With major numbers of US children consuming more than 200 calories in a day, health experts point to a lack of government intervention and prodigious advertising and marketing by food companies for obesity.
According to the Lancet Medical Journal’s new estimates, children in the US consume 50% more calories than they did in 1970. They also weigh 11 more pounds than they did 30 years ago.
The US food industry earns £13 billion yearly from extra eating and uncontrolled habits by US citizens. Because of the large revenue, a lacking balance in favour of economic growth compromises health.
The research highlighted the problem of obesity and the food companies’ interest in targeting children with processed foods and sweetened drinks.
It also indicated that at a young age, children’s appetites are shaped by processed infant foods. It could also build taste preference, brand loyalty and high profits.
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Researcher Dr. Christina Roberto said “Our understanding of obesity must be completely reframed if we are to halt and reverse the global obesity epidemic.
“On one hand, we need to acknowledge that individuals bear some responsibility for their health, and on the other hand recognise that today’s food environments exploit people’s biological (eg, innate preference for sweetened foods), psychological (eg, marketing techniques), and social and economic (eg, convenience and cost) vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to eat unhealthy foods.
“It’s time to realise that this vicious cycle of supply and demand for unhealthy foods can be broken with ‘smart food policies’ by governments alongside joint efforts from industry and civil society to create healthier food systems.”