Government Should Regulate Fast Food

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Obesity has been a public health issue in the United States for about fifty years and is now reported in all corners of the world. In the next twenty-five years, the rates of diabetes which are nearly all driven by diet, inactivity, and obesity are projected to increase by 37 percent in the United States, 76 percent in China, and 134 percent in India (Yach, Stuckler, and Brownell, 2006). The latest statistics suggest that obesity will soon overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States (Mokdad, SMarktroup, and Gerberding, 2004). Even more frightening, like tobacco companies, the junk-food business has a very skillful and strong labor force to promote its products, including manipulating ingredients, targeting young children and producing misleading advertisements. Due to all these unethical practices, the government should regulate the sale, advertisement and distribution of junk food in order to protect human health. Bingeing on high-calorie foods can be as addictive as cocaine or nicotine, and could cause compulsive eating and obesity. The researchers showed that the pleasure-center in rats’ brains were over stimulated from the fast food similar to a drug addict's cocaine binge. Eventually, the pleasure centers became so overloaded that rats needed more and more food to feel normal (Ahmed, Kenny, Koob, and Markou, 2002). Science thus far suggests that certain foods can create an addictive process, with underlying physiology similar to that seen with classic addictive substances. If cocaine is considered an illegal drug and is strictly regulated by the government, then junk food should also be regulated in order to protect a person’s free will, rational judgment, and personal freedom of choice from being manipulated. At the same time, both the government and consumers should question the junk food industry’s practices and start to inquiry whether these industries intentionally manipulate their ingredients for their own benefit....
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