Should we place laws against unhealthy foods?

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  1. choneycutt profile image76
    choneycuttposted 3 years ago

    Should we place laws against unhealthy foods?

    Many people argue that laws prohibiting certain foods infringe upon our rights.  However, if unhealthy foods were outlawed, the obesity epidemic would die down, healthcare would become cheaper, life rates would increase, and I suggest that we would get over the unhealthy cravings in less than a year.  It takes the choices from the people in order to help the people.  Is this wrong or right?

  2. liberaltom profile image60
    liberaltomposted 3 years ago

    Choice is a fundamental freedom. To "outlaw" these foods I admit is the only option left for those who are pro-restriction as we have seen the majority of EU countries adopt tax levies like those on sugar and subsequently fail.

    To "get over" unhealthy food there would need to be a very strict outlawing, in all kinds of outlet. This does not simply include shops, but also diners and restaurants many of which rely on this kind of business. Examples are the tens of thousands employed by McDonalds, Wendy's, etc. These companies would have to make drastic reductions in employment if they also had to make drastic changes in the health impact of their foods.

    So even above a level of free will and making our own choices and mistakes to be learned from, it cannot work in practice without a revolutionary shift in international economics and blanket enforcement which would prove extremely hard. I also suppose this would be hard for the public to swallow in the west.

    Lastly we have learnt from history that if you ban something, usage will increase by a large proportion. The main examples are alcohol during the prohibition and narcotics since the mid-20th century. This would lead to furthering the interests of crime syndicates and their enterprises as opposed to legitimate, hard working small business.

  3. Evane profile image66
    Evaneposted 3 years ago

    Yes. I think so too. There is a need to regulate the eating of unhealthy foods considering that there are many fast food establishments now. A more strict laws should be implemented especially to kids.

  4. xInspiredx profile image59
    xInspiredxposted 3 years ago

    No I don't think there should be a law against unhealthy food. Everyone has the right to free will when it comes to food and no I don't eat it I'm a cancer survivor. Lol I do know alot of people who do enjoy it though.

  5. sockii profile image80
    sockiiposted 3 years ago

    There are already too many laws, regulations and restrictions in today's world. People should have the right to eat what they want even if it is deemed "unhealthy" (and how often does the definition of "unhealthy" change, anyway? There's a lot of bad science out there egged on by corporate greed in the food & health industry. One year we're all told the low-fat diet is the way to go. The next year another study tells us low-fat is not the answer and that it's all about eating certain kinds of fat.)

    Outlawing so-called bad food and drink would only create an underground market and demand for them. It does nothing to educate people that there are other, "better" choices available to them. And would you also restrict bakers and chefs from being able to express their creativity in making foods deemed "unhealthy"? What of home cooks, shall we restrict what ingredients they can buy in the supermarkets, inspect what they cook and serve at home? How far will the restrictions on personal freedom do you think we should go?

    Instead, how about we encourage supermarkets and fresh grocers to invest in poor neighborhoods, the "food desserts" where many poor people have no choices BUT fast food and convenience food (and where obesity problems are highest.) Let's help people learn the basic skills of cooking, and also the importance of physical exercise, and support change in fast food offerings by making healthier choices on our own - NOT by outlawing choices that some legislator decides is unhealthy this week.

  6. ronbergeron profile image86
    ronbergeronposted 3 years ago

    Outlawing unhealthy foods would work about as well as the prohibition on alcohol and the war on drugs. In other words, it would be expensive, ineffective, and intrusive.

    Instead, I think better education about food would be more effective. That could take place in multiple ways such as in schools, 30-second advertisement spots during prime time, signage in grocery stores, etc.

    Improving the availability and cost of healthy alternatives in underserved areas (such as inner cities) would also be needed. Educating people about better choices without providing a source for the healthier alternatives would be counterproductive.

    1. choneycutt profile image76
      choneycuttposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Great ideas Ron Burgundy (sorry, I had to say that).  I hope nutrition education could produce effective results.  However, I doubt that many people would take it to heart.

  7. M. T. Dremer profile image92
    M. T. Dremerposted 3 years ago

    I think a tax is the best way to go. Similar to what they did with cigarettes. They don't need to outlaw junk food to deter people from purchasing them. We just need healthy foods to be cheaper. A highly taxed junk food is still a choice, it's just more obvious that it's a bad one.

    1. dashingscorpio profile image88
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      "We just need healthy foods to be cheaper." Amen!
      Chicken Caesar salad lunch size for  $3.99 (no water); or One qtr pound hot dog & soda (with free refills), and a large slice pizza at Costco for the same price! Hmmm?
      Health food is overpriced!

    2. sockii profile image80
      sockiiposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      A tax on "junk food" would penalize the poor more than anyone else, given how many poor neighborhoods don't provide residents with better food options. Instead how about tax breaks to real grocers who open in poor neighborhoods.

    3. choneycutt profile image76
      choneycuttposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I agree entirely with you both.  We should not outlaw unhealthy foods because this is a little too overboard.  Instead of destroying freedom, we should nudge people towards the better choice.  I mean, right now unhealthy foods are by far the cheapest

    4. dashingscorpio profile image88
      dashingscorpioposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      The should make healthy food less expensive!
      There is no reason why the market should be charging so much for lettuce and veggies. It's as if they raise the price on things if they're considered healthy!
      It's cheaper to grow veggies vs animals!

    5. sockii profile image80
      sockiiposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Processed food is cheaper than fresh veggies/fruits because of U.S. government subsidies paid to the producers of corn and wheat. Fresh stuff is more perishable therefore also more expensive. You can't freeze lettuce like you can freeze & ship be

  8. sassydee profile image72
    sassydeeposted 3 years ago

    well we already have laws against unhealthy foods but as far as to go more strict on what is healthy and unhealthy, sure why not but it will never happen because then a lot of businesses would go down

  9. dashingscorpio profile image88
    dashingscorpioposted 3 years ago

    I can't imagine what it would cost to buy donuts on the black market!
    More laws create more criminals. Our jails are full!
    Seriously there is no way to stop people from making their own food unless you are going to outlaw all of the ingredients necessary to make them. (flour, sugar, eggs, milk, spices, nuts, fruits...etc)
    So many things are made with common ingredients
    Secondly you'd never get the whole world to agree to outlaw food items. That was one of many reasons why prohibition didn't work and why no one is pushing to make smoking cigarettes illegal.
    A certain amount of "vice" will always be allowed for enjoyment whether it's healthy or not. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, tobacco, or comfort food; the masses will demand some form of it.

    1. choneycutt profile image76
      choneycuttposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I love your idea about ingredients.  However, placing laws against certain foods would most likely be restricted to supermarkets and restaurants.  People can still make what they want, but laws would hurt the availability of quick and easy junk food.

  10. PoliticalArena profile image71
    PoliticalArenaposted 3 years ago

    We should not place laws against unhealthy foods.  This is not the role of the government.  The government was not formed to regulate what foods we consume.  An excess tax on unhealthy foods, as someone mentioned before, should not be placed.  What is the purpose of the tax? To regulate what we consume or deter people from consuming unhealthy foods?  People will consume what they want to consume.  I think it is safe to say that people are aware of what foods are good for their bodies.  It is the individual’s decision whether they decide to grab a bacon cheeseburger instead of a leafy green salad.

  11. connorj profile image80
    connorjposted 3 years ago

    I believe Canada has come up with a somewhat effective strategy with regards to some unhealthy items. However, I think this became law because of the cost to their socialized healthcare system. They simply significantly tax cigarettes, candy (i.e. Chocolate bars) and the tax collected goes to offset healthcare costs.


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