Extensive research has been completed to be able to recognize the essential nutrients that people must consume to stay healthy. The government had to fortify certain foods to increase the intake of particular nutrients for the public as well as educate the public through a variety of medias to attempt to show them what their research has shown them. The scientists working for our government decided to fortify food after past occurrences where people became very ill due to a lack of certain nutrients in their diets. This lead the government to take action and make sure the population is receiving the nutrients they need to stay healthy by fortifying staple foods that everyone consumes. This is why nutrient deficiencies are unheard of in this country. Since the government has fortified foods, there have been hardly any occurrences of nutrient deficiencies in the US. Some examples of fortified foods include iodine added to salt, vitamin D is added to milk, and folate is added to bread. Since people are no longer concerned about developing nutrient deficiencies, they no longer strive to be educated about food. Therefore, most individuals, especially in the United States, choose their foods based on taste and preference, and not whether it is healthy or not.
The children of the United States also are very uneducated about food and the nutritive properties of food. The public is not educated about food because there is so much media presented to them about different diets, and which foods are good and bad. The media is highly unpredictable and changes form week to week, therefore they confuse the public about the facts on the nutritive properties of food. Everyone has a different requirement for calories, nutrients, etc, therefore the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute has been working on constructing personalized diets. It is important to have personalized diets because everyone is made differently and of different sizes and shapes, therefore everyone requires different amounts of food. There is also the Children’s Health and Education Program, which serves to educate the children of the USA on the topic of nutrition and health. They are educating children in public schools by a variety of ways, but one example is in Sacramento where they are providing students with activity trackers.
These activity trackers give the children a fun way to check and compare with peers how much activity they have completed throughout the day. This device lead to increased activity in children as well as lead to increased education about food and nutrition in our youth, considering exercise is the first step to becoming healthier. There are a variety of technologies implemented into our society to attempts to encourage the public to exercise more and eat healthier. For example, the Wii was a game system invented so the gamers would have to move to play the game, instead of utilizing a controller and being sedentary. Overall, the government and the scientists working for them are working very hard to educate the public about food and its nutritive properties as well as implement fortifications of foods and technologies in high hopes of making the public healthier.
Sara E. Schaefer, who is the associate director of the Children’s Health and Education Foods for Health Institute.