Are Companies At Fault? Or Is It The lack Of Personal Responsibility? How does one become fat? Is it the lack of responsibility of one’s actions to make healthy food choices, the lack of knowledge to know if something is healthy or unhealthy for your body, or television hypnotizing the viewer into buying an unhealthy product? According to surgeon general, obesity has become a health epidemic that needs to be controlled and prevented. Almost a third of America’s population is obese and growing.
Obesity is also now a wide spread topic that has caught the attention of journalists and health activists.Writers all over America have an opinion on the obesity epidemic such as Radley Balko who wrote the article “What You Eat Is Your Business. ” Is obesity a medical condition or a consequence of a person’s food choice? In Balko’s article, he argues that the government is attempting to control what Americans consume and that obesity is caused by poor food choices. He tells us that the government is removing junk food and sodas from school vending machines, wanting more labeling (such as warning labels), and restricting food marketing to children. In other words, bringing government between your waist line” (158). Balko speaks the government is fighting obesity the wrong way by removal of the vending machine snacks, taxing more on higher calorie foods, and having restaurants send their food creations into a nutritional lab to be tested. He thinks the right way to defeat and handle obesity is to give the people a choice to want to be obese or improve your physical self.
“… Government ought to be working to foster a sense of responsibility in and ownership of one’s own health and well-being” (158).Balko tells us that “the best way to alleviate the obesity public health crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health” (159). Balko thinks that Americans need to be able to choose healthy on their own without the government’s interference. If America is educated about food health, the better choice can be made.
It is up to the individual to choose a salad or a home cooked meal over a Big Mac. People are smart enough to know what to put into their bodies. Another writer who wrote about obesity is John H. Banzhaf who’s article is opposite of Balko’s views.Banzhaf, the man who wields the law as a weapon against fast food companies. Banzhaf wants congress to figure out a solution for the obesity crisis and he is disappointed that congress is supporting a bill that gives fast food companies immunity from all liability. he does not think that obesity is caused by the lack of personal responsibility, he explains that the “rise of obesity and obesity related diseases occurred largely within the past 15-20 years, and there is no evidence that there has been a corresponding drop in and/or parental responsibility” (163).
He thinks that if law suits against tobacco companies are effective, he can have the same effectiveness against the fast food industry. According to Banzhaf, fast food industries should be held liable for its key role in the ascension of obesity. His thoughts on what congress should do to help go against obesity before thinking about giving fast food industries immunity is to “A. have the fast food industries display information about calories and fat in their menus… , B.
e required that all fast food restaurants provide appropriate warning about the danger of eating fattening foods too often, C. require that all fast food restaurants provide more nutritious alternative menu… , and require that all food item intended for children – provide fat and calorie content…
” (165-166). Banzhaf’s article disagrees with Balko’s argument because Banzhaf points most of the blame for obesity toward fast food and is arguing that it is not lack of responsibility, but the lack of nutritional knowledge and availability of healthy food.He wants the FFR to be liable for the contribution in the obesity epidemic and for not well informing their customers properly about the content of their food. Yves Engler would agree with Banzhaf with his article “Obesity: Much of the Responsibility Lies with Corporations. ” Engler begins with his article with statistics of why obesity s now a large health crisis such as claiming that almost a third of the U. S. population obese and that the rate of obesity has doubled within 13 years.
He found link through researchers that obesity is connected to 30 other medical conditions and he learned that the epidemic is costing billions of dollars to treat obesity related conditions, and people are putting more faith into weight loss drugs and surgery, rather than naturally losing weight through exercise. He has discovered that FFR are more available in walking distance from a home than supermarkets. “Poor areas often have had an even higher exposure to FFR and fewer super markets… ” (174). In Englers studies, fast food products are consumed in greater quantities (175).
The amount food you receive has increased into bigger portions and according to angler people consume 30 percent more since 1983. Companies spend billions of dollars to advertise their products and their main target are children. Engler says that animated characters and toy gain the attention of children, thus making the children have their parents come in and eat at the restaurant. “Companies use cartoon characters, toys, and other items to have powerful influence over children” (175). The soda companies invaded schools to gain profit children.Engler’s argument is that companies are relentless in selling their unhealthy products and succeeding in their sales. With the company’s success leads to an obese America.
Engler can connect with Balko’s article because children/teenagers/adults need to take responsibility in their food and drink choices and consume in moderation of the unhealthy choices. Engler also connects well with Banzhaf because Banzhaf is going against the FFR, the same as Engler is and that fast food is a key factor for the cause of obesity.Cathy Arnst has a different view on the subject on is obesity caused by a lack pr personal responsibility or is it the food we eat. Cathy Arnst does not think that obesity is caused by our lack or personal responsibility in what we eat. She emphasizes that the foods we eat have more calories than what they used to be in the past. “Two new studies conclude that the food industry is following the tobacco industry’s play book to ensure that we keep loading up on calories, and as a result virtually all of the weight gain in the U. S.
ver the last 30 years can be attributed to eating more, not moving less” (01). She say that having no physical activity plays no role in why we have an obesity epidemic. People today just eat more than what we used to in the past. Cathy can relate to Banzhaf and Engler because the problem is the food that’s available. So like what Banzhaf was saying, there should be an alternative healthy menu. Finally, who really is at fault for causing the obesity epidemic? All writers have made good points on why this happened and good ideas of actions we should make.People are at fault for the food choices they eat and corporations are at fault for selling high calorie foods that cause fat tissue to grow.
Also corporation irresponsibility for targeting children mainly for buying their products through their advertisements because they are teaching a generation to buy unhealthy foods and saying it’s ok. If this Epidemic is to ever be solved, instead of pointing what is causing it, make choices as an individual to make the next day healthier for yourself because every adult is responsible for their own well being.
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