Economist Dr Trent Smith reckons adding the word “imitation” to the labels on highly processed foods will prevent people becoming overweight:

In 1938, the US congress passed a law that made it mandatory to include “imitation” on highly processed foods.

“How the imitation label worked was that if you wanted to sell spaghetti sauce that was produced in a way that was substantially different than how people produced it in their own kitchens, you had to put the word ‘imitation’ on the label.

“You had to call it ‘imitation spaghetti sauce’,” Dr Smith said.

“This had a powerful effect on the market, on consumers.

“Nobody wanted to buy ‘imitation’ anything.”

The producers realised consumers would not buy their products if they were too processed, so ensured they processed foods below the “imitation” level.

While this policy worked for almost 40 years, the US Food and Drug Administration eliminated the law in 1973.

“It was at the behest of the food industry,” Dr Smith said.

“Interestingly, this was just before the obesity epidemic started.”

So this academic wants the government to evaluate each and every recipe for foods sold in Australia. Apparently there is no such thing as too much government.

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