Misinformation about Food on the Media
Food misinformation can be harmful, affect the economic well being, and the economic status of customers. Groups such as the nationally credentialed dietetics experts working in health care and government sources are qualified to backer science-based nutrition information to the public. As a result of increased nutrition health awareness, a large number of consumers are taking charge of their self care making them more vulnerable to nutrition and food misinformation (Larsen, 2011). This brings in the promise that food information that is sound can play a key role in a person’s health, and at the same time be vulnerable to health and economic considerations. The issue of food misinformation becomes even more critical when a population ages and they spend a lot of money on weight loss. This paper will focus on particular media food misinformation and try defining whether they are true or false.
Sources of food information are got from many sources. However, the media is the frequently used source of information with magazines taking 47%, newspapers (28%) books (29%), and television 34%, being the most importance(Larsen, 2011). The other category is under the internet which comprises of 21% of the information released.
According to a research conducted by the American Dietetic Association it showed that there are some advertisements that were posted in the internet showing that once the elderly people take some herbal supplements they could get cured of cancer, and cardiovascular disease(Larsen, 2011). When these supplements were closely examined they were found to contain mercury contaminants, and lead. These products were being sold online through the internet. Therefore, once consumers spend on products such as functional foods diet supplements organic foods advice from health professionals is required.
Another good example is the advert which is usually made on margarine. The adverts show a kid who grows up very fast when the kid feeds on margarine. The aim of the advert is to draw the attention of the potential consumer to win his or her loyalty on the product. It is clear that feeding on too much fat can lead into various health disorders, but the product does not focus on the negative part of margarine. The information contained in the advert is not reliable, but is aimed at increasing the company’s sales (Larsen, 2011). Therefore, again the case of consumer becoming more conscious on these junk foods and seeking health advice from experts is an important strategy towards maintaining and leading g a healthy life. This calls for the American consumers to have an access to only comprehensive information about products like these. However, there is a need for empowerment on making relevant health decisions (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010).
Weight loss is a significant problem to a majority of adults in the United States. They invest more than $ 30 billion on weight loss services and products. It is clear that these consumers have a right to accurate as well as reliable information on weight loss management. That is they need to know whether the weight loss products or foods are reliable or dangerous (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010). The information attributed to these products by diet bookmakers, product producers, suppliers and advertising companies is very positive on these products, but they fail to show the side effects of the products.
These advertisements made either through the TV, and the weight loss diet magazines are misleading and they also prevent consumers from listening to words that endorse therapeutic routine changes as advocated by professional societies and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Research has shown that 70 million Americans are practicing weight loss by using products and feeding on food stuffs that they have learnt from magazines or have seen adverts from the TV (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010). These products they are not effective as shown in those adverts. For example, cigarettes smoking and drug abuse deceptive adverts of weight loss products puts such people at a risk. Most of these products heavily advertised are unproven and are worst unsafe. They provide and promote hopes and expectations that are unrealistic. As a result, they doom the weight loss procedures less likely to succeed. Therefore, nonexistence of regulations and laws that protect the public from these misleading products and a media priority and willingness to assign to the highest advertising standards is likely to go high (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010). That is those media sources and companies that reject creation of food misleading advertisements is likely to reduce.
Another important area to note is on food packages. The information provided on certain food products during online advertisements and on nutritional labels provided on the food products entices consumers with great taste and good health promises. For example, natural food, fat free, sugar free among other false facts on food (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010). Therefore, in order to determine the veracity of such claims nutrition facts and laws required on packaged foods can be used.
Consumers expect that when they pay for product the information provided about it is true. For example, when a customer’s purchases a package of 100 percent Natural Granola” with oats, honey, he or she expects that the product includes natural ingredients only (Chopra, Lotvin, & Fisher, 2010). Conversely, checking the ingredients list a problem arises. These ingredients are arranged in a descending weight order, and it is notable that the information provided on the products ingredients is totally different from what the food product is made. As a result, a consumer will buy such food stuffs following the directives either on the printed label or online adverts on such food products (Larsen, 2011). However, in the long run it is discovered that the specified ingredients are not found in the product.
In conclusion, it is clear that media plays a role in misleading customers on food products. There is a need to control media practices because they can result into serious health hazards. Many people have followed advert prescriptions on certain products where they are later affected by very serious side effects.
Chopra, S., Lotvin, A., & Fisher, D. (2010). Doctor Chopra says: Medical facts and myths everyone should know. New York: Thomas Dunne Books.
Larsen, L. (2011). Diet and nutrition sourcebook: Basic consumer health information about dietary guidelines, servings and portions, recommended daily nutrient intakes and meal plans, vitamins and supplements, weight loss and maintenance, nutrition for different life stages and medical conditions, and healthy food choices. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics.
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