Freshman Composition II
Food is everywhere we look; sitting along the roadsides, calling at us in bright colors from grocery store shelves, glowing in vending machines down the hallway. There is no way to escape the never ending advertisements from fast food restaurants. This is where obesity begins; consuming more food portions than your body needs. Americans are also overweight due to the lack of exercise; there is more time spent on the couch sitting in front of the television, video games, and sitting on their new smartphones, rather than in the gym or outside moving around. Just an hour each day could better everyones’ health. Obesity ranks as the second-leading cause of preventable deaths in America, following smoking by only one percent. People need to set limits and health plans early in their life to overcome this new threat. As for policies set to help this obesity epidemic, I believe the problem with America is that we like to baby our citizens whenever change needs to happen. Our current policies are not strict enough or are ineffective for helping America’s problem. Despite America being one of the most industrialized nations, this country is definitely not one of the healthiest. Even though we are living in a country with great economic power and amazing technology, we are also living in a country with the smallest nutritional knowledge. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in adults has increased 60% within the past twenty years and obesity in children has tripled in the past thirty years. A staggering 33% of American adults are obese and obesity related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year. Lawmakers have even tried to impose a new tax rule called a “Twinkie tax”, which would tax unhealthy foods to try to persuade people out of buying them. This method has been termed as unconstitutional, therefore, an alternative to this policy to make it more effective is to encourage Americans to eat healthy foods by replacing all of the junk food vending machines and soda machines around America with healthy food, such as crackers and granola bars. All of the soda machines would need to be changed to vending machines that contain fruit drinks with less sugar and preservatives but are stull as cheap as soda is today. As for policies pertaining to any fast food restaurant, aside from eliminating them completely, they should start to implement healthier alternatives and make the salads cost less than the unhealthy food. However, Fast food restaurants are quick to deny the blame that is being thrown at them by angry consumers and health professions. Which poses a problem for getting them to change their menus and their prices. Convenient as these fast food places are, these meals contain practically no nutrients and in turn make America “slow.” They are made up of mostly saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and are packed full of sodium and sugar. The average adult shouldn't have more than 65 grams of fat or 2000 calories a day. One meal from Burger King, a hamburger and French fries, has 50 grams of fat and 2000 calories, which is almost enough to fill someone's fat and calorie intake for the day. Scientists report that study participants who visited fast food restaurants twice a week or more gained 10 pounds and experienced double the increase in insulin resistance compared to subjects who visited these places less than once a week. All the more reason and proof to take more drastic action. And if Americans realize the dangers that these foods impose on their health, why don’t they stop eating them? The answers are very simple; these foods compliment the lifestyle they have. The fast food industry has recently had to face the accusations of being a big contributor to the obesity epidemic and had been sued by several individuals. These people claimed that they were morbidly obese due to their frequent visits to McDonald’s; they...
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