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Food and Society - Coursework Example

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Food and Society

Issues falling under this heading involve such things as health and safety, food labeling and even what constitutes 'organic' food (Drake University, 2012). Food policy has many benefits, all of which are multiplied when the policies themselves are especially effective. Such systems spark changes in dietary energy and nutritional balance, in effect helping to promote child growth, while staving off all manner of diseases. Apart from this, having a good policy also helps to increase a country's income through agricultural development, which also works recursively by improving the nutritional status of people - a phenomenon most readily observable in developing countries. The need for food policy, on the other hand, should be readily obvious. Atkins and Bowler (2001) note the instrumentality of food in economic, political and socio-cultural issues, as well as its role in ensuring health and pleasure in everyday life. Lang and Heaseman (2004) add to this, talking of the significant impact of the emergence of global markets not only on the kind of food being consumed, but also on issues such as health, food security, social justice and overall quality of life. In fact, food policy has been globally acknowledged as an important facet of public policy (Cardwell, 2004; Conway, 1997; Coleman et al, 2004). Needless to say, while food policy is not quite as thrust into the limelight as other global issues such as terrorism, its far-reaching implications and consequences make it equally important, if not even more so. One especially important food policy issue in this day and age is malnutrition. Contrary to popular belief, however, malnutrition does not always refer to a lack of food, but may also come about as the result of eating too much of the wrong kinds of food, and too little of the right kinds. This means that while those who eat too little are most likely malnourished, it will not necessarily follow that one who eats a lot can automatically be assumed to be healthy - on the contrary, one who falls under the latter description could very well be classified as obese. This paper, then, shall aim to connect the issue of obesity and, to a lesser extent, malnutrition to the hospitality industry, and to come up with ways in which it can be addressed. Malnutrition and Obesity: A Food Policy Issue Malnutrition in general is said to result from a poorly balanced diet, wherein one's consumption of nutrients is skewed in some way, shape or form (Sullivan and Sheffrin, 2003). A report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009 told of more than a billion people dying of hunger, with 17,000 children specifically dying everyday (CNN, 2009). In fact, it has been attested that malnutrition kills upwards of 9.5 million school-aged children each year. Such a high body count becomes even more understandable - and more terrifying - when one accounts for the interaction between malnutrition and certain killer diseases. Malaria, for instance, is already known to claim many lives on its own; combined with malnutrition, however, it becomes capable of racking up a mortality rate comparable to that of the infamous Black Plague. Malnutrition usually, but not always, refers to a lack of food intake; however, as Pinstrup-Andersen and Watson (2011) point out, malnutrition can easily be about taking in way too much food, or even not taking the ...Show more


Introduction to Food Policy Public policy covers a wide range of issues. So long as it concerns the welfare of the public in any way, shape or form, it can be classified under this heading. Generally speaking, public policy is meant to ensure the welfare of the public by implementing certain standards to follow…
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