Obesity is an epidemic that is killing America. Although there are a plethora of causes that feed this disease, fast food remains at the core. According to David Zinczenko, “without more [understandable] warnings for consumers, we’ll see more sick, obese children” and adults alike plaguing our nation. He feels that obesity is destroying American consumers from the inside out. Even though what’s being consumed is more bad than good, it’s being considered nourishment because it’s cheap and fulfilling.
Obesity is an epidemic that is attacking American citizens at a younger and younger age. By the age of five, children have had so much fast food that their hearts are already exhibiting signs of disease. By the age of twenty, these same people are at risk for a heart attack. Just this year alone, I’ve personally heard of three people in their twenties that all appeared to be healthy and just had heart attacks and died. My friend, Joe, who had been active all of his life, had a heart attack and died while he was playing his weekly game of water polo.
Zinczenko discusses how cigarette packs and alcohol bottles carry applicable warnings for their side affects and that fast food should carry them as well. I don’t agree with this point. I hate the idea of putting warning labels on all that is bad (or good). If someone wants to know the specifics for dietary reasons, I think it should be available. Excess information is numbing to people. Everyone should be offered a very general understanding of nutrition at a young age. For instance, children should have a valid nutritional chart memorized. Gradually, each person should learn what he needs nutritionally in order to maintain, gain or lose weight in a healthy manner as it pertains to his body weight and choice of eating lifestyles.
It’s unfortunate that the unhealthy fast food is more readily available to the public than the healthy food. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life and if I don’t completely plan out everything I’m going to eat I starve. Eating is something that is fairly easy to monitor. It took me a few trials but I discovered that I like to eat four to five small meals a day and some snacks. There isn’t any place where I can run in and pick up ready-made vegetarian food at an inexpensive price. I’m not saying that vegetarianism is the way to a healthy America, but a healthy eating lifestyle needs to be enforced throughout the country otherwise obesity will emerge victorious.
In order to change the progress of this epidemic, I believe more energy should be shifted towards the children. In any given situation, people know that children are more likely to change their minds about something, learn a language so why not teach them to alter their eating habits. In France, obesity has begun to attack their youth. They implemented computer systems that have each student’s weight, height and other pertinent information included or their student body card. Before they can get lunch each day, they are required to construct a nourishing lunch. They did mention that this was expensive and risky but the government felt that it was worth it.
Food is not the only problem plaguing the youth. I teach dance and I have not only witnessed the increase of obese children in my classes but also seen it occurring in younger and younger children. I have teenagers that can hardly do two pushups and four-year-olds that will focus for an entire ballet class just to get McDonald’s as a reward. My own sister would much rather spend her hard-earned money on the latest diet then workout on a regular basis. This country spends more on diets than any other and coupled with eating poorly puts an even larger strain on the human body.
Even when America complained that fast food was unhealthy and demanded a healthier alternative, the fast food companies made more aesthetic changes than healthy ones. They began selling a larger variety of salad dressings and some companies even sold chicken in place of beef on the menu. This is all great, but the problem is that these same companies piled so many appealing (and again unhealthy) additives onto these healthy changes that the new products were worse for the consumer than the original.
Since no one with power is willing to invest in a healthy America, the children have taken it upon themselves to live healthier lives. They don’t need a warning label on this fast food, no one does. America just needs an alternative. Americans need fast food that truly is nutritious and healthy. This country doesn’t need grilled fatless children that is marinated in soy sauce or taco salads that come with chili on top.
The number of those that are just overweight is large than those that are obese. Also, the number of those that are well on their way to heart disease is larger than both groups combined. Not only do I agree with the children suing the fast food industry but I believe that anyone that has the opportunity to do so should become a plaintiff. David Zinczenko is correct regarding the availability of this inexpensive and filling food but I don’t think that warning labels on fast food will detour people from eating unhealthy.
I can’t believe that emergency vehicles are available in a super-size because the normal vehicles aren’t equipped to carry obese people. This is an additional charge because they come with a built-on forklift among other additives. There isn’t a quick fix for this epidemic; it’s been infecting consumers since the creation of the first fast food restaurant. I dare the powerful to overhaul these fast food eyesores and create fast, costly and healthy alternatives for the consumers. Most consumers wish they could eat healthier but don’t have the time nor the money to do so. If fast healthy alternatives were available as much as current fast food, I think that America would make the right choice.