Feeding Obesity Through Food Policy: A Comparison Between the United States and European Union
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Throughout the United States and European Union societal outcry in concurrence with government intervention has promoted change in food policy. Food policy is defined as the area of public policy concerned with how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased, consumed, and protected. It is evident that there are major differences between the United States and European food policy. For example, Europe has a more proactive outlook on developing food policy as they will remove items from the market that are thought to cause harm. On the other hand the United States operates on an innocent until proven guilty system in which food products remain in the market until data has proven it can cause harm to the consumer. Despite having these differences in food policy both countries are concerned with the increase of obesity rates. The thesis will explore the differences between American and European food policy and the effects of food policy on obesity rates. The method of this study includes historical research on food policy of each nation along with data analysis of obesity rates prior to nutritional labeling reform and post reform of each region. By analyzing periods before and after reform the effects of food policy on obesity can be established. The outcome of this study will be useful in future conversations on governmental intervention to help decrease the cases of obesity and lessen the economic burden obesity causes on healthcare systems.