“You’re all here for the same reason—because you appreciate the power that food can have in our lives.” – Michelle Obama. Food is essential for a human to survive, but too much can cause obesity. The number of people that have obesity in America is the reason why America is the second fattest country in the world, but is it Americans who have caused this or is it the fast-food industry? In Daniel Weintraub’s article, “The Battle Against Fast Food Begins in the Home”, he comes to the conclusion that the parents are completely at fault for America’s childhood obesity. Although, I agree with Weintraub in that parents are to blame for America’s obesity problem, I cannot fully agree that they are the only ones that should be held responsible.
Parents are the ones who are responsible for what their kid eats and what they learn. Weintraub states “It is parents-not the government, not fast-food companies, not video-game manufactures- who are responsible for teaching kids healthy eating and exercise habits “. I agree with this statement because parents are supposed to be the first teachers of their children. My mom has taught me since I was young that fast-food is fattening and not healthy. Indeed, health includes the diet, and parents are the ones that feed their children. They are the ones who make decisions about food, so they should know, hence they should know that fast-food is a poor decision and will cause weight issues. My mom said that in the past kids would play outside more than kids now, but they still had temptations like sitting in front of the TV all day or while eating dinner, but that was not allowed. Now, too many parents don’t make such rules and so their kids sit in front of a screen for hours. In paragraph four of Daniel Weintraub’s article he says that studies and even more lawsuits against fast-food are sending a message to the parents and children that childhood obesity is somebody else’s fault. That is what is causing parents to avoid taking responsibility and start to fight against obesity in the home. A change is necessary in order to start fighting against obesity.
However, parents are not the only ones to be held responsible; fast-food companies must be held accountable as well. Rather than being able to choose between several healthy, affordable options, like in the past, today’s post-subsidy world has rendered the most affordable options the least healthy, forcing parents’ hands in favor of less nutritious diets for children, particularly in low-income settings. In my case my mom sometimes has to make a choice between two brands; she normally goes for the cheap price. A parent who cannot afford much doesn’t have an option; they just want to feed their children. In Shannon Brownlee’s article, “It’s Portion Distortion That Makes America Fat”, she states that “the actual food used to make fast- food is incredibly cheap, only 20 cents goes toward food”. In order for the fast food companies to attract people, mostly low-income families, they reduce the prices and even make the sizes bigger. This makes parents who can’t afford much turn to fast food. The fast-food companies still make a great amount of profit, while “the customer thinks he is getting a good deal”.
The fast food industry manipulates people by trying to hide the truth. For example, when they tell us the calories for the salad, but not the topping and the dressing, we then think we are eating right. The fast food companies lie to us, so that we can eat their food and they can make a profit. There will still be many people in the world who have different opinion. Of course, fast food is easy for the parent that has to work all day and somehow feed their children; parents should always put forth their best effort to give their child a homemade meal. I know that parents are tired and just want to feed their children, but they shouldn’t turn to fast food every single time just because it is quick and easy. Parents should make an effort to be healthy and take away all that junk. For example, my friend’s parents both work, so she eats fast food almost every day of the week, and I have seen changes in her weight. Even though both of my parents work my mom always tries to make something other than fast food.
My mom usually brings fast food two or three times a week. On Sunday or Saturday my parents take us out to eat as a treat, but I still think that is too much. When my mom did not work she had a meal prepared for us every day, so I know it is not easy for a working parent to do this. I have come to the conclusion that parents and the fast food industry are both to blame for America’s obesity problem. Although, Weintraub does make some valid points, it is more of a complex problem than what he presents. Both sides of the argument take part in America becoming the second fattest country in the world because one provides and the other consumes. Parents and fast food companies need to own up to their actions, to start working toward a healthier country.