For this assignment, you are required to choose 1 of the 6 priority outcomes (refer to the assignment guideline) and at least 2 course topics or themes that reflect the priority you choose.
*For the “topics” or “themes” you may refer to topics that appear in any module of the course.
Modules are the followings, “The Centrality of Food in Everyday Experience: An Introduction to Food Studies” (Module 1), “The What and How of Healthy Eating” (Module 2), “Food, Culture, and Shopping” (Module 3), “Food and Gender” (Module 4), “The Obesity Epidemic” (Module 5), “Global Industrial Agriculture” (Module 7), “Hunger in the Midst of Plenty” (Module 8), “Factory Farming and Meat Eating” (Module 9), “Food Marketing and Information” (Module 10), “Food System Change: Policy and Governance” (Module 11), and “Food System Change: A Food System in the People’s Hands” (Module 12).
And the module topics are uploaded as a pdf document. For the evidence for the rationale, the requirement is to use at least 1 scholarly source that use a critical perspective that are in addition to assigned course material from 1 of the sources (listed in assignment guideline).
Also, the assignment is require to use the textbook: Koç, M., Sumner, J., & Winson, A. (Eds.) (2017). Critical perspectives in food studies (2nd ed.). Don Mills, Canada: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-901961-8 If you can access to the book, that would be great. If not, please take a look at the catalogue of the textbook. If you need to read any chapters that are related to your topics or themes, please message me as soon as possible so I can take pictures for the chapters that you need in advance before the deadline.
Just to clarify that the scholarly source as the evidence for the rationale is either from the textbook that is NOT assigned reading or an article from the Canadian Food Studies Journal. The course assigned readings are Chapter 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, and 24.
By the way, the assignment guideline, the module content from 1 to 12, module titles and module topics, and catalogues of the textbook are already uploaded as pdf documents. Feel free to message me with any questions.
Critical Reflection Essay
Food is an essential requirement for people to live a healthy life. However, people experience numerous challenges related to food. One, some populations have issues related to access to a healthy diet because of food insecurity (Dachner & Tarasuk, 2017). Two, a considerable part of the Canadian population has access to food, but unhealthy consumer diets that put them in the danger of diet-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Therefore, the knowledge of food systems is necessary since it could help people to avoid diseases and live healthier. Although six priority outcomes are evident in the “Food Policy for Canada: Everyone at the Table”, the one I find to be the most important is “Improved food-related health outcomes” since it focuses on how people can live a healthy life to pursue the other outcomes and achieve food sustainability.
The selected priority outcome is “Improved food-related health outcomes,” which is the need to improve the health status of Canadians through the consumption of healthy foods to reduce disease burden. Diet-related diseases are common in various parts of the Canadian population, especially those at the risk of food insecurity. Interventions to overcome food-related illnesses should focus on providing access to healthy food and limiting the consumption of unhealthy ones (Moubarac, 2017). Health experts emphasize on the intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, whole milk, and reducing the intake of calorically sweetened drinks (Braun, 2014). The increased consumption of fast foods and energy-dense snacks is a cause for concern in developing countries, including Canada. Therefore, people should seek to improve their health by focusing on essential themes in food system lessons. The two themes that apply to the priority outcome are ‘the What, Where and How of “Healthy Eating”‘ and ‘the Obesity “Epidemic.”‘
‘The What, Where and How of “Healthy Eating”‘ is one of the themes related to the priority outcome, “Improved food-related health outcomes.” Scholars suggest the need for people to consume healthy foods to prevent medical problems, such as obesity. Regardless of the argument that healthy eating is a socially-constructed idea (Koç, Sumner, & Winson, 2017), the idea is that people should consume healthy foods to remain healthy. For example, evidence from research supports the fact that consumption of junk food and carbonated sugary foods is unhealthy and places one at the risk of medical conditions, such as obesity (Deluchi et al., 2017). Therefore, in the social construction of healthy eating, societies should incorporate ideas of consuming healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats. The theme relates to “Improved food-related health outcomes” since the priority outcome focuses on the numerous ways through which individuals and societies can strive to live healthier lives by observing what they consume. The core of healthy living relates to the targeted consumption of healthy foods by individuals and communities. Regardless of the differential access to healthy foods based on income and neighborhood, people should ensure that whatever they eat falls into the category of healthy foods.
The second theme that relates to the “Improved food-related health outcomes” priority outcome is ‘The Obesity “Epidemic”, ‘which relates to targeted efforts to reduce the increasing rate of obesity in Canadian society. One of the areas of focus is the socio-economic factors involved in obesity and the controversies that relate to food and obesity. Although people disagree about the cause of diabetes and effective interventions, the reality remains that lifestyle and food choices are at the core of the problem (Williams & Nestle, 2017). However, the health priority outcome should avoid the assignment of body weight to individual responsibility since it is a social construct (Koç, Sumner, & Winson, 2017). Society plays a vital role in various outcomes, including media, which shapes what people consume. Therefore, any efforts to address the issue of obesity and its effect on the priority outcome should challenge the underlying social beliefs, such as the use of sweet dessert after every meal.
Food choices play an essential role in the health outcomes of individuals, including the development of diet-related diseases, such as obesity. Effective interventions should attempt to deal with questions about the availability of healthy foods that mitigate the consumption of unhealthy ones. Furthermore, the government and other stakeholders should address the socio-economic factors involved in obesity and other diet-related diseases, as well as the competing discourses. Everyone should have a familiar voice regarding health eating to find an effective solution and achieve the “Improved food-related health outcomes” priority outcome. The knowledge about healthy eating is critical in society since it is the only way stakeholders will unit to address underlying problems relating to lack of access to healthy foods and the consumption of unhealthy foods, which places people at the risk of serious medical problems, including obesity. Given that current policies have not been effective in achieving healthy food objectively, new programs are necessary to solve the problem successfully and create a healthier population.
Braun, J. (2014). The Politics of the Pantry: Stories, food and social change. Canadian Food Studies
Dachner, N., & Tarasuk, V. (2017). Origins and consequences of and responses to food insecurity in Canada. Critical Perspectives in Food Studies, 221-36.
Deluchi, M., Costa, F. S., Friedman, R., Gonçalves, R., & Bizarro, L. (2017). Attentional bias to unhealthy food in individuals with severe obesity and binge eating. Appetite, 108, 471-476.
Koç, M., Sumner, J., & Winson, A. (Eds.) (2017). Critical perspectives in food studies (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press
Moubarac, J. C. (2017). Ultra-processed foods in Canada: consumption, impact on diet quality and policy implications. TRANSNUT: University of Montreal.
Williams, S. N., & Nestle, M. (Eds.). (2017). Big food: Critical perspectives on the global growth of the food and beverage industry. Routledge.