What are some politically acceptable means of creating incentives for preventing (too late, I know) our obesity epidemic?
To me, 'politically acceptable' in such a context are means that are structural in nature, rather than particular programs administered by government. Not only are such means probably likelier to be accepted, they probably will also work better in the long run.
I had at least one idea: Currently, raw unprepared foods are untaxed while prepared foods are taxed at the sales tax rate (in most places). I would change this so that prepared foods that fullfill at least half of (but not more than) all
the USRDA standards for protein, fats, vitamins and so forth, would also be untaxed.
This tax break would give manufacturers an economic reason to aim for the USRDA standards in their products by giving consumers an incentive to demand such products. My grad school days were not so long ago, and I remember one of the most frustrating things about shopping (for me) was that I could either buy all the ingredients of a well balanced meal and spend hours cooking, or buy a pre-packaged meal that was not terribly nutritious. Being time limited (school), I rarely made the right choice. Such a choice is (in my view) one of the primary causes of obesity in our society (along with lack of excercise). Of course, before implementing this change it would be important to review the USRDA. Would this be a politically palatable (partial) solution?
Any other ideas?