Healthy Eating and Food Industry

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Bittman et al. wrote an essay titled “How a National Food Policy Could Save Millions of American Lives” (869). It addresses the possibility of a robust food program and its possible effects on Americans’ health and well-being. The authors acknowledge that the food industry accounts for the majority of the nation’s budget and local market spending, but there is no developed food or agricultural system in place.
Radley Balko wrote the essay “What You Eat Is Your Business.” Balko (460) addresses the obesity crisis afflicting the American people. While the author is quick to recognize that obesity is, in fact, a serious health concern, he believes that it is an individual person problem and as such, the government should limit its intervention. Balko (460) believes that the state’s manipulation of the food industry in the guise of cubing obesity is ill-advised and destined to fail. Balko (460) opines that instead, the government should be focusing on fostering a sense of responsibility and ownership of one’s health.


Both text discuss the prospect of having healthy eating habits and food and the potential adverse impacts not doing so presents. They express comment on the some extents of governmental control over healthy eating.

How Link is Different in each Text

In Bittman et al.(870)’s article, it is claimed that the lack of governmental intervention in the food industry has tremendously adversely impacted the prospects of realizing healthy eating by the public. The authors strongly believe that having greater input from the state would lead to the formation of a comprehensive policy which would subsequently lead to healthier eating. Conversely, Balko (461) focusses on the negative implications of too much governmental insight in the food industry. He believes the attention the sector is receiving alongside the myriad of regulations established to manage the system have an adverse influence on the eating habits of the public.

What do we get by comparing them?

Comparing the two texts allows for a broader, more comprehensive outlook on the subject healthy eating and governmental oversight in America. The two facets provide contrasting perspectives of the food and public health problem, hence, allow for a balanced analysis of the problem.

Body 1 and 2

Bittman et al. (870) recognizes that contemporary unhealthy eating habits are undoing a century of spirited public health campaign. The authors note that there has been sustained efforts to extend the average lifespan over the last 100 years. Regrettably, children today are expected have shorter lives than their parents. Bittman et al. (871) attribute this reality to the fact 34% of them will have type 2 diabetes, a disease formerly so rare that it was not thought to affect children. It is preventable and reduced one’s life span several years. Bittman et al. (872) decries the government’s reluctance on fossil-fuel-dependent agricultural and food system which they maintain bear responsibility for much greenhouse gas emissions. The lack of state intervention further results in exploitative labor policies in fast-food and farming establishment significantly widening income inequality in America.

Bittman et al (872) notes that the country finds itself in such a predicament because government policy is applied selectively. Its gravitas is inconsequential. The authors note that critical concerns such as support for farmers, air and water quality, immigration, salaries for food-chain and farm workers, labors conditions, food safety, and diet-related chronic condition. According to Bittman et al. (873), these issues directly impact the food system. However, they are managed by eight different federal agencies, each of which have been assigned a myriad of other duties. Special interests thrive out of the chaos and incoherence hindering the realization of public good.

Balko (461) shares the sentiment that the government tremendously impact the prospect of healthy eating and the well-being of the food industry. However, he opines that excessive influence of the sector by the government is the genesis of all challenges it currently experiences. The author insists that states should do less in terms of providing structure to the food industry. He observes that consumers take responsibility. Health complications from lifestyle choices are personal problems that can often be remedied or controlled by observing balanced dieting. Often, they occur as a consequence of poor food choices. Their development is often tremendously gradual, meaning that a potential sufferer often has a lot of time to change their habits. Therefore, the government should limit its participation.

Balko (462) notes that the state still till has an integral role in safeguarding its people’s heath. It should advice its citizenry on healthy lifestyle choices. The governments should also remove potentially harmful products from the market. The author concerned that government involvement will create more federal restrictions and hamper consumer choice significantly. Balko (462) explains that “The best way to alleviate the obesity ‘public health’ crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health.”

The author abhors the sensationalizing of obesity and other related conditions. Balko (463) explains that the disorder would not be a big issue if the public made it into a mall issue. He recognizes the while the disease does not impact him physically, it does many others and should therefore, be treated with as much government input as is possible. However, he explains that health is a fairly personal problem. The notes explains “It’s difficult to think of anything more private and of less public concern than what we choose to put in our bodies. (Balko 464).”

Balko (465) essentially argues that what one eats should not concern anyone less including the government. He states, “More and more, states are preventing private health insurers from charging overweight and obese clients higher premiums, which effectively removes any financial incentive for maintaining a healthy lifestyle Balko (466).” As such, there is limited personal responsibility in tackling the crisis. He recommends that all key healthcare stakeholder pull away and allow people to appreciate their own contribution to the betterment of their health.


Importance of Texts

The texts present that the intervention of governments on healthcare can be both an advantageous and adverse. They demonstrate that failure of the state to develop a working framework or policy can lead to unhealthy dieting habits and other systemic challenges such as poor air and water quality, unchecked immigration, and compromised food safety.

Importance of Link

The link between two texts demonstrates that there should be a balance between two contrasting extremes in the quest to address the issue of healthy dieting. While government intervention is critical, it must not become a substitute for the sensibility of personal responsibility.


The major concern realised is the lack of a compromise situation between the two perspectives. One is sharply against government support while the other deeply craves it. There is need for further, more in-depth research to satisfy the divide.

Future studies

Future studies in the field is certainly necessary. The impact of policies in the management of the food and agricultural sector is certainly paramount and pivotal to the wellbeing of humanity. However, excessive government concern on the lives of individuals effectively eliminate the primordial concern, making them assume the health problem is not their primary responsibility. A common ground between the two extremes should be established.

Works Cited

Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings 2 (2012): 395-399.

Bittman, Mark, et al. “How a national food policy could save millions of American lives.” Wash. Post (2014).

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