What about plain packaging for junk foods

New York City’s health board is cracking down on sugary soft drinks, but Australian health experts say more is required to address the obesity epidemic. MAP

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Health experts say Australia should look at a rebate for healthy foods, a tax on sugary beverages, and regulated portions. At the same time, New York continues to push government regulations in order to combat the obesity epidemic.

New York City’s health commissioner, who is behind a proposal to cap the size of containers of sugary soft drinks, has said that government regulation of portion sizes could help combat America’s obesity crisis.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association’s latest issue, Dr Thomas Farley writes that governments that do not take action to stop the marketing of sugary drinks high in calories will invite even greater rates of obesity, diabetic mortality, and related deaths.

Australian health policy experts agree that the self-regulation of food groups is not enough to combat obesity. It’s a serious problem in the US that costs 150 billion dollars and 100,000 lives every year.

Bebe Loff is the director of Monash University’s Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights.

We don’t give people a chance to fight against the environment, which encourages them to purchase more of these products.

Rob Moodie is a professor of global health and argues that the food and drink industry uses the same tactics and strategies as the tobacco industry and the alcohol industry.

There is no way that they will move without regulation.

Professor Moodie stated that the advertising of junk food to children in Australia and the sponsorship of important sports led to a culture in which junk food was consumed, and junk drinks were drunk.

“Things will not change until we make substantial changes in foods with lower levels of sugar, salt and fat.” “That probably won’t change until there is regulation or a serious threat of regulations,” Professor Moodie stated.

In his article, Dr. Farley details the New York City Board of Health’s measures to “regulate the food products that are harmful to the most people.”

These measures include a ban on trans fats in New York’s restaurants, forcing food companies to lower the sodium levels in their products, requiring chain restaurant menus to list calorie counts, and imposing an excise duty of 1 cent per ounce on sugary beverages.

The food industry continues its opposition to the proposed sugary drink portion rule. Dr Farley, however, said that the food industry is the one driving the sales of large portions and not the consumer.

Kerin O’Dea is a professor of population and nutrition at the University of South Australia.

“Large portions are a good source of profit.” They won’t change unless there is regulation.

Professor O’Dea believes that labeling menus is crucial so that people can make informed decisions and know how much food they are consuming.

State governments are now requiring calorie counts to be displayed on menus at fast food outlets with more than fifty outlets. McDonald’s has already done this in Australia and is now moving to follow suit across America. This will catch up with New York, where calorie-counted menus are mandated.

Professor O’Dea wants to see people encouraged to choose healthy foods.

We offer a rebate on diesel fuel to people living in the country. I’d like to see a healthy-food rebate for those in remote areas, especially aboriginal communities… to give people a financial incentive to purchase healthy food.

Rob Moodie, however, said that with the number of people dying in preventable accidents and the strains placed on both the state and federal healthcare systems by the industry, it might be necessary to take measures similar to those imposed upon the tobacco industry.

We have a problem with Australia’s large, aggressive, and well-organized junk food and drink industries. According to Professor Kelly Brownell, a leading scientist in the field, “When the history of obesity is written, collaboration with the food industry and appeasement may be the greatest failure.”

Professor Loff says that he believes it is impossible to stop the proliferation of disciplines devoted to food marketing, but limiting the amount of sugary drinks would be a great start.

She said that plain packaging was only implemented after 60 years and after the government decided to ignore its regulations.

What I think our government will say about something like banning oversized sweet drinks containers is that you must not only show that this is an informational problem or that harm is greater than any potential benefits, but you also need to show what impact the intervention is going to have in dealing with the issue, which is lowering the obesity.

Professor Loff stated that restructured physical and psychological environments are needed to allow everyone to have a chance to protect their health.

It shouldn’t be welfare-promoting. But it should be neutral so that we aren’t bombarded by all kinds of creative marketing tactics every time we walk through a grocery store.

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