Nov 2, 2017 in Review

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Introduction

The United States of America is a large country with its own mentality, culture, and history. It is important to notice that American people have a special way of life that differs from other nations. The decent part of the American population does not want to be limited in their desire of having a nice car, house, clothing, and so on. The way Americans live includes some of the key features, such as money, entertainment, and pleasure. The same can be observed in the eating habits of U.S. residents. The American nation consumes food more than other nations in the world. Even though a decent part of American diets comes from fast-food restaurants and it is considered to be unhealthy food, Americans continue to eat what they like. They continue to consume fast food, even though the situation with the obesity rates and related to it diseases among children and adults is critical in the country. To improve the situation with eating problems in the United States, the government must change the American way of life: to make fast-food restaurants less attractive through the mass media, to promote a healthy way of life, and to make companies, which produce fast food, honestly warn its customers about the potential danger.

Obesity Among Children

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The high rate of obesity among children is a danger for the health of the future generation. One may wonder why many American children prefer fast food over healthy food. Another question is whether they eat it because of their choice or because they do not have a choice at all. David Zinczenko, is the author of the article Don’t blame the eater, considers that children or even adults cannot make the right choice with the huge amount of fast-food facilities in the country. As an example, he gives evidence of how many possibilities a regular American person has in his or her choice of food. “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 to find someplace to buy a grapefruit” (Zinczenko). It shows that children cannot make their own choice except going to fast-food restaurants as the most convenient option.

The Fast Food

The fast-food industry has made a significant contribution to the development of its services and has limited the access of Americans to healthy food. The food market is overloaded with different types of fast-food restaurants. It became the only opportunity for children to get affordable meals. In comparison to other countries, Americans lost their cultural eating habits. Many countries prefer to eat their national meals and prepare food at home. American nation prefers to eat outside the home and does not have too much time to prepare food. Instead of going to the grocery store as people do in many countries, Americans go to fast food facilities.

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The owners of the fast-food facilities spend a lot of money on advertising and management strategy of the ways to attract clients. Additionally, fast food companies do not represent the full information about their product on the labels. In this way, people are not always sure what they eat. The author highlights that “Some fast-food purveyors will provide calorie information on request, but even that can be hard to understand” (Zinczenko). Thus, the author of the article encourages the state government to take some measures to reduce the number of ill and obese children and to promote healthy food. He is right that the government has to do something about this issue. However, in contrast to him, Judith Warner, the author of the article Junking junk food, does not see the actions of the government as a right policy towards this issue. She claims that Obama’s administration is trying to change the way Americans live. Americans are deeply dependent on the fast-food industry. That is why some measures from the side of the government could raise the protest among Americans who tend to eat fast food every day. The limitation of fast food intake would decrease the loyalty of those people who cannot imagine their life without fast food. It is a very serious issue to keep in mind for the government. That is why all steps towards the limitation of fast food should be made slowly and correctly.

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From first sight, it seems that both authors have opposite points of view about this topic. However, both of them claim about the negative effect of fast food on the American nation. They just differently see the ways this problem can be solved. Zinczenko states that the American people cannot make the right choice, because the fast-food industry makes a strong effort to offer and impose its products on regular Americans. That is why, people should be aware of the danger of those products, and be properly informed by the government and fast food facilities. On the other hand, Warner states that people are capable of making the right choice on their own. Additionally, she thinks that people have the right to eat what they want to get pleasure. She supports the idea that people have the right to freedom and pleasure. Warner indicates that children have the right to childhood delights by eating food. Her article criticizes the attempt of Obama’s administration to change the situation in the country. At the same time, she indicates and describes the situation with obesity in the country.

Warner suggests that it is necessary to present a healthier way of life that would be accompanied by a new culture. From her point of view, it should be presented as a freely chosen expression of the American way. Additionally, in that article, Kessler, who is a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration member, says that laws and regulations cannot change the general opinion and behavior towards eating habits. He said that “Because of the unique emotional power of food, it’s hard, if not impossible, to similarly stigmatize unhealthful eating” (Warner). To some extent, this position is true, but today American society is not ready to change its eating habits and accept the new eating culture. Too many people are dependent on the strong taste of different fast food items. To make some changes, it is necessary to create some laws and regulations that would guide the attention of people in the right direction. Additionally, the advertisements with obese and limited in their activity people can overcome the emotional power of food. It will be more powerful if the advertisements would include the people, who share the happy moments of their life with physical activity. It is very difficult to accomplish that goal without the direct intervention of the government.

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In his article, David Zinczenko clearly indicates that at his young age he did not have another choice except for eating fast food. He emphasizes that in his childhood “Lunch and dinner, for me, was a daily choice between McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut” (Zinczenko). His parents were busy and did not have time to control the eating habits of their son. The same situation is almost in half of the American families. People are so busy with different problems that they do not have time to turn their attention to what they eat. That is why, the government should create some regulations that would allow promoting the healthy way of life, limiting the number of fast-food restaurants, and increasing the number of grocery stores. It should control the fast-food restaurants, which hide the real number of calories. In his article, Zinczenko highlighted that without nutrition information, American society will continue suffering from different diseases and obesity. The state authority should attempt to establish equal opportunity for people to choose what type of food to consume.

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