When it comes to nutrition, nearly everyone has an opinion. In the past, nutrition was considered to be an individual’s responsibility, however, more recently governments have been expected (by some) to share that responsibility by helping to ensure that marketing is responsible, and that food chains offer healthy meal choices in addition to their standard fare, for example. In some countries, governments have gone as far as to remove tax from unprocessed foods or to introduce taxes, such as that imposed on sugary soft drinks in the UK, Mexico, France and Norway. Following on from the sugar tax, chocolate might be next! Is this the answer to our burgeoning calorie intake and increasing poor nutritional status, or is there another approach? In this narrative we will focus on some of the approaches taken by communities and governments to address excess calorie intake and improve nutritional status, as well as some of the conflicts of interest and challenges faced with implementation. It is clear that in order to achieve meaningful change in the quality of nutritional intake and to reduce the long-term prevalence of obesity, a comprehensive approach is required wherein governments and communities work in genuine partnership. To take no or little action will doom much of today’s youth to a poor quality of life in later years, and a shorter life expectancy than their grandparents.
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