FDA robs Americans of personal liberty

mccleveThe American diet has been problematic for over two decades now. Health reform is being pushed from every direction, from Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Obesity rates and diet-related diseases have never been more prevalent.

Nutritionists constantly come up with the “secret” to superb health. The idea of perfect health through a diet is ludicrous. The hundreds upon thousands of diet fads are all moneymaking schemes for large corporate companies with impressive marketing skills. The amount of money spent on unused workout equipment in this country is astounding.

People fling their money at a program that is supposed to take away their excess fat and magically make them healthier. The real problem is people are not willing to work for a lifestyle change.



Health is something that requires more than an hour at the gym every once in a while. And it has very little to do with being thin. Weight can definitely be correlated with health — but there is more to it.

The FDA’s recent decision to require modifications to food labels in the U.S. is a movement that people see as a positive change. While the labels won’t necessarily make a negative change, they aren’t beneficial to anyone.

The new labels will be enhanced and easier to read because the calorie content will be bolded. Serving sizes will be adjusted to the average American serving, instead of dividing a soda into three.

While the adjustment of serving sizes will hold people more accountable to their true calorie, fat and sugar intake, it doesn’t mean anyone will be more likely to actually read the labels now.

In fact, being shown the true content may make people more likely to avoid reading the labels, which nobody does now anyway.

The FDA hasn’t made many modifications to the overall American health situation over the last 20 years. This seems to be a way to show it accepts some responsibility for rising obesity and childhood diabetes rates.

Reality is, though, that labels will inadvertently be pointless. It will take years for this to actually make a difference.

The money they are going to spend on a project like this could be used for reform projects and educational programs for those less likely to access health information and programs.

Funds could also be used in marketing projects that support natural foods in place of processed and packaged goods.

So much of the way Americans depict food is mental and arguably based on social acceptability. Walking around eating a bag of chips is ordinary, but walking around eating a carrot might seem weird to many of us.

The entire food industry would need to make major modifications in order to put a halt on the frightening health future the people of this country are headed towaed. This includes FDA as well as restaurants' quality of food.

Of course, these changes will never happen unless the demand for them occurs. These corporations work on supply and demand and, like any company, they produce the foods we demand.

Such a minuscule change will essentially do nothing for the American people. It will help the FDA’s image by finally doing something to contribute to American’s health.

Reach the columnist at aubrey.mccleve@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @theartsss

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