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The Decline of General American Health and Rise of Child Obesity

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If we were to consider health as wealth, then we would see America going bankrupt. In the last 50 years obesity has multiplied, waistlines have widened, and Americans are becoming lazier. There are more obese Americans now than there ever were before, but who’s to blame for this, the food corporations or the consumers? In the end it is the consumer’s fault for leading themselves into obesity. Some people don’t control the amount of food they eat and may also lack the motivation to exercise daily. Then there are parents who lead their child to obesity by spoiling them. Fast-food restaurants or any type of junk food aren’t the only source of food out there.

People have the freedom to choose what to eat and many decide to make fast-food restaurants their main source of food. This leads man on the path of obesity and once they’re obese, they do nothing about it. “But most of the teenagers who live, as I once did, on a fast-food diet won’t turn their lives around” (Zinzenk, David, “Don’t Blame the Eater”, pg. 44). Mr. Zinczenk has a good point here; a great majority of the people who became obese do nothing to fix it, they would rather blame the food corporations when in reality they should blame themselves.

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In the past 50 years, child obesity has tripled and parents have a large role in leading up to this. Parents are supposed to keep their child healthy, yet some parents interpret “healthy” in a wrong way. For example, “Bronx teenager who tips the scale at 400 pounds and whose mother… said, ‘I always believed McDonald’s food was healthy for my son’” (Brownlee, Shannon, “It’s Portion Distortion That Makes America Fat”, pg. 33). I was never aware that fries, hamburgers, and soda was healthy, nor was I aware that McDonald’s would say their food is very healthy. Yes McDonald’s at first didn’t say they were unhealthy either; “it was probably inevitable that one day people would start using McDonald’s for making them fat…filed lawsuits against McDonald’s…on the grounds that they failed to adequately disclose the bad health effect on their menus,” (Brownlee, Shannon, “It’s Portion Distortion That Makes America Fat”, pg. 33) Regardless, it’s common sense that fries and burgers aren’t healthy.

Not only do some parents lack good judgment, but they also don’t motivate their children to stay active. “it’s the fault of parents who let their kids eat unhealthy foods and sit in front of the television or computer for hours at a time,” (Weintraub, Daniel, “The Battle Against Fast Food Begins At Home,” pg. 42). Once children are given the choice to watch as much as TV as they want, that’s when laziness begins. Instead of allowing their children to stay as a couch potato, parents should motivate their child to be in a sport, or simply go out and plat, to stay active. Parents need to do their job better, which is to keep their children healthy.

There may be more fast-food places than there are grocery stores, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to the first place of available food that you see. “Drive down any thoroughfare in America, and I guarantee you’ll see one of our country’s more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants. Now Drive back up the block and try to0 find someplace to buy grapefruit,” (Zinczenko, David, “Don’t Blame the Eater”. Pg. 44). Yes, it’s more difficult ot find healthy foods when there is a fast-food place almost everywhere, but that’s no good excuse for eating there. These fast-food places aren’t the only food available. People need to get out and take the time to find the healthy food and cook for themselves.

Obesity has become an epidemic, but the problem isn’t the food corporations, it is the lack of personal responsibility that people seemed to have lost and instead gained weight. No one forces unhealthy foods on peoples’ plates. People need to limit how much they eat, what they put in their mouths, and exercise! There is no one else to blame, but the people themselves.

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