A comprehensive approach and government intervention are needed to tackle the issue of ready-to-eat meals consumption. One of the suggested solutions is implementing a tax on convenience food. Similar practices around the globe have helped decrease the demand for restricted products, such as a tax on fat products in Denmark and a tax on junk food in Mexico (Jacobsen, 2016; Jaacks, 2019). However, the problem of the poor who rely mostly on convenience food is to be considered. A good example of resolving the issue is the Double Up Food Bucks program in the US, which helps low- and no-income families with healthy food purchasing (Healthify Team, 2018). Another possible solution to the problem is making convenience food healthier. According to Heneghan (2016), some manufacturers try to “better align convenience products with consumer health trends” (Convenience evolves section, para. 3). Most health hazards for consumers are associated with preservatives and additives in processed food. Therefore, eliminating the use of harmful artificial flavours and adding more vegetables and healthy nutritional ingredients would make the meals healthier. Overall, the employment of these principles could help decrease the health problems rate in Singaporeans.
It is crucial to evaluate the existing and suggested solutions to estimate their efficiency. Levying a tax on fat products and junk food has proven to be efficient for changing consumer behaviour. Besides, as Ho (2019) reports, over 40% of Singaporeans support the proposal to introduce a sugary drinks tax, which suggests a similar attitude toward convenience food tax. Nevertheless, as long as there are unregulated markets or “unhealthy” substitute goods, the decrease in consumption will be insufficiently small (Jaacks, 2019). Similarly, the successful implementation of taxes on convenience food would enable reducing the population’s interest in it. Switching to healthier products could help Singaporeans avoid many diseases, lowering health care spendings. The difficulty lies in determining convenience food markets, which are to be taxed. Besides, there are risks of harming low-income households that, nonetheless, can be avoided. As for offering healthier ready-to-cook meals, alternative technologies such as HPP can improve food safety and quality, enhancing nutritional value (Duffy, 2018). Besides, even the disadvantage of high spendings can be balanced by removing food additives from products. The evaluation indicates that positive outcomes for the population’s health outnumber the potential drawbacks.
In conclusion, this paper focuses on the unaddressed problem of excessive convenience food consumption in Singaporeans. The adverse outcomes of such a tendency on the Singaporean working adults and especially young children are discussed. At the same time, current and possible new solutions are analysed and evaluated. The following methods for tackling the issue are offered: the introduction of a tax on convenience food to lower the demand for “unhealthy” products and the use of innovative technologies to improve food quality. Besides, the problem of low-income families who tend to buy more ready-to-eat meals is considered. Establishing governmental programs that would support such families and enable access to healthy food for everyone could help. The paper provides relevant findings by many researchers, which emphasize the importance of the problem and highlight possible ways of resolving it. To sum up, the proposed solutions can be effective if applied correctly, making both the manufacturers and the consumers of convenience food better off and promoting a healthier lifestyle with improved quality of life.
Duffy, M. (2018). HPP keeps food safe, while extending shelf life.
Healthify Team. (2018). Healthier eating for low-income families: Innovative models succeed.
Heneghan, C. (2016). How convenient: Easy-to-prepare food gets healthier and better.
Ho, K. (2019). Two in five Singaporeans support a sugar tax.
Jaacks, L. M. (2019). Taxes on saturated fat, salt, and sugar improve the healthiness of grocery purchases, but changes are frustratingly small. The Lancet, 4(8), E363–E364.
Jacobsen, H. (2016). Study: ‘Fat tax’ made Denmark healthier.