Food Fight: The Battle Over Redefining Competitive Foods
ABSTRACT Environmental and policy influences are potentially the most powerful-and yet the least understood-strategies for reversing the current childhood obesity epidemic.
This essay focuses on the school lunch environment and examines the key legal and policy factors that affect competitive foods or foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) in schools. The essay also analyzes the latest, proposed federal legislation on redefining competitive foods.
FMNV compete for children's coins and calories in the school food environment. The emerging scientific record on the negative impact competitive foods have on children's diet and health is significantly stronger than when Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) secretary first deemed the connection sufficient to take action. The Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2006, if enacted, will provide additional authority to the USDA and supply science-based federal guidance to local schools. Opposition to this legislation may come from the local school districts, the food industry, parents, and children.
Defining competitive foods in a federally consistent manner and eliminating competitive foods from our nation's schools are food fight that will evidently be fought by legislative efforts at the local, state, and federal level. The food industry, as history illustrates, will likely work hard to weaken any regulatory efforts and could potentially demand that this fight end up requiring judicial review.
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ABSTRACT: Improving the nutrition of children and reducing rates of childhood overweight and obesity have been high priorities for the New Zealand Government since 2000. The rates of childhood overweight and obesity vary by ethnic group and socio-economic status, and reducing inequalities in the burden of childhood overweight and obesity is an explicit aim of the Government. This paper aims to identify policy options that will have an impact on the economic drivers of childhood nutrition and obesity. A qualitative model of the economic determinants of childhood nutrition within a household setting is presented. The model identifies cost barriers to sufficient healthy food as a key factor in the foods purchased and consumed within a household. An analysis of New Zealand household economic and nutritional data then identifies policy options to improve childhood nutrition and reduce rates of overweight and obesity. These policy options focus on cost subsidies for non-discretionary household expenditure and reducing the price of food to increase access to nutritious foods, including fruit and vegetables.
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ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Incremental usage of the fructose derived from corn by processed-food manufacturers has become a crucial threat in terms of human health. Although it is known as fruit sugar, the most important source of dietary fructose is now, processed-food prepared by using high-fructose corn syrup. Basically, fructose is metabolized within liver and its energy load is equal to glucose. Nevertheless, it does not make up satiety and fullness. Therefore, fructose-rich foods and beverages can be consumed in large amount because the absence of satiety. Studies performed recently unveil a connection between amount of fructose consumed and metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The incidence of metabolic diseases which are already affecting more than half of the adults has been increasing among children. Moreover, these types of foods are generally consumed by children. Therefore, in order to reduce the frequency of metabolic disorders in all ages, the amount of fructose in processed-foods and beverages should also be taken into consideration.