For a long time, we have struggled with the problem of obesity amongst our children, and we have sought several ways to deal with it. The government came up with a strategy last year in which it limited the number of sugars in foods, legislated that ingredients be well-labeled and stated that a levy would get introduced on soft drinks. They also advocated for more physical activity in school, and they came up with incentives to inspire people to come up with sustainable meals.
However, even after all those promises in the strategy; we are still in trouble when it comes to whatchildren are eating. A year later, we are again facing the same problem, and there is a need for more legislation in the food sector. Public health campaigners feel that the strategy did little to improve children’s eating habits and we are yet to celebrate freedom from obesity.
Politicians in Westminster have also expressed disappointment over the little effects that the strategy has had and many people wonder if other European countries will be willing to adopt such procedures, having seen how much ours has let us down. Many have come out to criticize the plan with others like Jamie Oliver terming it as awful. The strategy is made up of twelve pages which outline the changes the government wishes to make to regulate the food industry.
When the unit came to be, there were many protests from campaigners as well as retailers. Though the level of sugar in the soft drinks got reduced, the limits on marketing and ads got lifted which means that our channels are still showing all sorts of junk foods as they try to lure our children to eat unhealthily.
What most people do not agree with on the strategy is that most of the terms are voluntary. Though the government states that manufacturers are required to cut back on the sugar by twenty percent in their products, this depends on whether the producers are willing to do so. Because of this free will, many of them are likely to maintain their sugar levels as they are and ignore the recommendations.
There is a need for the government to come up with strict regulations on marketing and production if we are to beat obesity.
Whereas people get taxed on smoking cigarettes, people can indulge in as much junk food as they want without legal or financial repercussions from the government. If junk foods were to get priced higher, it would be one way to curb this problem.
Parents also play a part in the obesity levels of their children. The parent must ensure that their child eats a healthy diet and they should teach them the importance of eating nutritious food. With such a foundation, children can make the right choices in nutrition.
I feel that parents and the government are not doing enough to help our children fight this problem and there is a need for more intervention in the food industry.