to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and
a long list of doctors and public health experts, there
is an obesity ‘epidemic’ in the United
States that is threatening the health of millions of
Americans. How bad it is, what is causing this trend
and what we do about it is much less clear. In 2006, New
York City banned transfats in restaurants and prohibited
new fast-food restaurants in poor neighborhoods. The
measure was a reaction to perceived aggressive food marketing
forces that support obesity. How far should we go to
help children and adults make healthier food choices?
Are we a society that controls what people eat? Depending on your perspective,
viewpoints range from promoting individual choice and promoting educational campaigns
to the need for a national science policy for nutrition.
program, a scientist
presented the current science of obesity, describing
the various ways obesity harms the body, and how it affects
ethnicities and communities differently. In this light,
panelists discussed the range of responses to obesity
and the potential roles played by government, business
and private citizens on the question of regulating what
we eat and drink.