Junk food is everywhere. We’re eating way too much of it. Most of us know what we’re doing and yet we do it anyway.
So here's a suggestion offered by two researchers at the Rand Corporation: Why not take a lesson from alcohol control policies and apply them to where food is sold and how it’s displayed?
"Many policy measures to control obesity （肥胖症）assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods," note the two researchers.
"In contrast," the researchers continue, "many regulations that don't assume people make rational choices have been successfully applied to control alcohol, a substance -- like food -- of which immoderate consumption leads to serious health problems."
The research references studies of people’s behavior with food and alcohol and results of alcohol restrictions, and then lists five regulations that the researchers think might be promising if applied to junk foods. Among them:
Density restrictions: licenses to sell alcohol aren't handed out unplanned to all comers but are allotted （分配）based on the number of places in an area that already sell alcohol. These make alcohol less easy to get and reduce the number of psychological cues to drink.
Similarly, the researchers say, being presented with junk food stimulates our desire to eat it. So why not limit the density of food outlets, particularly ones that sell food rich in empty calories? And why not limit sale of food in places that aren’t primarily food stores?
Display and sales restrictions: California has a rule prohibiting alcohol displays near the cash registers in gas stations, and in most places you can’t buy alcohol at drive-through facilities. At supermarkets, food companies pay to have their wares in places where they're easily seen. One could remove junk food to the back of the store and ban them from the shelves at checkout lines. The other measures include restricting portion sizes, taxing and prohibiting special price deals for junk foods, and placing warning labels on the products.