ENGL 070 and ENGL 111
Spring Semester, 2013
Obesity in America; who is Responsible
In our today’s society, especially western countries, the issue of fast food seems to be at the top of every health related debate. As these debates become more controversial, the question of who bears the responsibility remains unanswered. In his essay, Don’t Blame the Eater, David Zinczenko attempts to answer this key question by placing the greater responsibility of America’s obesity and other fast food related health issues on the fast food industries. Contrary to Zinczenko’s argument, Raldy Balko, in his essay, What You Eat Is Your Business, states that, people should take ownership of their health and well-being, and are therefore responsible for what and how they eat. Although both Zinczenko and Balko address the issue of responsibility, though with contrast, but valid arguments, Zinczenko seems to present a more convincing argument due to the way in which he explains the politics of food, the way in which our lifestyles are altered by what we eat, and things we can do to change the way we see food and its role in our lives. Although Zinczenko hold consumers responsible to an extent, he blames the fast food industries for the rising rate of obesity and other health issues related to fast food due to their failure to provide labels for their products. Zinczenko convincingly supports his claim by noting statistical data that shows the rise in money spent to treat diabetes. “Before 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder only 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”(Zinczenko 392). He argues that, if the fast food companies are regulated so that they are responsible for their food contents, by providing proper labels, than...