Don’t Blame the Eater vs What You Eat Is Your Business
America’s obesity can be an argument that has many sides to it. The one that is the most straightforward and logical is that us as americans are bringing this upon ourselves. We know the kinds of foods that are good and healthy along with the foods that are bad, fattening, and unhealthy. We try to blame fast food restaurants and grocery stores for serving us foods that are unhealthy. In reality, we know. We try to blame those companies because we don’t want to blame ourselves. As much as we are told what is good and bad for our bodies, we tend to ignore that and keep eating those unhealthy products. America is blaming the fast food industry for obesity, when in reality, it comes down to the consumer as to why they are obese. In the article What You Eat Is Your Business, Radley Balko states that “we’re becoming less responsible for our own health, and more responsible for everyone else’s” (Balko 396). He believes that a society where everyone is responsible for everyone else’s well-being is a society more apt to accept government restrictions. It is the consumers who are purchasing these unhealthy food choices, and Balko thinks that the government should step in and fight our country’s obesity. Although there are people that are not willing to put down a cheeseburger just because the government is paying for medications, that is on them. As much as the government can try and help obesity in this country, it is ultimately up to the individual to how they will control what they eat and their lives. What you put in your mouth is not a public matter, but “it only becomes a public matter when we force the public to pay for the consequences of those choices” (Balko 397). Having the government or the public pay for some of these choices is not fair because everyone makes their own decisions. Just like how each individual decides what clothes to wear that day, they decide what to eat for each meal. They can have the choice to go to the grocery store and buy fruits and vegetables, or they can go buy junk food or drive through the drive through for convenience. This is not the fault of the restaurants themselves that the consumer buys food from there.
In the article Don’t Blame The Eater, David Zinczenko is saying that he does not believe it is our fault for unhealthy eating. He said that he “tends to sympathize with these portly fast-food patrons. Maybe because [he] used to be one of them” (Zinczenko 391). Zinczenko believes that we are not warned as consumers to what is in the foods that we eat. Fast food is a big convenience factor because there are fast food restaurants everywhere and within minimal miles from each other. He thinks that it is the fast food restaurants’ fault for our obesity because first, they are everywhere, second, they are the only thing affordable, and third, we don’t have any other options. Zinczenko asks, “where, exactly, are consumers--particularly teenagers--supposed to find alternatives?” (Zinczenko 392). There are many alternatives that can be found. Agreeing with him, fast food is one of the cheapest options, but there is food that is not much more expensive and can be accessed just as easily as fast food can. He also believes that we are not given any warning labels that it can lead to obesity, but this is easily argumentative. Although there are not specific labels of what can happen when you eat a McDonald’s meal, we all know what is healthy and unhealthy. We know that fried food is bad for you and is fattening. We know that greasy foods are high in fat. We also know that fruits, vegetables, green foods, etc are high in nutrients and are good for your body. When people try and blame the fast food restaurants for their health, it is just someone to put the blame on because they don’t want to admit that they did this to themselves. Zinczenko also thinks that “our industry is vulnerable. Fast-food companies are marketing to children a product with proven health hazards and no warning labels” (Zinczenko 393). Although kids may be more vulnerable than teenagers or grown-ups, their guardian still needs to take it upon themselves to inform their children about what is good and bad for you. Just like ice cream, fast food will seem like such a treat to kids because they just think it tastes good. At that age they don’t think that they will become obese, they just care about how it tastes. The fast-food restaurants will attack them for that reason exactly, but we need to teach them the knowledge that we know so that we can protect them from joining the majority of obese people in our country. In conclusion, we are responsible for the food that goes into our mouth. We cannot blame the fast food companies just because they are selling things that are unhealthy. We need to make the decisions ourselves to what is good or bad for our bodies. It is our fault, as consumers, that our country is considered to be obese.
Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” They Say, I Say with Readings. 2nd
ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkstein, Russel Durst, eds. New York: Norton, 2012.
Zinczenko, David. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” They Say, I Say with Readings.
2nd ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkstein, Russel Durst, eds. New York: Norton, 2012.