Impulse marketing—like candy at a supermarket checkout line—influences our food choices in a way that is largely automatic and out of our conscious control, which affects our risk of diet-related chronic diseases.
To help people avoid overeating, the kinds of policies effective in controlling alcohol consumption should be applied to food—standardizing portion sizes, limiting impulse marketing and reducing the convenience and salience of foods most closely associated with obesity and chronic diseases.
Most people lack the information they need to judge or track the quantity and quality of the nutrients they consume. The FDA should take a disease prevention approach — as it is currently doing with trans fat — in promoting standards that address how all foods are prepared and served away from home.
A combination of factors could slow the U.S. obesity epidemic while also improving overall nutritional well-being: lowering prices on healthier food, initiatives to control portion sizes, and a long-term campaign to support better food quality.
Lowering the costs of healthy foods in supermarkets increases the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods that people eat, while also appearing to reduce consumption of nutritionally less-desirable foods, according to research by PRGS professor Roland Sturm and student Ruopeng An (cohort '08).
Much of the talk has focused on how New York City's ban on sugary drinks, intended to curb obesity by improving dietary choices for consumers, will restrict individuals’ options. Of course, even after the ban, consumers can still buy a second soda. But they might want to take a moment to think about the consequences before doing so, writes Chloe Bird.
Provides evidence that food assistance, livelihood interventions, and antiretroviral therapy all have a role to play in improving the economic and nutritional well-being of people living with HIV in developing countries.
Lowering the costs of healthy foods in supermarkets increases the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods that people eat, while also appearing to reduce consumption of nutritionally less-desirable foods.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks shows that policymakers—as well as health experts—are concerned about the effects of food portions on obesity in America. Consumers' dietary behaviors are often irrational, particularly when it comes to portion size, making many such regulations viable.
Many policy measures to control the obesity epidemic assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods.
It's widely assumed that living near fast-food restaurants and convenience stores encourages overconsumption, while supermarkets encourage healthier diets. However, an analysis found no robust link between food environment and consumption in youths, indicating a more complicated relationship than some theories suppose.
A review of menu nutrition information in U.S. sit-down chain restaurants found that 96 percent of main entrées exceeded the daily limits for calories, sodium, fat, and saturated fat recommended by the USDA.