The Obesity Crisis Management In The Food Industry

In the affluent parts of the world, a new crisis is leading to criticism of the food industry. That crisis is the increase in obesity. It has become the most common health problem in the United States and is also causing concern in all parts of Europe and Australia. Governments are under attack for not cracking down on TV advertisements. Specifically, the ones aimed at children promote foods and drinks containing excessive amounts of salt (sodium), sugar, acid, and artificial sweeteners. The fast-food culture is taking the blame for worldwide obesity.

For this article, I am going to focus on the crisis in America. Then look at how American food companies, including mine, should deal with public relations issues regarding their products.

In November 2004, a 27-year-old man who weighed 420 pounds was fired from his job. He worked at a nuclear power processing plant, similar to Homer Simpson in The Simpsons. The company claimed he was too fat to squeeze through the security turnstiles. Also, he could not fit into the protective decontamination suit to perform some of his duties. This led to quite an adverse reaction by the local press against the company.

A Practical Approach To A Crisis

Food companies face the accusation of producing and promoting various unhealthy products. Restaurants are facing criticism for serving huge portions. Soft drink producers are under fire for marketing unhealthy beverages. Doctors warn that children are becoming overweight and suffer severe sleep disorders. Essentially, they are choking on their fat at night.

Most chilling, experts warn that children have become so obese that they are likely to die before their parents. A scientist, Professor Andrew, that teaches at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, claims that worldwide obesity has become so prevalent that it represents an evolutionary shift. A shift in the shape of the human body. A study in the United Kingdom’s respected British Medical Journal in May 2004 claimed that children’s waistlines had expanded by two clothing sizes in the past 20 years. Research from the Archives of Disease in Childhood claimed that their waists had increased by 2 inches since 2000. The researchers also said the figures showed that girls were getting fatter more quickly than boys.

Even more astonishing is research that as the number of fat children increases, many parents see their overweight children as usual. According to a study of the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Three out of every four parents did not realize when their children were overweight. From a control group of 300 children, nearly two out of every three (62%) thought they weighed less than they did. Just over two out of every three mothers (67%) and nearly one out of every two fathers (47%) did not realize their children were overweight.

Obesity Crisis Fast Food

America Changes To Combat The Current Crisis

Amid this storm, few voices point out that individuals are responsible for what they put in their mouths. Parents are responsible for raising and influencing their children in what they consume. The population has been ignoring the dramatic changes in many lifestyles. The people have overlooked that they now drive where they once would walk. The fact that cannot be ignored is that the population spends hours at computers or watching television. The population used to run around or involve themselves in other healthy activities and sports.

Public consultations have been held in the United States to seek people’s opinions on the overall problem. Also, seeking information on particular aspects contributing to the obesity crisis. These studies and research have led to information for obesity crisis management decisions. Public pressure has led schools to serve healthier meals at lunchtime and remove vending machines.

The campaign is very similar to the campaign against smoking. Victims have tried suing some food companies, blaming them for their obesity. Several major food companies have responded to public pressure by reducing the size of some meals. Also, a move to offering what they claim are healthier alternatives.

History Of The World Health Organization (WHO) Speaking Out Against The Obesity Crisis

The World Health Organization (WHO), which began sounding the alarm bells in the 1990s, describes the obesity crisis as one of today’s most blatantly visible public health problems. It warns that an escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity is taking over many parts of the world. Millions will suffer from serious health problems if immediate action is not taken.

It points out that globally, over 1 billion overweight adults and at least 300 million are obese. In 2017 America, 42% of the population was obese. The American obesity and overweight population pose a significant risk for chronic disease, including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. Also, waiting for more research is the link to cancer. The health consequences range from increased risk of premature death to severe chronic conditions that reduce the overall quality of life. Of particular concern is the increasing incidence of childhood obesity.

The Food and Agricultural Organization Starts Working Against Obesity

It identifies the principal cause as increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars and reduced physical activity. They have led to obesity rates rising three-fold since 1980 in some parts of North America. Economic growth, modernization, urbanization, and globalization of food markets are just some of the forces thought to underlie the epidemic.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has also expressed its concerns. The chief of its nutritional planning, assessment, and evaluation service, Prakash Shetty, said: “We believe obesity is a significant problem that needs to be dealt with, along with the problem of the underfed.” The FAO state that high salt levels in food cause increasing incidence in children. Low levels of folic acid in women’s diets are the main issues of concern. They advocate for effective obesity crisis management to form in time for their 2025 deadline.

Obesity Crisis Management, Obesity medical unit

In the United States, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) unveiled a strategy to help reduce the obesity crisis. On March 12, 2004, HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson released a new Food and Drug Administration report outlining another element in the Services’ comprehensive strategy requiring obesity crisis management. Instead, they focused on the message ‘calories count’.

Experts Say Lobbying Skewed The Current U.S. Dietary Guidelines

In 2014, it became more widely accepted that food industry lobbyists were making things worse for affecting real change. That year, the government released guidelines that professionals criticized. Then shown to have food company Lobbyists guiding the creation of laws. Then again, in 2022, they did the same thing. The FDA for releasing new guidelines that faced criticism for promoting unhealthy food brands.

We Need To Do More As A Society To Improve People’s Health

However, despite all these factors, growing public pressure is forcing food companies to change, and the more enlightened are already introducing choices. They used a simple message to get their point across, ‘Energy in equals energy out’. This is a subtly worded warning that if you overeat and fail to exercise it off, you will get fat -a brilliant example of the adman’s flair.

Nevertheless, there is another aspect to the necessary drive for healthier foods. When governments and groups start to take a leading role in the obesity crisis management, the demands will become excessive. To deliver healthy food, the price of food will have to go up. Accounting for new formulations could become unaffordable to some people. It is a difficult path to tread and will require the cooperation of all concerned to make constructive progress.

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