Fast Food Consumption
In his essay Don’t Blame the Eater, David Zinczenko says he sympathizes with a group of children who are suing McDonald’s for making them fat. Drawing on his own experiences as a “1980’s latchkey kid” (139), he describes how easy it is for teenagers to put on weight with a steady diet of fast food meals. Part of the problem, he argues, is that nutritional information about fast food is often either unavailable or hard to interpret. For instance, at many fast food restaurants, when added ingredients and serving sizes are taken into account, even seemingly “healthy” menu options such as salads can include a shockingly large number of calories. In his opinion, the number of fast food restaurants is also part of the problem, since if you “[d]rive down any thoroughfare in America, ... you’ll see one of our country’s more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants. Now drive back up the block and try to find someplace to buy a grapefruit” (Zinczenko 140). In sum, Zinczenko argues that, especially for teenagers, unhealthy and fattening fast food is almost unavoidable. I disagree with ZincZenko’s argument. I believe that teenage obesity is increasing because adults are becoming ignorant, teenagers are not eating in moderation and teenagers are refusing to exercise. First, adults are becoming ignorant because of their poverty and lack of education and my childhood is a prime example. At about five years old my mother took me to McDonalds nearly every day. I was clueless to the health risks because I was uneducated and unaware of the dangers of greasy, salted foods. My mother had not graduated from high school, and as a result, she did not realize the harmful influence that she had instilled in me. For my mother the prospect of starvation was a real threat. Scarcity was still
an important fact of economics, and modern industrial economies provided low-cost food for poor families. She was unable to discern...
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