The Effects of Restrictions on Fast Food in America

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The Effects of Restrictions on Fast Food in America

COMM/215 – Essentials of College Writing

March 26, 2013

America is known as the country where you are able to express yourself freely and make your own choices, but is that really the case? The fast food industry and obesity is one of the most debatable topics in today’s news. The fast food industry seems to be targeted as the main contributor to America’s obesity problem. Since obesity is considered an epidemic in the U.S., the government is taking the necessary corrective actions. More specifically, the implementation of restrictions on fast food restaurants in America is the government’s first steps in trying to promote a healthier America. As a result, the government’s interference will overall infringe on American citizen’s constitutional rights, the fast food industries rights and the economy. During 2001, the obesity of children became a major public-health concern. As a result, “Surgeon General David Satcher declared that the nation's obesity epidemic had gotten so dire that it could overtake tobacco as the leading cause of preventable deaths and called on everyone from school administrations to food companies to get back to a skinnier America.” (Morrison, 2012). According to Morrison (2012), “the $200 billion fast-food industry's massive size ad budgets are hard to ignore -- especially considering kids' taste for the stuff”. The sole purposes of fast food restaurants advertising are to influence the buying habits of targeted demographic groups in specific geographical locations. For example, fast food restaurants will target primarily African American and Hispanic children who traditionally live in the low income areas where these restaurants are located. Since these areas are not equipped with the proper knowledge to make healthier choices or the monies to buy healthier food options, fast food is their most affordable and convenient food choice. These advertisements do not identify what’s really inside these foods nor did they offer any healthy alternatives. Since fast foods have been comparable to that of cigarettes, can fast foods be just as addictive? The answer to that question is yes because it’s simply a matter of the fast food chains being negligent and misleading in posting their nutritional information. Especially since fast food is very addictive and obesity is considered a disease. According to Fortuna (2012), “As of 2010 70% of adult Americans were overweight or obese” (p. 56). It’s a known fact that children adopt their adult habits based on their earlier child habits. Therefore, a child’s poor dietary habits will follow them through their adulthood. As mentioned earlier, in 2001 child obesity was determined to be a major healthcare concern. The children during the 2001 year are now adults and are most likely included in the 70% of overweight or obese adults. Not until recent years, many of the major fast food chains have introduced healthy alternatives to their daily menus, but in actuality most of the alternatives that may seem healthier are not. For example the apples in a McDonalds “Happy Meal” sounds like a good alternative for children instead of the French fries, but if you read the nutrition guide they are actually just as bad or worst for children health wise due to the way they are prepared, packaged and preserved. Today, fast food restaurants are being blamed for being a major contributor to today’s over all poor eating habits and obesity problem. It’s the customer’s decision to buy and spend their hard earned money on whatever they choose to eat. However, there are other contributors such as not enough daily physical activity, the lack of proper nutritional information being readily available, healthier food choices are more expensive than most fast foods. Government intervention with the fast food industry will ultimately affect the economy. The restriction on fast foods will have consequences...
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