October 26, 2014
Critic Review of Regulating Sugar Debate
The United States of America has become a more obese country in the last decades. Obesity and being overweight are results of many different factors related to sugar. It varies from person to person, for example one person can have a habit of over eating and have a sedentary lifestyle while another person could be overweight due to genetics or a low metabolism. “Regulating Sugar: It’s All about the Nudge,” by Laura A Schmidt, is an article about decreasing and finally solving the problem of obesity and chronic illness caused by the consumption of sugar. Schmidt claims that we do not want the government to tell us what we cannot eat, but we want the government to recommend healthy food choices easier and cheaper for citizens to obtain. Schmidt recommends that the government could solve problems related to obesity by increasing subsidies for farmers to grow healthy foods and increase the taxes for companies that produce unhealthy foods. The author maintains that a nudge is needed from several different stakeholders in order to improve overall public health.
Schmidt blames sugar for all obesity and chronic disease. She mentions that for decades preventing obesity and metabolic disease were by educating people with nutrition labels, but that did not work out as well as planned. I agree with Schmidt’s phrase “saturated environment”, that she uses instead of addiction, which means it is not easy to buy junk food but it is hard to avoid them. I never can resist the Milky Way candy bar by the cashier at Fred Mayer’s or I attempt to get my food from the closest deli or food carts around me during the day. The author also supports this strategy by proving to the reader by using the example of the cafeteria lady whom put the low fat milk in the front of the shelf and the sugary drinks in the back and how she sold all the low fat milk first at lunch throughout the school year.
The other strong point she made in this article is that the sugar regulation debate is based on a false assumption. This assumption is that if government is given the power to regulate sugar then the government will also have the power to control other aspects of our diets. However, we still want help from the government indirectly to nudge distributors to provide more healthy foods and make healthy food choices easily accessible and cheaper by increasing subsidies for healthy food producers. Recently, I notice more fresh fruits and produce in convenient stores such as 7/11 and I am hopeful other stores will have more healthy food options in the near future.
In my opinion, the strongest point that this author made throughout the paper is her emotional appeal she used to write this essay. By listing all the diseases that Americans are dealing with, especially diabetes, she gets her readers really engaged to think about the solutions she recommends in the essay. Schmidt has done a great job convincing the readers that sugar is a negative contributor to their health and help from the government alone is not the only solution. After reading the first two paragraphs, I really felt bad about our society and the future, and suddenly I started thinking about solutions and how I can change my eating habits, even though I had not finished reading the entire article.
One of her other solutions for solving obesity is to increase taxes for the distributors of unhealthy foods. Schmidt could explain more about how she wants the government to increase the taxes. By reading the article, the audience will notice that this solution will cause a lot of trouble for the country’s economy.