The cost of eating a healthy diet compared to a diet of convenience and processed foods can be prohibitive to those on a low income. The price of fresh fruit and vegetables is often higher than sugary, high-fat, processed foods. It is therefore difficult for many people to provide their families with a healthy diet containing all the necessary nutrients. When healthier foods are more expensive, it leaves little choice to those on a strict budget.
There is also the issue of time. Cooking and preparing a meal from scratch may seem daunting for some. Putting a frozen meal in the oven or opening packets for the microwave can often be the more convenient and attractive option. And what if you are inexperienced when it comes to cooking or preparing meals?
The truth is, there are many foods that can be prepared in the same amount of time it takes to cook pre-packaged frozen foods. So, a useful question to ask is: can the government help promote healthy eating?
One answer is to look at ways of reducing the price of fruit and vegetables so that it is just as economical to start from scratch with fresh produce. Another idea is for the government to provide children with fruit and vegetables in school as part of a breakfast or break-time snack. This would not only encourage more children to eat healthy foods, but it would also provide nutrients that may be in short supply at home. Thirdly, community cooking classes would be of great benefit to many people. Guidance on how to prepare and cook healthy menus might encourage more home cooking and less unhealthy take-away meals.
The government, especially local authorities, have the means and ability to encourage and support healthy eating among children and adults. As the health crisis relating to obesity continues to rise, the government has a duty to take positive action to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles.