Problem Of Obesity In America
Savannah Elwell English 1010 Conner 7:30 First literature review When people talk about obesity and health in America, it is usually all the same kinds of things. People are aware that America has a problem with obesity, but is anyone really doing anything about it? There are different programs that try their hardest to get people active and eating healthy but that only does so much. When older folds talk about the subject, they bring up the conversation of “when I was a kid, we didn’t have any of the unhealthy fast-food restaurants like we do today. They see this generation today as lazy and unwilling to try to make an effort to eat healthy.
On the other hand, there are the kids that think the fast-food industry is the greatest thing ever invented. It’s the “easy way out,” to eating. Fast-food chains are overly available so in the time and need to eat, it is so easy to just run through the drive-thru and grab some food. The advertising of fast-food restaurants is so appealing these days that they are looked at as a good thing. They may try to provide a healthy menu, but is it really any better then the rest of the unhealthy menu?
Think about how the food is really made, how it got to the restaurant, and how the factories process the food. I’m sure a salad is no doubt healthier then a hamburger but is that salad fresh? Do the workers at McDonalds go out to the back garden and pick the lettuce and tomato? It comes from factories that manufacture the “healthy product. ” This topic on obesity and health is complicated in a number of ways. First is, is it really Americas problem to define the country as a whole as being obese and unhealthy?
The second being, it’s a lifestyle that America has adapted to, meaning we are so used to being around fast-food restaurants, that it’s a ‘normal’ thing to do. America is the land of the free. Why should it be anyone else’s business what others put into their bodies? It all goes back to the personal accountability aspect. What you decide to put into your body is up to you. It shouldn’t be America’s problem. America has gotten used to eating unhealthy because it’s so easy to do so. We have so many options in restaurants and in food choices.
If America really had a problem with the obesity in this country, why isn’t anyone desperately trying to end it? People can talk all they want but actually accomplishing that is a whole other story. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyles as a topic is an important issue. Our bodies replicate as a “factory,” you need to put healthy things into it to keep all the equipment from shutting down. Your body needs specific ingredients to maintain function. Some examples would be, water, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Water hydrates your body and keeps what needs to be flowing, flowing.
Fruits and vegetables run as an energy source for your body. They keep you running. Without the maintenance in the factory, it will shut down. Your body acts in the same way. There are many different people that think about the topic in many ways. There are arguments that are both pro and con. Some of the people that are going to be talked about throughout the essay are Zinczenco, Balko, Warner, Haygood, Obama, Pollan, Maxfield, Orbach, and Freeman. A brief description about each of these authors will first be addressed and then further along in the essay they will be covered in more detail.
Zinczenco talks about in his article, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” government and the statistics about the fast-food industry. Balko goes into detail about how people are becoming less responsible for their own health and more responsible for everyone else’s. Warner says in his article that people have gotten used to the bad eating habits. It’s the simple and easy way to satisfy their hunger. Those are just a few of the articles that are going to be discussed. Before 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder. Only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity related, or Type 2, diabetes.
Today, according to the National Institutes of Health, Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country. Also money to treat the diabetes has gone up extremely high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that diabetes accounted for $2. 6 billion in health care costs in 1969. Today’s number is an unbelievable $100 billion a year. Zinczenko has a very valid point when he says, “advertisements don’t carry warning labels the way tobacco ads do. Prepared foods aren’t covered under Food and Drug Administration labeling laws.
The fast-food industry would be doing well in protecting themselves if they were to provide the nutritional information people need to make informed choices about their products. If you were to drive down any road in America, there is a really good chance you’d see more then one of the 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants, but trying to find somewhere that sells a healthy grapefruit is another story. The fast food industry will contain a calorie count of the food you will be eating but it will be the bare minimum. They will not add in the dressing for the salad or the almonds and noodles, those will come separately.
There will be a small print on the back of the container saying the dressing actually contains more than one serving. Adding it all together, you have yourself a over 1,000 calorie meal, which is half of the government’s recommended daily calorie intake. Radley Balko says in his article that congress is now considering menu-labeling legislation, which would force restaurants to send every menu item to the laboratory for nutritional testing. People are becoming less responsible for their own health and more responsible for everyone else’s.
Our government should be working to foster a sense of responsibility in and ownership of our own health and well-being. Balko says that President Bush earmarked $200 million in his huge budget for anti-obesity measures. School boards across the nation have begun to ban snack and sodas from school campuses and vending machines in order to bring the obesity level down. The best way to alleviate the obesity “public health” crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health. If policymakers really want to stop obesity they would stop the socialization of medicine and move to return individual Americans’ ownership of their own health.
The government should also give the option of rolling money that is reserved for health care into a retirement account. Like Zinczenko says in his article “Don’t Blame the Eater. ” “Kids taking on McDonald’s this week, suing the company for making them fat. Isn’t that like middle-aged men suing Porsche for making them get speeding tickets? ” It all comes back to personal responsibility. Your well-being, shape, and condition have increasingly been deemed matters of “public health” instead of matters of personal responsibility.
All of the Democratic candidates for president boasted plans to push health care further into the public sector. At a time when more than two thirds of American adults are indeed far and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese, declaring war on unhealthful eating, as the Obama administration has done to an unprecedented extent, could be fraught with political liability. Trying to teach children and Americans, healthier eating habits seemed so commonsensical a venture, Michelle Obama chose it for her apolitical personal project.
She has succeeded in enlisting some bipartisan support, and some much hyped cooperation from the food industry. You can’t change specific eating behavior without addressing that way of life, without changing our culture of food. You need to present healthful eating as a new, desirable, freely chosen expression of the American way. David Kessler, the former U. S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, says “in the space of a generation, cigarettes stopped being portrayed as “sexy and cool” and started to be seen as “a terribly disgusting, addictive product.
But because of the unique emotional power of food, it’s hard, if not impossible, to similarly stigmatize unhealthful eating. ” Americans will not adopt a new way of eating any time soon, because for years now, people have gotten used to eating the way they do. It’s the simple and easy way to satisfy their hunger. People have gotten lazy in the way they eat and look for the easy way out. Instead of taking the time to prepare something healthy and nutritional, people tend to sit in their cars, drive around a building in which they are buying food, and eat it on the way home.
What happened to setting the table in your home and preparing a home cooked meal in which everyone participates in and then enjoying it all together afterwards? It all comes down to laziness. Trying to change the way people see food and the way they eat is something that will not happen overnight. It will take time for people to realize that the things they eat at fast-food restaurants will hurt them in the long run, whether it’s a once a week thing, or a once a day problem, it is going to affect people’s health.
There are organizations that try so hard to teach everyone the risks and problems of unhealthy eating, but is anyone really listening? Do people see the advertisements and really take the time to sit down and study it more closely? In a magazine there might be a page that shows a picture of a person that has been eating fast food their entire life and now has many health problems, but is that going to be the page you stop on and suddenly change your way of eating? Or are you going to continue on some more and stop where you see a big juicy burger from McDonalds and go out and buy one?
It all comes down to laziness. In a town where everyone knows everyone it is difficult to keep yourself hidden. The town of Manchester, Kentucky has an overall population of 2,100 people. Everyone is very close with each other due to the bake sales, and volunteering. But it is what goes uncelebrated and even ignored that has become Manchester’s defining feature. In an increasingly unhealthy country, it is one of the unhealthiest places of all. The national obesity rate for adults is 24 percent; in Manchester and the surrounding counties, its been estimated as high as 51 percent.
The article explains the layout of the town in a way that just makes it seem miserable. “The town has a retro, lived-in look. The downtown movie theater is gone, through the marquee is still visible. There has clearly been economic suffering. There is a medium-security federal prison on the edge of town, out past the gas stations that sell fried chicken and pizza. The intersections leading into town features a McDonald’, a Wendy’s, and Arby’s and a subway. And just beyond that, there’s a Burger King, A Long John Silver’s, a Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and a Pizza Hut. Hardly anyone in the town gets out and is actually active anymore.
A father of two girls, says that ever since he went through the breakup of his wife, his eldest daughter had gone into an emotional tailspin, that has lead her to overeat and seclude herself in her bedroom where she spends hours on her computer. The daughter had gone to the doctors and was told that she was 30 pounds overweight and is on the borderline of diabetic. Jill Day has been studying for her doctorate in kinesiology and health promotion. She grew up in Kentucky and decided to go back to do a study on the obesity rate.
Her subjects were fourth and fifth grade students. Her study would be the first of its kind that focuses on the underlying causes of obesity. The students fell into the categories of healthy, underweight, overweight, and obese. She says she had estimated in her head that one-third of the kids in Manchester would be overweight or obese. It happened to be half of them. Jill Day had spent two years on her study. Michelle Obama addresses the people and then proceeds to express her gratitude by thanking the members of NAACP. Michel Obama and her husband believe that this organization is one whose legacy is not to take advantage.
They believe it’s an obligation that shall be fulfilled with the upmost respect. We as mothers need to prepare are children for the future and the challenges that lie ahead. Michelle Obama believes that childhood obesity is a major epidemic in America today. Obesity can lead to harmful conditions such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, and diabetes. This isn’t about the way are children look but the health and how they feel. This is a major issue in which has effected many communities but more likely to effect African American children than white. We need to address this problem and reverse this trend.
We need to take this issue seriously by asking are selves how we got here in the first place. We live in a society today that is extremely different than what it was when Obama grew up. Michelle grew up in a time where kids walked to school and schools offered recess twice a day. A time where kids didn’t have video games and played outside for fun. Meals consisted of healthy food of reasonable sizes where there were hardly seconds. People these days don’t grow are own food as when are grandparents did. People will now take a trip to the local grocery store or run through a fast food franchise.
We can build exceptional schools but without proper nutrition to concentrate they are rendered useless. We can create positions for outstanding job opportunities but without the energy and enthusiasm to perform them they are as well useless. You can offer the best medical care they can buy but when continuing to live unhealthy life styles such as improper nutrition these facilities are as well useless. Michel Obama has made making improving children’s health one of her top priorities.
Obama has launched the “Let’s Move” campaign, which is a program to solve childhood besity so that children of today make it to adulthood at a proper weight. The “Lets Move” campaign has four components. The first provides information to parents allowing them to make healthier decisions for their families. Health care legislation requires the nutritional information to be posted on all fast food menus. The second component is to establish schools to provide healthy food. This will eliminate sugary foods and provides foods that are more nutrient rich. The third part is to make children more active by encouraging them to ride bikes and walk to school.
The fourth component is to ensure all families had easy access to health foods within their communities. If the option is available more people will take advantage of this healthy opportunity. Childhood obesity is a growing trend in America in which is very preventable. With the “Lets Move” campaign this is the perfect four components to establish a way to save many children from going down the wrong path. Changing the people’s nutritional diet is a difficult task but it can be done, simply by providing more healthy options in schools and in the community. Nutritionist consisting of fats, carbs and antioxidants is a powerful science.
Yet the explanation of diet makes this an imperfect science. This article is implementing ways to “escape from the western diet. ” There are as many truths to nutrition as there are myths. For there are many scientific theories on nutritionism, all on which dictate the way you eat. The western diet is characterized by the intake of processed foods and high fatty foods. Many individuals define the western diet as being unavoidable. The western diet is believed to be responsible as the major factor of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Many scientific phenomenons’ all appear to have very much the same solution “stop eating the western diet. ” Theories of nutrition and the curiosity of how things work is valued more by the food industry and the medical community. In order for the food industry to design new processed foods they must first come up with theories that allow them to develop a new line of products. The food industry will use scientific backing to further its production in processed foods. The medical community uses scientific theories about diet to boost their business.
They let the new theories allow them to develop new drugs to treat the western diet’s diseases. New treatments and procedures are a major profit beneficiary for their industry. Dennis Burkitt, an English doctor believes the only way to escape from the western diet is to rely on the lifestyles of our ancestors. Burkitt believes to go back to a more primitive way of nutrition where hunting and gathering food was a way to survive. a big majority of the way we get food today is looked at by driving next to a building and having food handed to us through a window.
In today’s society the most important factor about food is not the nutritional value but in the way it is processed. The western diet is inexpensive and easy, thus making it America’s number one diet. Throughout history, gathering and preparing food was a career in the survival of daily life. So how do we escape form the western diet? The answer is simple, stop eating the western diet. How is it that other countries can eat so unhealthily yet stay on average, healthier than Americans? Other countries perceive Americans as being unhealthy, yet the word healthy has a broad of definitions.
Who defines the nutritional science of healthy and unhealthy? The journalist Michael Pollan, believes that the food industry is the main confusion on how to eat. Pollan believes that the food industry contributes to the cultural society of food. Pollan implicates the elimination of processed foods will encourage a healthier nutritional lifestyle. Pollan is a food critic and a firm believer of the food science of health and nutrition. Pollan has published manuals for better eating in which the guidelines defer the prescriptions of food scientists.
Pollan’s food guidelines are more of eating algorithms that produce a number and variety of meals. Many nutritional geniuses back up their information through the concerns of American health. America is a nation that has many western diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Our culture we live in today correlates unhealthy eating to unhealthy weight. Pollan believes that over eating leads to the greatest threat to our survival. America’s government fights against the obesity epidemic, which threatens our national health. Cultural has a major influence on the health-based problems.
Despite academic knowledge, common sense can connect diet, health, and weight. Pollan believes that processed foods make us sick and fat, yet no evidence can support that claim. The question of today is, why have Americans become more obese? America has a $50-billion-per-year diet industry that develops weight loss drugs, and articles of the obesity crisis. Throughout the research, BMI, a tool that uses height and weight, was developed to predict heart disease and other maladies. To totally eliminate the American anxiety of nutrition, we need to rise above our animal nature and not complicate the practice of eating food.
There are a lot of pressures and barriers that take out of the context the word health. Our skewed views of fatness then facilitate our skewed views of food. Works Cited Radley, Balko. “What You Eat Is Your Business” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Wil, Haygood. “Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Mary, Maxfield. “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.
Print Michelle, Obama. “Remarks to the NAACP National Convention” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Michael, Pollan. Escape from the Western Diet” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print Judith, Warner. “Junking Junk Food” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print David, Zinczenko. “Don’t Blame the Eater” “They Say I Say” The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing Ed. Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstien, Russel Durst. 2nd ed. New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. Print