What If Junk Food Was Regulated Like Alcohol?
CHARLOTTE, NC- What if your favorite fatty snack was taxed higher or even banned from your closest convenience store?
Researcher Deborah Cohen and her partner, Lila Rabinovich, at the RAND Corportation want the same rules for alcohol control applied to bad food.
"Many people want to limit what they consume, but they cannot because our environment serves them to much, they put it in our faces and we're practically assaulted by food," said Cohen, senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation.
Cohen proposes that, like alcohol, lawmakers limit where junk food is sold. Taking it out of places like bookstores and hardware chains.
"I think it might be too much, too extreme. Kinda would inconvenience a lot of people. Like, I would be upset if they moved Oreos to a different store and I couldn't buy them at Harris Teeter," said Mitchell Johnson, an Uptown Charlotte resident.
Food companies pay big bucks to make sure you see and buy their stuff. Lawmakers in California have taken note of this, banning the sell of alcohol anywhere near cash registers.
That's what researchers want to do with junk food.
"I think it would help with obesity in children because if they go in stores, that's the first thing they see and that's the first thing they'll grab," said Angel Johnson, a North Charlotte resident.
Cohen and her partner also propose limiting portion sizes.
"We can always count on getting 12 ounces when we ask for beer, but we don't have the same situation with foodl," said Cohen.
On top of that, they want to outlaw drive-throughs so you have to get out of your car to get a burger and fries.
No state lawmakers have considered the junk food proposal. The RAND researchers say that's because our society underestimates the power of food.