Last Updated 17 Jun 2020

Fast Food and Obesity

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Obesity is a growing problem in America that has serious consequences for us and our children. Some would argue this growing predicament is due to the poor choices made by the fast food industries and the unhealthy foods they have available to the public. Others like the Center for Consumer Freedom, would argue that it is not only their choice to eat healthy or unhealthy but also every individuals right as Americans to make that choice without the interference of our government . Where exactly does that leave the children of America though?

Children are taught to obey their parents and/or guardians and to do as they are told. If parents are feeding their children unhealthy food the children really don’t have a say in it because they only know what they are taught. It is our responsibility to make the right choices for our children and ourselves. Making healthy choices for ourselves set the right example and image we need for our children to follow in as well at a young age so that as they grow they will continue to make those choices for themselves. Blame the fast food industry.

David Zinczenko states that we are not at fault for the increase in obesity over the years, which in fact is growing much higher at a more rapid pace in the twenty-first century than in the past and is only expected to get worse. Fast food industries such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s are being blamed for the poor choices in foods they are serving the American public. These places are on every street corner and to easy to access for the busy American family on the run. Some argue that it is their fault for serving cheaply made processed foods at cheap prices.

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There have also been many complaints about the nutrition facts. They should give nutrition facts for each item being served in some opinions. In Los Angeles they went as far as stopping the opening of new fast-food restaurants in the poorer communities so that they could control the eating of unhealthy foods for lower cost, causing people to eat less fast food and more home-cooked meals. How can we blame the fast-food industries for our obesity when we are the ones choosing to go to these places and eat the food.

Yes, you can find cheap food at these places, but that is because it is cheaply made. It is also possible to find healthy foods at cheaper prices as well. You don’t have to shop only at your neighborhood high priced store to find a healthy meal. Processed foods, however, are high in fatty meats and sugars which are cheaper to make than better cuts of meat and fresh foods. You pay for what you get, simple as that. We would be back fighting these industries if they were serving us cheap products at expressive prices.

Taking these drive-thru restaurants away from us will only cause us to drive further away to get what we want. Also, nutrition facts are posted inside these establishments. If we chose not to go inside where we can look at these facts you always have the option to go on any of their websites where we can also find and print if you so chose any nutrition facts for the items they are selling. Lawsuits have been filed against fast food restaurants all over the United States, claiming that they have caused Americas obesity problem.

According to the U. S. Surgeon General, in 2001 Obesity killed about 300,000 Americans and cost about 100 billion dollars a year. The government wants to hold the fast food industries responsible for these numbers. Other lawsuits have come out because people feel that if someone with cancer could sue the tobacco industries for getting cancer, people with health problems caused by obesity should be able to push the issue of their obesity on to the fast food industry for causing their illnesses as well.

Although these illnesses are very different from one another, they both can cause death in some cases if not treated. These lawsuits are not getting very far due to the fact that at the end of the day Ronald McDonald is not holding anyone down forcing them to stuff their faces full of deep fried chicken nuggets or greasy, French-fries covered in salt. It is our choice to get into our cars and drive to these restaurants just as it is our choice to wait in line and order that whooper with a large coke. Part of being in America is having the freedom to make choices for ourselves.

Pointing the blame at others is much easier than looking at ourselves and realizing that we are becoming obese and have health problems caused by unhealthy foods because of the choices we have made for ourselves. Fast food is not only found at the drive-thru diners with the golden arches or the giant burgers in front of their buildings although they are the most common thing we think of when we hear the term “fast food“. Fast food is any food that is quick, convenient, and inexpensive for the most part.

It can be bought just about anywhere that sells food and snacks. Vending machines play a huge part in bad food choices. They are found in most offices and schools for people on the go to grab a quick bite. Twenty-four hour convenience stores are probably the most common places to find fast food but we don’t usually think of it as fast food because it isn’t sold threw a drive-thru restaurant. These foods are so popular because for under five dollars you can usually get a meal that may not be the healthiest choice but will fill you up.

However, although fast food is inexpensive it is only that way because it is made with cheaper ingredients. It is time to take some responsibility for our actions. Not only are we hurting ourselves by choosing the fast and easy route of no exercise and fast food for meals instead of home cooked ones but we are hurting our children as well. Parents are role models for their children. No matter what we tell our children about “do as I say not as I do” , you are the sole person they look up to at young ages and they will learn from your actions.

Serving our children “junk foods” at young ages is only preparing them for a future of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bone and joint problems, liver and gall bladder disease, and many other health risks. Children who are obese tend to sexually mature at an earlier age than their peers also. This can cause irregular mensal cycles in girls and can cause fertility problems for them later in life as they reach adulthood. Why are we putting our children through this physical torture when we can easily prevent it?

Not only are we setting our children up for physical health problems but it has also been proven to cause many other problems as well. Although eating healthy is extremely important, exercise is also very critical as well. An obese child in most cases suffers from shortness of breath which makes physical activity such as sports or exercise more difficult. Children who are not active have no way of ever changing their health problems. Overweight children are at risk for developing mental health problems as well. Most children who are overweight are not happy with their weight but don’t always know how to change it in a healthy manner.

This can lead children to develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Studies have also shown that they are more prone to substance abuse problems later in life as well so we need to be thinking of not just how these unhealthy foods are affecting our children now but what it will do to them as they grow to adults too. Overweight children are commonly diagnosed with depression. This is not just something that these children can just snap out of. Depression is a serious illness that causes harm to us mentally and physically.

The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the second-leading cause of disability by the year 2020. We need to do all that we can to prevent our children from being exposed to these feelings and disabilities. There is no such thing as a “bad” food. All foods can fit into a healthy meal plan. Some foods just need to be eaten in moderation more so than others. Even though fast food is usually high in calories and fats along with many other unhealthy things such as sodium and others, eating it every once in a while is not going to cause health problems.

It is when you eat too much fast food over a long period of time and are not eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables along with home cooked meats that these problems start to occur. We as parents need to take responsibility for our children’s health now so that they are prepared and able to make the right choices for themselves when they become adults and have children of their own. We need to change the obesity problem in America but we need to do so by making the healthier choices ourselves and not put the blame on the industries that serve us unhealthy foods.

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