Toxic food environment

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A food environment is the "physical presence of food that affects a person’s diet, a person’s proximity to food store locations, the distribution of food stores, food service, and any physical entity by which food may be obtained, or a connected system that allows access to food".[1] In the United States, the food environment the citizens are encompassed in makes it far too hard to choose healthy foods, and all too easy to choose unhealthy foods.[2] Some call this food environment "'toxic' because of the way it corrodes healthy lifestyles and promotes obesity".[3]

Toxic Foods .jpg

The term toxic food environment was coined by Kelly D. Brownell[4] in his book, Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry which describes American culture at the end of the 20th century as one that fosters and promotes obesity and unprecedented food consumption.[5]

Brownell is a Yale professor [6] and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.

He uses the term “toxic” to describe unparalleled exposure to high-calorie, high-fat, heavily marketed, inexpensive, and readily accessible foods.[7] The toxic environment is the result of ubiquity of unhealthy, processed foods, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle in which individuals spend more time watching TV and using computers than they spend exercising, the explosion of fast food restaurants, the enormous growth of portion sizes, the power of food advertising and marketing, and the junk food industry’s takeover of schools by selling unhealthy items in vending machines, cafeterias, and through school fundraisers.[8]

A main contributor to the notion of a toxic food environment is the marketing of it. Finding an advertisement that promotes “toxic” is not a difficult task. The Federal Trade Commission found, in 2008, that the food industry spent almost $10 billion per year on marketing food and beverages.[9] And that $10 million was just the amount for the marketing that appealed to children. Marketing for “toxic” food has infused the consumption of unhealthy, processed food into US culture.

Brownell and many of his colleagues attribute the nation’s obesity epidemic to the toxic environment. In 1995, the Institute of Medicine noted that the human gene pool has not undergone any real change over the past several decades when obesity has been on the rise.[10] Therefore, the root of the obesity crisis must lie in the environment—the social and cultural forces that promote an over-abundance of food and eating, and a deficit of physical activity.

Other factors can affect poor eating habits. Having personal issues that can affect your mood can bring your appetite down and promote a bad diet. An example would be: Depression, anxiety, and family issues. These factors can affect poor eating habits that cause a malnourished lifestyle which leads to a toxic food environment. Other factors may include laziness, and not having an active lifestyle. These factors can lead to obesity and other health risks.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CDC - Healthy Places - Healthy Food - General Food Environment Resources". www.cdc.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  2. ^ "Toxic Food Environment". Obesity Prevention Source. 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  3. ^ "Toxic Food Environment". Obesity Prevention Source. 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  4. ^ "Kelly Brownell | Biography, quotes, etc. | Activist FactsActivist Facts". Activist Facts. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  5. ^ Brownell, Kelly; Horgen, Katherine Battle (2003-09-22). Food Fight. McGraw Hill Professional. ISBN 9780071435673.
  6. ^ "Brownell, Kelly D. | Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy". sanford.duke.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  7. ^ Brownell, Kelly; Horgen, Katherine Battle (2003-09-22). Food Fight. McGraw Hill Professional. ISBN 9780071435673.
  8. ^ "Kelly Brownell | Biography, quotes, etc. | Activist FactsActivist Facts". Activist Facts. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  9. ^ "Toxic Food Environment". Obesity Prevention Source. 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  10. ^ Olson, Steven; Committee on Science, Technology; Affairs, Policy and Global; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering (2016-01-01). International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion. National Academies Press (US).

Further reading[edit]

  • Actions necessary to prevent childhood obesity: Creating the climate for change. Schwartz, MB and Brownell, KB (2007). Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Spring; 35(1):78-89.
  • Television food advertising: Targeting children in a toxic environment. Horgen, KB, Choate, M and Brownell, KD (2001). In D.G. Singer and J.L. Singer (eds.), Handbook of children and the media. Sage: California. pp. 447–61.
  • Obesity: Responding to the Global Epidemic. Wadden, TA, Brownell, KD, Foster, GD.

External links[edit]