Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Anti-junk food law in Korea

As most of us know, reports of obesity in children have risen worldwide, and it seems more and more countries are placing stipulations on foods, especially "junk" foods. In 2006, there was a big push to eliminate sodas from schools in the US.

A year later, Korea followed suit with similar measures in banning sodas in schools. And now, according to
KoreaBeat , the blog for Korean news in English translation, an anti-junk food law went into effect 21 days ago. The purpose of the law is to prevent the selling of high calorie, low nutrition "junk" food, like sodas, hamburgers, and ice cream sold near schools. The government hopes this will help children to curb their "junk" food eating habits. Unfortunately, this has backfired since the nutrition regulations are not very standardized and have been delayed for some food items, causing much confusion within the vendors.

According to one middle school girl whose school ejected vendors last year, there has not been change in students snacking habits between meals. Another girl said there was an increase in students bringing instant ramen noodles from home or just buying sodas and snacks at a convenience store.

I find this interesting since you really don't hear much about what other countries are doing to stymie the "obesity" epidemic in their countries. It seems everywhere, the same notion is implied--junk food is bad, soda is bad, greasy foods are bad, sugar is bad, fat is bad, etc. This just breeds children who will begin to fear everything, and that is not a healthy view to give. I wonder if Korea and other countries will follow suit with posting calories on menus like several cities in the US (UK has as well) have or propose an "obesity" tax on non-diet sodas, or ban trans fats, etc.

In the end, I don't know how much any of these measures really solve the overall problem. This is not to say that some of these efforts aren't made with good intentions, it's just that they do not seem to be properly thought through, creating many other problems to occur.

Note:--*It's a bit ironic, but a small study suggests that junk food make make kids fatter but happier
*Removing sodas in schools was stickier than thought in some places.


Kim said...

I'm sure intentions are good, but the "point" is missed. It's not just about taking away certain foods. Like you said, that makes the problem worse. It seems that any society tends toward the simple solution, instead of getting at the core problem. People should feel in charge of their diet and lifestyle. THey should be educated, yes, but telling them what to do just makes us all dumb robots, doesn't it?

Kim said...

Hi, there. Thanks for the comment on my blog about the dog selection. My husband is concerned that we don't have the space. I have a small patio-like area, but my cats are out there. I have lots of friends with dogs (even big ones) in small condos or apartments, but I don't want to give a dog a bad life. I know what you mean about personalities even within breeds. I've had Labs growing up and they're all different, though generally "good" dogs. I would love a Lab. I know they're hyper as puppies though! I don't like small dogs, but a Great Dane wouldn't be wise either! I would want a quiet dog (I have a big fear of annoying my neighbors). I work from home, so maintenance isn't an issue, right now at least. I could train it, walk it, etc... Of course, my job could change. Anyway, any suggestions you have would be great. I'm trying to push the issue, gently, with my husband :) What do you think of Bassett Hounds? Too loud? You can email me if it's easier: :)

Tiptoe said...

Kim, I agree. We don't need robots. We need thinking human beings!

I also sent you an e-mail regarding dogs.

Lissy said...

the banning thing really bothers and worries me. i fear that generations to come won't have the chance to be less eating disordered. what a shame