Top-Rated Free Essay

Argumentative Essay- Fast-Food Advertising Deceives Americans to Obesity

Good Essays
Fast-Food Advertising Deceives Americans to Obesity

With every precious tick of the clock, an American rushes to perform yet another task in a day with a meager 24 hours. With all the activity encompassed within these hours, many aspects of life are neglected. One of these aspects--the most important and vital one, in fact-- is self-nourishment. One must eat foods that are healthy as well as conducive to optimal bodily function and survival. In an attempt to adequately nourish themselves, Americans have fallen victim to seductive fast-food advertising that falsely leads them to believe that fast-food is healthy; this is an unconscionable misrepresentation on the part of the advertisers and thus should be punished.

Firstly, what is the point of advertising? "Advertising," the San Francisco Chronicle says, "is meant too woo the consumer. The fast food industry uses images of crisp green lettuce, juicy red tomatoes, and crunchy nutritious onions in its advertisements to lure the hungry American off their couch and into fast-food restaurants". This unabashed seduction of the mouth and eyes, coupled with endorsements of celebrities (Britney Spears for McDonalds, BB King for Burger King, etc.), leads Americans to fast-food restaurants in droves. Since the late 1970s, notes the Anchorage Daily News, "fast food consumption has risen over 15%. While Americans used to consume fast food for about only 17% of their meals, that number has now skyrocketed to 32%." The sharp increase in consumption of fast food since the 1970s can be attributed to the aggressive advertising campaigns of the fast food industry. Clearly, the objectives of these advertisers have been met as they have been successful in attracting consumers by the millions and thus achieving enormous growth within the industry.

However, the means by which advertisers attract these customers are deceitful. Fast-food advertisers, charges the Boston Globe, are aware of the fact that, "America is weight-conscious. They pepper their advertisements with images of vegetables and healthy foods to make fast food seem healthy." However, this is simply not the case: one quarter-pounder with a large side of French fries from the infinitely popular Burger King chain, has 1,166 calories, 95 mg of cholesterol, 1,300 mg of sodium, and over 51 grams of fat. These amounts far surpass the recommended intake per meal. The Lexington Clipper-Herald declares, "Fast food restaurants, ranging from Ranch One to McDonald's to Popeye's have meals that top over 2,000 calories- the recommended daily caloric intake for an adult aged 18-65." These facts are masked and overlooked in advertisements, causing health-conscious Americans, as well as those who simply desire a quick meal, to buy fast-food with little or no knowledge of its negative effects.

"What exactly are these negative effects?" one may ask. Well, not only are many Americans unaware of the fatty content in many fast foods, they actually believe that it is healthy due to the advertising that is intended to make them believe so. Thus, they eat fast food as often as two or three times a day. The Guardian quotes one man, Gregory Rhymes, a nearly 400-pound man as saying '"I normally order the Big Mac, fries, ice-cream or shake for lunch and dinner. I like to super-size my orders."'. His mother, Ruth, said shortly after, "'I would have stopped him, but I always believed that McDonalds' food was healthy for my son."' The Rhymes' are not alone: The Seattle Times reports that "Over the last few decades, increased consumption and sales of unhealthful fast food has paralleled the rising prevalence of obesity." This increased consumption and growth in sales is partly the result of deceptive advertising. Though other factors may have caused the increased popularity of these chains, such as the American lifestyle, the reality is that this devious advertising has contributed to an ever-growing trend, with over 25% of American children either overweight or obese.

This obesity, while obviously aesthetically unappealing, "has been associated with cardiovascular, endocrine, pulmonary, hepatic, renal, musculoskeletal, neurological, and psychosocial complications" according to the Boston Globe. Again, the libelous advertising that has caused millions to choose fast-food restaurants over healthier alternatives has effectively contributed to the higher incidence of obesity in the United States. It is unconscionable that any company, well-aware of the potential harmful effects of their food, could so egregiously deceive and subsequently profit from the ignorance of the American public. Of course, it is the responsibility of every individual to educate themselves about the food they're eating as they are making a conscious decision when purchasing and consuming the fast-food meals. However, one's responsibility to oneself does not relieve the fast-food industry of their obligation to educate or at least, present fairly to the public the products they offer. The responsibility of a company to the society at large is such that they do not harm their customers but add value through their product. In this case, the fast-food industry has played a significant role in the rise in obesity due to their bad faith advertising. Marketing campaigns that reek of dishonesty should be eliminated and any continued deception of this nature should be subjected to either monetary or regulatory punishment. It would be tragic for more people like Gregory Rhymes to suffer as a result of consumers' misplaced trust. Hopefully, with increased health awareness, the popularity of fast-food will slowly fade; Americans will regain their health and reclaim lives crippled by fast-food induced obesity and its complications.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY ADVERTISING: INFORMATION OR MANIPULATION? Fast-Food Advertising Deceives Americans to Obesity With every precious tick of the clock, an American rushes to perform yet another task in a day with a meager 24 hours. With all the activity encompassed within these hours, many aspects of life are neglected. One of these aspects--the most important and vital one, in fact-- is self-nourishment. One must eat foods that are healthy as well as conducive to optimal bodily function…

    • 283 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    Fast Food Advertising And Childhood Obesity A rise in obesity has been observed in the United States in the last two decades. Obesity is one problem that gives birth to numerous fatal diseases, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a survey and found that, “More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese”…

    • 1775 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fast Food Obesity Essay

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages

    the United States called obesity which is fueled by fast food chains worldwide. Fast food is becoming apart of so many young teens in america that it is crippling the nation's new generation in the long term effects. The fast food in this country controls the nation’s nutrition, therefore we should encourage these chains to put healthy options on their menus. This will drop obesity rates dramatically. The problem with fast food is that it leads to obesity and obesity can have bad long term health…

    • 794 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fast Food and Obesity

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Fast Food and Obesity In today's society, fast food has become a large part of many American's lives. With the rising numbers of obese people, it is hard not to draw a correlation between the increase in fast food and obesity. Most obese people don’t want to be obese and wish they could lose weight, yet they continue to struggle with their fast food intake and obesity. This is due to the advertising done on the consumers, the highly addictive food itself, and most importantly, how advertising…

    • 1166 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Fast Food and Obesity

    • 1832 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Fast Food and Obesity Obesity is a medical disorder in which body fat has gathered to such an extent that it may have a negative effect on the overall health condition of a person. People are classified as obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement is greater than thirty Kg / m2, or their weight is twenty percent greater than normal weight (Obesity, WebMD). America has blamed genetics and fast food as the cause of overweight and obesity for many years, the fact is that it is not a "cause"…

    • 1832 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fast Food and Obesity

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Fast Foods Effect on Obesity Now a days, fast food is becoming a cheap and yet a popular way for people who are too busy to cook. But the cheap price of the fast food is nothing in comparison to the true price that these people are paying. Every 4 out of 10 adults in the USA will become obese in the next 5 years if they keep eating this food the way they are. Eating fast food like this is causing major health risks. Since this food is so cheap, it makes it convenient for people to go out and get…

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Government, Fast Food and American Obesity Should the government get involved in controlling what food options are available to American consumers in an effort to fight the war on obesity? The obesity rate for Americans today has almost doubled compared to the rate in 1997 (CDC, 2012). Some believe this increase, especially in children, has to do with the increase in so many unhealthy fast food restaurants (Chou et al, 2010). However, does the government have the right to tell fast food restaurants…

    • 1610 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Fast Food and Obesity

    • 1080 Words
    • 5 Pages

    researches about the food and the food products. There are lots of discussion how the food industry influences to our health and generally our everyday life. Many people blame the government, some others are talking that the main role comes from food industry, while some people still think that every individual is responsible for their own menu as well as their health. It is really not important who says what; the issue itself is one of the main problems in the USA and indeed some of the food products could…

    • 1080 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Fast Food and Obesity

    • 4021 Words
    • 17 Pages

    Fast food and Obesity When one thinks about food, the first thing that might jump to one’s mind would be the delicious home made mother’s special roast, or for many it might be a cultural dish that westerners do not recognise as the perfect meal but still is respectively for those who adore it. However those days have long gone when a perfectly cooked meal was an everyday occurring. With a fast paced life in the western world the invention and development of fast food (industry) has grown like…

    • 4021 Words
    • 17 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Fast Food And Obesity

    • 948 Words
    • 3 Pages

    11/12/14 Fast Food and Obesity The obesity epidemic Americans face today is a growing problem that affects more than half of the population. With growing body sizes and serious medical problems associated with obesity, it is a problem that needs to be addressed and changed. No one would argue that obesity, especially in children, is not a problem. However, the cause of childhood obesity is heavily debated. Many people claim that fast-food restaurants are to blame. In the following essay, I will…

    • 948 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays