'Food Police' Gain Momentum

Telling Your Story

Why do some people want to make food choices for other people?

Published on: July 19, 2013

Have you heard the term "Food Police"?  It can be associated with politicians who want to implement laws to regulate various aspects of food sales such as taxing "unhealthy" food – similar to what's been done with tobacco products. 

More recently there have been proposals to limit portion sizes on food products sold, like the big debate on the size of soft drinks sold in New York City. 

The term Food Police has evolved into conversations that label certain foods "good" or "bad."  We all seem to have strong opinions about what each other should be eating, and even more importantly, what others should not be eating.

Why do some people want to make food choices for other people?
Why do some people want to make food choices for other people?

Recently, there was a very good blog post written about a lot of issues surrounding "good" and "bad" food, and the choices that we, in a food secure nation, get to make.  The initial conversation really caught my attention for the bluntness of whether or not other people's food choices are acceptable.  Is it anyone else's concern if one orders an occasional Diet Coke at a restaurant?  Click here to read the full blog post – The undeniable facts about Diet Coke

Have we turned into a society where ordering french fries rather than a salad with my meal is an opportunity for someone at another table to decide what's best for me?  It's as if basic etiquette is out the window just to prove how "right" we are about food choices.

What about the grocery store?  Are we at the point that we peer into each other's grocery basket to see if someone else is making good food choices?  How about those reward cards that you use when making your grocery store purchases?  Each and every grocery purchase that we make is tied to our cards, all in the name of saving a few dollars on our grocery bill.  Have diabetes?  Too bad, maybe you shouldn't have bought so much pop and cookies. 

But wait, isn't eating only part of the equation?  How does physical activity tie into overall health?  We know people are less physically active than in previous generations.  We also know that on the whole people eat nearly 500 more calories daily than they did just a few decades ago. 

Personal choice and personal responsibility are central to these decisions of what we each choose to eat, how often we eat treats, and how much we exercise.  The impact of these issues seems bigger now with overwhelming health care costs.  I suppose we are each charged with educating our own families on proper nutrition and the importance of exercise.  There is certainly no shortage of information on the internet, but picking out the correct information is more difficult.