We as Americans love food and slowly but surely we have ended up with an abundant amount of food options as well as huge waistlines. But we have to argue, who is to blame for this? Should we be held responsible for our bodies and what we decide to consume or is the food industry responsible for luring us in? This, as well as many biological and environmental factors can contribute to the rise of weight problems and obesity. R. A Ames, author of “Fast Food Isn’t to Blame”, argues that weight difficulties are the responsibility of the individual and we shouldn’t be blaming the fast food industry or other biological and environmental causes.
Although individuals should be aware of the consequences of the food they choose to consume, fast food companies and a person’s biological makeup are also partially to blame for the outcome of obesity. Individuals have a choice on a daily basis on what they want to eat or drink. Granted, we don’t always make healthy choices, most of the least healthy ones are offered by fast food companies. These fast food companies offer us bigger sizes and huge portions compared to what we are supposed to eat. Most of us want something fast, cheap and good.
That is why so many people turn to fast food, because it is convenient, fast, cheap and the taste appeals to many since it is loaded with fat, sugar and salt. Individuals are responsible for the state that they get themselves in, you choose what to eat and are fully aware of what the food consists of. Nobody forces you to eat anything you don’t want to. By willingly choosing to eat fast food or other unhealthy foods, you are putting yourself at risk. Choosing to make unhealthy food choices daily can lead to weight complications as well as diseases like diabetes.
I am sure most of us realize the risks but don’t want to give a second thought to the consequences because we enjoy eating whatever we want. Essentially, like the old saying goes, you are what you eat, plain and simple. Parents should be aware of what their kids eat on a daily basis. They need to monitor their needs and teach them about healthy food choices. Eating unhealthy food as a kid leads to eating unhealthy when older and a consequence of this is obesity. Parents are responsible for helping their children make smart and healthy food choices. Children develop good and bad ood habits while they are young and continue to make those choices’ as they get older. These bad habits can lead weight gain, health problems and later to obesity. Parents are partially to blame for letting their kids eat unhealthy food if their child ends up with weight issues. Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, states that children who grow up eating fatty foods have a hard time breaking that habit as they get older. The Fast Food Industry plays a huge part in the recent weight problems and obesity epidemic. These fast food restaurants are conveniently located near schools, jobs and in neighborhoods everywhere.
They know how to lure us in and sure enough, we fall for it. The food that fast food companies serve is loaded with massive amounts of fat, salt and sugar. These factors lead to weight gain and cause medical problems. It is beyond unhealthy and has no nutritional value. Eating this food on daily basis leads to the obesity problems that most adults are dealing with these days. Fast Food Nation by Schlosser, states that, Children are the biggest targets for fast food companies because they are often able to recognize brand logos before they can even speak. Children are easy targets because they are vulnerable and gullible to advertisers.
Children are naive and they will believe anything they see, so when they see a bright, colorful ad for a fast food product, it gets their attention and then they must have it. Fast food companies offer toys in their happy meals as a way of luring in children, children then beg their parents and the parents eventually give in. I used to spend many hours a day watching television as a child and I was always falling for these fast food ads and asking my parents to take me. Children should not be advertised to, especially to eat unhealthy foods as a means of getting a toy with their meal.
Some parents who have children work all day and don’t have the time to cook for their families. They are tired or simply don’t have the money to spend on groceries. Instead they can pick up fast food for the whole family for a reasonably affordable price. In an example from Food, Inc, there is a low- income minority family shown at a grocery store, when the younger daughter who is overweight picks up pears, her mother says no, she claims that they can find candy, chips and soda for cheaper. She says after looking at brocolli, you can get 2 hamburgers for the same price of one head of brocolli.
She states that her and her husband don’t have time to cook because they work all day long. The movie, Food, Inc claims that the biggest predictor of obesity is income level and that half of all minority children will develop Type 2 diabetes because of this. The media and Hollywood are a huge influence on kids and their dietary selections. Hollywood joins together with fast food companies so that they can promote popular films, not realizing that children are being affected by it. They offer toys and such giveaways from the movie to children as a way of luring them in.
Kids will see these fast food ads and ask their parents to take them for a meal, and so a cycle begins. In the article “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Fat Kids”, by Parikh, he states that, “American kids spend a full-time job’s worth of time in front of the TV, on the web and playing video games. They will see about 40,000 ads per year and two-thirds of those ads are for junk food and fast food. ” A person’s metabolism can make them prone to gaining weight much faster and not being able to loose it as easily as others who have a faster metabolism.
Metabolism and the biological makeup of each person will determine how the food they eat will affect them biologically and physically. Our genes are predetermined based on the genes of our parents; thus with a combination of a slow metabolism and a society filled with high fructose corn syrup and over processed everything, naturally obesity is the next step. Environmental factors such as working indoors and sitting for the majority of the day at a job contributes to being overweight and obesity. We need to burn the amount of calories that we consume yet most jobs don’t allow us to do so.
Most jobs require constant sitting and repetitive motions for the majority of the day, which doesn’t stimulate our metabolism. In conclusion, although Ames’ believes that each individual is responsible for his or her body, there are many other contributing factors as well. Considering all the factors that can lead to weight issues, we should be more aware of the food we choose to consume. Despite all the other factors that can lead to weight gain, we are the ones solely responsible for our bodies. We choose what to consume and then will later face the consequences.