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Role of Consumers and Parents
In modern society, where lifestyles have tremendously changed within a short time, various health conditions are witnessed in the growing population, particularly in developed countries. The most prevalent condition among children is obesity. Parents are called upon to play their role in promoting healthy diets and regular physical exercises to fight such conditions. Simultaneously, parents and consumers should live and promote healthy lifestyles since they influence their children's eating behaviors as shaped by their observation and adaptations (Widener, 258).
To make healthy food choices for the child, parents should ensure that they have regular meals and snack times every day to create a healthy routine. The failure to maintain healthy routine results in children over or under eating.
Parents and consumers should also ensure that they eat together as a family where children
will also eat what has been chosen by the other family members. It is because when they are left alone, they might make the wrong choices of foods. To provide healthy food choices to the
children, parents should avoid exerting pressure on their children. Children should be allowed to eat according to what they feel in terms of their hunger (Noe, 663). Pressurizing them might also result in denying them the right quantity of food or the type. It is the role of the parents to make healthy foods the usual choice for their children. Healthy foods are composed of those with limited calories, fat, sugar, and salt. The above also entails shopping for healthy foods at home since what is available at home is what children get used to eating.
Should Business Be Held Accountable?
In my view, businesses should be held responsible for the choices of foods available for consumption. We have heard of lawsuits being filed against businesses like McDonald's where they claim that the foods they are served with are responsible for obesity, leading to diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure, and heart disease (Walvin, 261). Courts have been on the verge of ignoring and throwing such company cases because they believe and assume that it is the consumers' responsibility to understand the risks are pegged to consuming such foods. Based on circumstances such as people's working conditions, particularly in towns where they cannot break for the home since they live far away, they will opt to purchase first foods that are availed by the businesses.
Businesses are responsible for the choices of foods available to consumers due to various factors. Consumers are forced to pick what is available with or without considering the choice due to the retailers' available quantity of healthy food options (Widener, 258). Businesses are partially accountable for setting and influencing foods' affordability through the setting of prices, which will determine the consumer's choices. In modern days, business influences food choices because they do not offer what is culturally accepted or appropriate for the people, but what is enjoyed by people at the expense of their health.
The Roles Played by the Government
There are repeated calls for government action to curb unhealthy foods' marketing to children to reduce or rather eliminate childhood obesity. Coca Cola once used to be the largest consumer of sugar in the world. It was because sugar was cheap courtesy of the government
subsidies and the cut tariffs on sugar. On the other hand, companies began adding a lot of sugar that increased the appetite for consumers, especially children, which seemed to be insatiable. From the above experience, to regulate such issues, the government can consider applying taxes, eliminating subsidies, and tariffs on certain food ingredients for consumers' wellness, particularly children (Walvin, 249). Through such means, businesses will reduce the number of toxic food substances that they overfeed children with. Secondly, the government should consider setting up research centers to validate the quality of the ingredients and food sold to children.
Federal health experts should approve these food substances consumed by children. The
quantity of these foods should also be regulated by the government, where it is availed to customers through retailers in the desired amount. Lastly, the government can play a significant role in monitoring and controlling the advertisements and product promotion activities carried out by businesses (Nestle, 140). Advertisements have led to children purchasing foods that are detrimental to their health. For instance, they would grab a bar of candy instead of an apple or a bag of chips instead of carrots. Advertisements and product promotion should be reinforced only to be limited to healthy foods to the children.
Roles Played by the Public Schools
A critical role is played by schools in helping children to develop healthy eating habits and
identification of nutritious foods to enjoy. Students receive meals, snacks, and drinks from school cafeterias many times, even more than when they are at home. As such, the school's administrations should raise the nutritional quality of what is provided to support the health of the children and influence their lifelong eating habits (Noe, 664). To make healthy choices, public schools should ensure that children maintain a well-planned out routine of meals and preserve the same throughout the day since children are in school the most hours of the day. The meals taken by the children should be of high quality in the sense that it is composed of all the necessary nutrients that are correct for the development of the child. The above encompasses the incorporation of fruits and the right amount of drinks to keep them healthy. Lastly, public schools should incorporate the choices of healthy foods for the children in their syllabuses. By teaching them the types of healthy foods that they will know, it's important to make the right choices concerning them.
Nutrition in Elementary School
In elementary school, I learned about the types of nutrients in different types of foods. Most
importantly, there were four types of nutrients in foods that were important to children. These were vitamins, carbohydrates, mineral salts, and proteins. There were some types of foods that were said to have almost every nutrient, such as milk. Milk was encouraged to be taken every time, and in fact, the most recommended drink contrary to the commercial soft drinks that children termed very sweet and coveted at that age (Nestle, 137). The teachers also emphasized fruits to contain the right amounts of vitamins, which were essential for any child's health and immunity.
Regarding the above information, today, I would attribute my health status to what I learned
in elementary school. For instance, my immunity has always been at a peak against fighting disease because of my regular consumption of fruits after every meal that I take.
I have not continued to remain in shape for the past few years like I was in elementary.
However, I have been working on maintaining a well-defined eating habit in terms of time, the type of foods to eat, and the number of foods each day; I am back on track. I am trying to keep away from industrially manufactured foods, especially fast foods and snacks, responsible for certain body conditions like obesity.
Nestle, Marion. 2015. Starting Early: Marketing to Infants, Children, and Teens (Chapter 10). Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and winning). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 133-142. https://search.library.pdx.edu/permalink/f/p82vj0/CP71271641780001451
Noë, Alva. 2017 (2012). The Value in Sweet Drinks. In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson, Tyler
Doggott (2017). Food, Ethics, and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, pp.663-664.
Walvin, James, 2018. Hard Truth About Soft Drinks, from Sugar – The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity. New York, Pegasus Books. Pages 245-268.
Widener, Michael J. "Spatial access to food: Retiring the food desert metaphor." Physiology & behavior 193 (2018): 257-260.