Essay: Health Concerns in the Food and Beverage

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Health Concerns in the Food and Beverage Industry

The need of appropriate labeling

Good nutrition means eating food containing the right nutrients and calories that are needed for proper growth and functioning of the body. A healthy person is noted to be active, alert as well as happy. It is important for a nation to ensure that its citizens are well fed in order for the industries to work. A well feed nation is a happy and prosperous one. Issue to do with food safety and security must be addressed in order to realize good nutrition in all the citizens. In this paper we debate on an issue of health value, that is -should the FDA administer regulations on nutritional value offered in menus?

Health concerns in the food and beverage industry

Obesity has increasingly been a concern in the food and beverage industry. This is due to the serious health problems that are caused by Obesity. The ever rising number of obesity patients as well as the level of severity of the condition is noted to be a great concern to various health bodies. In the U.S., obesity has increasingly been cited as a serious health issue. In fact obesity in the U.S. is noted to be among the world's highest rates (Jackson n.d).

In 2010, the Center for Disease Control reported very high number of people with obesity. About 35.7% of American adults are obese while 17% of the American children are obese (CDC 2010). This disease cost the government and the tax payer a lot of money. The direct medical cost attributed to obesity as well as the indirect economic loss for instance is estimated to have been between $51.64-$99.2 billions this figure soon increased to $61 billion and then $117 in the year 2000 (Wellman & Barbara,2002). The obesity related medical expenditure is noted to have reached about $75 billion (CDC 2004).

NIDDK (2010) noted that two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese.

EIRIS (2006) noted that law makers, consumers and health groups have increasingly linked the consumption of certain food and beverages with the prevalence of obesity. Changes in the regulatory environment, consumer resistance and litigation are noted to be the key potential risks.

Studies have indicated that even though the number of positive steps taken to prevent obesity is high, the main foods and beverage producers are not doing a lot in the management of the obesity risks. They are noted to never take full responsibility for cases of obesity. Food and beverage manufacturers are noted to general fail to clearly publish the obesity related targets as well as the Performance Indicators (KPIs).This makes it extremely difficult to assess the various strategies as well as achievements taken in this course.

Most food and beverage producers have therefore adopted a proactive approach that entails the application of the following strategies.

1. The development of products that are healthier

2. The reduction of the single portion sizes

3. The provision of clearer labeling to the foods containing nutritional information

4. A review as well as development of policies and frameworks on the marketing as well as advertising of food and beverages

5. The development of various health-related targets as well as dialogue with several other actors on the appropriate strategies of addressing obesity.

A review of the above stated strategies indicates that there is need for FDA to administer regulations on nutritional value offered in menus.

Childhood obesity is noted to be a particular source of concern. This is worsened by the unethical advertizing and marketing by the key actors.

The need of appropriate labeling

There has been a growing public interest in healthy diets. This has meant that manufacturers as well as consumers are increasingly becoming concerned with issues on nutritional labeling as a critical source of identifying healthier food and beverages. Nutritional labeling is aterm which refers to any information on the food labels that relates to the energy value (calories), carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, fat as well as sodium.The type of preservative used is also usually contained on the labeling.

The provision of nutritional labeling or information is not compulsory in the EU or UK. This is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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