Town of Manchester

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In the article “Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis,” Wil Haygood demonstrates how the dangers of obesity are rampant in small towns. Specifically, how their surroundings are contributing to the alarming obesity rate in this charming little town of Manchester. While Haygood depicts how the locals “celebrate the joys of community closeness,” he also reveals how “it is one of the unhealthiest places of all”. In fact, he points out that an estimated 52% of the 2,100 residents are considered obese, and that a majority of those are young children. To illustrate, Haygood cites a research study conducted in Manchester and surrounding counties by Jill Day, a local resident. The findings revealed that “Of the 277 [children surveyed], eight of those fourth- and fifth-graders were underweight, 135 were healthy, 49 were overweight, and 85 were obese”. In other words, he is indicating that roughly 48% of children are suffering from this obesity epidemic. Haygood suggests the problem originates from having too many fast food restaurants without enough healthy alternatives; paired with the fact that there are not enough locations that promote activity or exercise. For example, Manchester has at least 8 fast food restaurants as well as a Wal-Mart that sells mostly snack food. The only place for exercise is a physical therapy office. He also addresses the notion that obesity is more hereditary than anything else. He quickly refutes this argument by simply quoting Jill Day: “Since 1980, obesity has tripled in children, so we can’t totally blame genetics for this increase”. Overall, Haygood highlights that while being from a small town is comforting and favorable, it may be just as damaging and detrimental.
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