Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Fighting Against Duplicitous Food Marketing

Each fall, incoming college freshmen start their undergraduate careers with a considerable amount of independence. For the first time, many of these seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds are forced to make their own decisions regarding classes, friends and meals.

While it may become easier to adopt a routine surrounding classes and social time, deciding what to eat is a constant concern for college students. Fear of the “freshman fifteen” can persist well into upperclassman years. The truth is, whether you’re grabbing a late night snack at Vittles or bypassing Leo’s to eat at Epi, we are always selecting new food to put in our stomachs.

In most cases, college students are buying all of their food themselves for the first times in their lives. A lot of us hope to purchase food that is healthy and nutritious in order to prevent the “freshman fifteen” myth from becoming a reality.

However, current front-of-package labeling allows food-manufacturing companies to use terms in vague and misleading ways. Purchasers expect front-of-package claims to be regulated just as the side nutrition panel is, but there are actually few standards established. The terms “healthy” and “natural” are loosely defined by the Food and Drug Administration and can therefore be used in manipulative ways on food labels.

Although these terms should be used to assist consumers to make nutritious choices when buying food, they end up being more deceiving than helpful

However, there is a proposed solution to this problem. A group of students at Georgetown University have written a letter to Michelle Obama, asking for her to include front-of-package regulations, including the terms “healthy” and “natural” in her “Let’s Move” campaign.

Recently, Obama addressed this issue when she proposed a new initiative for a renovation of nutrition facts panels as part of her campaign, and she has become one of the most prominent spokespeople for healthy eating.

But a renovation of the nutrition panel only solves part of the problem. While clearer nutritional information will help consumers obtain more facts on the values of the food they consume, front-of package terms are what consumers see immediately when they purchase products. If the terms on the front of these products are regulated, then college students and all Americans, can properly make the healthy food choices that they intend to.

Consumers deserve the right to be aware of the nutritious value of the food they buy, and until the wording on food products is regulated and standardized, customers will continue to be misled by ambiguous terms.

William Rydzewski is a junior in the College. The referenced petition was written in conjunction with Ali Carter, Emma Nealon and Silas Franz and can be found here.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *