12 Feb 2014
An Analysis of the issue: Obesity
When it comes to the topic of obesity, most of us will readily agree that it is a major issue the in the United States. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of what should be done in order to solve this issue. Whereas some are convinced that government and industries should take the responsibility, others maintain that letting the government involve will make the problem worst, it is the individuals who should take responsibility for their own condition. Ultimately, what is important to consider when discussing this topic is what are the reasons causes our country became the number one obese country in the world, and what steps can we take in order to overcome this problem. Looking in detail, there are many essential causes of why our nation is facing obesity. Reasons are worth to discusses are our cultural lifestyle, and limited resources in many part of our country.
Each country has their own different cultural and lifestyle, in America, consume fast food is very common. According to Pollan, “A hallmark of the Western diet is food that is fast, cheap, and easy”(Pollan 439). Since we have been living life like this for a while, it is hard for us to change back to eating healthily. We can see different types of fast food restaurants when we are driving on the road, carl’s junior, In N’ Out, Burger King, KFC, McDonalds, etc. Even though some of these fast food are worldwide now, consumers in other countries tend to not consume them on daily bases. Unlike here in United States, where fast food are cheap and easy to access, countries like China, sell fast food relatively more expensive than their own traditional food, so no one would eat them on daily basis. Also what seems interesting to me is that, those menus in China of fast food restaurants are slightly different than the menus in the US. For example, in addition of the basic junk food on the McDonald menu, Chinese added Asian food such as porridge, and roast duck roll. In my opinion, adding those Asian food will attract more customers because they are getting use to eat those food from generations to generations, it is hard to make them like junk food like us because in our culture, junk food is the food we consume from generations to generations.
Since fast food is grown so deeply into our culture, in order to lower the obesity rate in our country, change the way American eats is necessary. According to Haygood’s research, a small town in Kentucky has a culture that people should not throw food away, they should “clean their plate” even when they are already full ( Haygood 411). Relating to Haygood’s research, Jim Tillotson states that “it’s the first time in the history where people don’t need to worry about food.” In my opinion, the tradition of “clean your plate” came from the fact that people faced starvation, if there are food, they shouldn’t waste them. However, according to Jenning’s research, America produce twice the food we need today, so if we still held that tradition of “clean your plate” we will be consuming twice the food that we actually need. In his book, The end of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, David Kessler maintains that “ In the space of a generation, cigarettes stopped being portrayed as “sexy and cool”.....it’s not inconceivable that social norms could change”(Warner 404). Indeed, it is not impossible for us to see consuming junk food as socially unacceptable, what is important is we need to take some actions in order for this to happen.
Some believe that governments should prohibit junk food in school vending machines. Their reasoning is providing children with junk food will tend to make them more dependent on junk foods when they grew older. For example, in “Don’t Blame the Eater,” David Zinczenko argues, “ We know better than to eat two meals a day in fast-food restaurants....but where are...
Cited: Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” 395-398.
Graff, Gerald and Cathy Birkenstein, et al. They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic writing, with Readings, 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2012.
Haygood, Wil. “Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis.”406-415.
Maxfield, Mary. “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating.”442-446
Obama, Michelle. “Remarks to the NAACP National Convention.”417-433.
Pollan, Michael. “Escape from the Western Diet.” 434-440.
Warner, Judith. “Junking Junk Food.”400-404.
Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater.” Graff and Birkenstein 391-394.
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