You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Daily Dose

Should junk food be regulated like alcohol?

Public health officials now believe that our environment, with its cheap and constant supply of high-calorie junk food, makes it nearly impossible to avoid overeating. In a paper published last week, researchers at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research group with headquarters in California, outlined five measures — already used to curtail excess consumption of alcohol — that could be applied to the obesity crisis.

1. Restrict density of junk food. This involves curbing the sale of food in places that aren’t primarily food outlets, such as at schools with vending machines.

Continue reading below

2. Display restrictions. Alcohol can’t be displayed near the door, so why not have regulations mandating where certain junk food can be placed within the supermarket?

3. Portion control. Just as the government has set standard serving sizes for alcohol so people can count how many drinks they have had, legislatures should establish standard serving sizes for restaurant portions.

4. Pricing regulations. Here’s where the soda tax comes in to discourage consumption. The Rand researchers would also like to see higher taxes on french fries, cakes, and candy.

5. Warning labels. Have you seen those new graphic cigarette warnings showing corpses and rotted teeth? How about seeing such images on your favorite chocolate bar or gallon of ice cream? That might make you think twice about digging in.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of