Social Determinants of Health - Food
The twin paradox of food i.e., research showing excessive intake can lead to a variety of diseases whilst at the same time food poverty being a pressing issue in many regions has rendered ‘food’ to become a political issue. It is held that because food is bought and sold by private actors, government agencies must intervene to help regulate supply and demand thereby removing the distortions that have set in food market.
Others, however, argue that it is the unhealthy intervention of the governments by way of ‘tariffs, quotas, and other trade restrictions’ that have created distortions in the food market. An important instrument used by the governments is the granting of subsidies. Subsidies in wealthier countries reduces the cost of food in the global markets. In other words, besides subsidies being an antithesis of a functioning market, such subsidies have harmed unsubsidised farmers in Asia, Latin America and Africa who cannot compete with the price distortions effected by such massive subsidies.