S.N.A.P. tries to help decrease Obesity in U.S.

by Simon Dupuis on October 4, 2017 - 5:38pm

Health care has skyrocketed in the U.S. in the past decades due to increasing rates of obesity. The cause of this is that Americans are buying unhealthy products. This phenomenon can be decreased by changing the store’s structure. When going to the supermarket, the essential products, like milk or eggs, are placed in the back. This way, costumers must walk through the store, and they see many other products, which leads to unplanned purchases. The most common unplanned purchases are sugar-sweetened beverages and other junk food. SNAP, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, plans, is trying to change this process by giving their approval to stores who do not use this tactic and instead lets unhealthy food in discreet position. This would allow costumers to continue to have freedom of choice on their purchases while encouraging them to eat healthier.

I am in favor of this initiative, as it consider's the costumer's free will and does not restrict it in any way. The initiative is also quite easy to execute, because it does not require laws to be passed, rather it only encourages americans to adopt a certain lifestyle. SNAP supports american households with poor income by giving them money to enable them to feed themselves, thus the people who receive their help would recognize them and choose shops they would approove of. Unfortunately, SNAP is not a famous organization that would be recognized by every American, thus their approval may not be a compelling reason to the average american to change stores they visit. In short, this measure is not extreme enough to make a massive difference, but it is minor enough to not draw in controversy.



Source: Sunstein, C. R., Thorndike, A. N. (2017).  0besity Prevention in the Supermarket--Choice Architecture and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. American Journal of Public Health, 107 (10). 1582-83.

doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303991 


In countries like the US, it seems like obesity is a common problem. While technology has allowed an easier way of life, a casualty would be on the health. Plus, because of schools, jobs, and families, people tend to do very little to no exercise thus, increasing the chances of gaining weight. Myself included. An article by Howard (2017) included a statement that exclaims that more than 30% of american adults are obese. The article also includes some of the possible problems. For example, obesity can cause diabetes, joint problems, etc. SNAP is not the only thing that is doing things to prevent obesity. Many of us, as children to adults, has a tendency to eat junk food and we tend to go to a store expecting to buy them. Of course, many of us are also way too lazy to do any kind of exercise. Which is why many scientists are trying to develop treatments for obesity. Some of them are a bit gruesome, but do note that they are in their preliminary phases. All in all, the article shows the severity of the current problem because of our tendencies with exercise.

Howard, B. (2017). The LATEST WORD on WEIGHT LOSS. Prevention, Vol. 69 (Issue 11), p.39. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

I found your article really interesting because of the ideas that are explained in terms of supermarket's structures and the possible solutions for solving a part of the problem. I thought it might be relevant to bring others solutions to discussion to reduce obesity, which are relatively easy to integrate to a lifestyle. As a matter of fact, there are three types of solutions regarding the individual, community and government (Martinac, 2017). I think that an important part to obesity is an unhealthy diet. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, an individual should respect a regime based on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Martinac, 2017). Moreover, another reason to obesity and overweight is the lack of exercise. In fact, it is recommended that an adult should exercise about 30 minutes every day: the simple utilization of stairs instead of elevators can increase the amount of daily exercise just like parking farther from a destination to increase the number of steps taken (Martinac, 2017). Furthermore, as a community, the integration of fruits and vegetables instead of machine containing “nutritionally empty” food at work places can have a major impact on making healthier choices because unhealthy food is nowadays way too accessible and it is doing no good in the prevention of obesity (Martinac, 2017). Furthermore, the government of the US should also get involved in the resolution of this major problem that concerns a majority of adults in America. According to Nestle and Jacobson, a policies restructuration could have positive impacts on the prevention of obesity. For example, the government should impose restaurants to show the number of calories in food to raise awareness to the caloric intake and allow people to make healthier choices (Martinac, 2017). However, a potential solution to the issue is starting sensitize children to nutrition early in school to allow them a healthier and integrate a daily amount of time for children to move and do sports so they can have a more active lifestyle as they will become adult.

Martinac, PM. (Jul 18, 2017). Solutions for Obesity in America. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/342134-solutions-for-obesity-in-america/.

About the author