HEALTH FOOD


Public policy issues

Fears of high cholesterol were frequently voiced up until the mid-1990s. However, more recent research has shown that the distinction between high- and low-density lipoprotein ('good' and 'bad' cholesterol, respectively) must be addressed when speaking of the potential ill effects of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein is often prevalent in animal products, such as bacon and egg yolks, whereas high-density lipoprotein is more common in plant and fish tissues, such as olive oil and salmon.

Media coverage of mass-produced, processed, "snack" or "sweet" products directly marketed at children has worked to undermine policy efforts to improve eating habits. The main problem with such advertisements for foods is that alcohol and fast food are portrayed as offering excitement, escape and instant gratification.

Particularly within the last five years government agencies have attempted to combat the amount and method of media coverage lavished upon "junk" foods. Governments also put pressure on businesses to promote healthy food options, consider limiting the availability of junk food in state-run schools, and tax foods that are high in fat. Most recently, the United Kingdom removed the rights for McDonalds to advertise its products as the majority of the foods that were seen to have low nutrient values were aimed at children under the guise of the "Happy Meal". The British Heart Foundation released its own government-funded advertisements, labeled "Food4Thought," which were targeted at children and adults displaying the gory nature of how fast food is generally constituted.

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