October 24th, 2014
“The Route to American Obesity”: Facts or Assumptions?
“The Route to American Obesity” by Jeremy Khella focuses on the rising epidemic of obesity. Kehlla reminds us that the levels of obesity in America are still rising and getting higher each year: “In spite of all the obesity-related laws that have been passed, the increasing attention of the media to the issue, and mass educational campaigns about the benefits of physical activity and a healthier lifestyle, the prevalence of obesity in the United States continues to grow.” (Kehlla 2) Now you may be wondering how it’s continuing to grow… Well according to Khella the blame may be put upon the fast-food industries, technology, and even schools. In this essay I will be evaluating the accuracy of Khellas argument and determine wether or not his essay is strong or not. Though he provides many good points to support his argument the quality of his essay seems to be full of assumptions, opinions, and some things aren’t very practical.
Khella opens his first argument with “One of the many culprits is none other than the fast-food industry. In reality, many people do not know what fast-food restaurants are actually putting in their food; many do not even want to know. Too many unhealthy and fatty foods are being sold to the public in restaurants and supermarkets in misleading manners. But it’s the convenience of the fast-food that perpetrates popularity.” He talks about how the fast-food companies do not provide valid information about what exactly is being consumed when you eat one of there burgers, how their food contains harmful ingredients, how they seduce people into eating their food with false advertisement “glorifying” their food, and how conveniently fast-food fits into out lives. To support his claim Khella used different support these were the ones that were valid strong points with credible sources. “In the 1970’s two new food products- high fructose corn syrup and pam oil- were approved for the use in the United States. Combined they would decrease the cost of ingredients for the food industry, an especially appealing facto during the severe recession and high inflammation of the 1970’s.” This supported his main claim that fast-food restaurants contains harmful ingredients in their food. The problem with HFCS is that: “as a result of the manufacturing process… the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization”; therefore the fructose in HFCS is more quickly and easily absorbed by the body than sugar and more easily “metabolized to produce fat.” (Parker). This was a valid support to his argument because it explains just how HFCS is harmful if you intake it. “Fast-food restaurants just so happen to fit conveniently into most people’s lives.” This was a good detail because it is very true that fast-food is much more convenient than cooking especially in this day and age where everyone is on the go. There were also parts where Khellas argument wasn’t supported with valid facts. “A normal McDonalds meal that used to be only 590 calories is now a massive 1550 calories, nearly the total daily recommended calorie intake for an average person.” (Crister 28). This point was not valid because a person could have an intake of a 1550 calories of vegetables and it would have a different effect on their body. So, using calories as a subject of support is not valid. Humerl Thorton Jr., a health nutrition professor at Yale, points out that “According to the USDA, in 2001, the average person consumed almost 63 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.”. This point was not valid because he does not explain what the “Average person” is defined as. Nor does he state what exactly is the usual amount of high-fructose corn syrup consumed by the average person. He just states that they would consume about 63 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup but he does not explain what is a lot and what is...
Cited: Khella Jeremy. “The Route to American Obesity” Reading Critically Writing Well. Ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Allison M. Warriner, Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011 413-416, Print.
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