned stakeholders take the matter with the significance it carries.
Bobba, S., 2013. The role of the food industry in tackling Australia’s obesity epidemic. Discover the opportunities in general practice., p.76.
Brindal, E., 2010. Exploring fast food consumption behaviours and social influence (Doctoral dissertation, School of Psychology; School of Medicine NOBLE Research Group; CSIRO).
Denney-Wilson, E., Crawford, D., Dobbins, T., Hardy, L. and Okely, A.D., 2009. Influences on consumption of soft drinks and fast foods in adolescents. Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition, 18(3), pp.447-452.
Fao.org. (2016). SAFE FOOD AND NUTRITIOUS DIET FOR THE CONSUMER. [online] Available at: http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/sideevents/papers/y6656e.htm [Accessed 13 Sep. 2016].
The Times of India. (2016). 11 Lifestyle diseases you should take seriously — The Times of India. [online] Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/16419598.cms [Accessed 13 Sep. 2016].
Who.int. (2016). WHO | The influence of market deregulation on fast food consumption and body mass index: a cross-national time series analysis. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/2/13-120287/en/ [Accessed 13 Sep. 2016].