Ap English Language
10 December 2012
Obesity Reaches New Heights
Throughout the past ten years, childhood obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States. Many experts and studies claim that parents are the ones to blame for their children’s unhealthy eating habits. However, today kids live in a world where marketing innovations have made eating fast food the norm, so how much influence do parents really have on their children? In my view, America’s childhood obesity epidemic is a direct result of fast-food marketing techniques that expand advertisements throughout schools, promote junk food on television, and increase portion sizes in restaurants.
Schools are powerful marketing sites of fast food, seeing as they provide students the option of eating from outlets such as McDonald’s and Pizza Hut on a daily basis. Writer, David Barboza claims how numerous schools have special agreements with fast-food chains to sell their products. For example, he mentions how, “Vending machines now dominate school corridors. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have pouring rights contracts in hundreds of schools nationwide,” (2). By offering sugary beverages and other snacks all over campuses, schools are advocating unhealthy eating habits that in turn lead to obesity. When educators make fast food available at their schools, they are increasing funding yet they are providing students with meals that contain hundreds of calories. Although many schools do not have contracts with fast food companies, they still make junk food accessible by having special days dedicated to fast food. For example, writer Barboza describes how a school in Garden City, Kansas has “Pizza Hut Days,” (2). Ultimately, by virtue of scheduling days where fast food is often the only lunch option, schools are forcing students to decide between preparing their own meals or simply consuming the junk food that they offer. Since many students are not able to prepare their own meals, they end...