The blame for obesity is almost always placed on fast food restaurants alone. However, the rise in obesity is contributed by several factors – a change in lifestyle, less exercise, bigger food portions and targeted marketing. To be fair, the presence of fast food industry is fueled by a major change in the lifestyle of today’s generation. The advancement of technology and modern appliances has changed the way we live, harming us in some ways. We drive to work or school instead of walking or cycling. We sit in front of the computer or television for long hours instead of running at the neighborhood with friends.
The same goes with our choice in diet. Rather than preparing meals in the kitchen, we would opt for a convenient and time-saving meal at the fast food restaurant (Nutracheck. co. uk, n. d. , para. 9). Eating at fast food restaurants eventually becomes an acceptable trend in the current society even though most people are well aware that fast food is bad for them (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2002, On the Other Hand section, para. 2). This comes down to a matter of choice and individual’s responsibility. For our part, we decide on what we eat and we are responsible for our choice (Nutracheck. co. k, n. d. , para. 10). We are responsible for the choice we made, not the company that provides the food (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2002, On the Other Hand section, para. 2).
In a typical family setting, one would discover that both husband and wife are working. Otherwise, they would not be able to afford to buy a house or even fund their children’s higher education. With more women joining the workforce, they no longer have the luxury of shopping for fresh grocery at the local market and preparing healthy meals for the family (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2004, How We Got So Fat section, para. ). In order to feed their families, these women have not much choice left but to opt for buying fast food. This is the easiest, most convenient and most affordable option for most families. The children from these families grew up eating processed food and this would have influenced their eating choices as they become adults. Furthermore, most people are just not getting enough exercise to burn off the extra calories ingested daily (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2004, How We Got So Fat section, para. 7). Thirty minutes of daily vigorous activity is good enough to ward off heart diseases.
However, at least one hour of physical exercise is necessary to burn off the extra calories gained daily (Protraineronline. com, 2011, para. 10). Insufficient exercise coupled with a less physical lifestyle and high-calories diet would only mean that the population grows fatter each day. On the individual level, we are responsible on the amount of calories ingested and burned on a daily basis (Protraineronline. com, 2011, para. 18). If we willingly choose to consume high-caloric fast food yet we do not bother to burn off the extra calories, then we can only have ourselves to blame if we become obese.
Having said all that, fast food restaurants deserve to take in a huge part of the blame for obesity. They made unhealthy food so cheaply and readily available to the population (Nutracheck. co. uk, n. d. , para. 3) and yet most of them do not bother to warn their customers of the unhealthy food served (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2002, On One Hand section, para. 3). Most consumers do not know what is being served to them – they are ignorant of the hazardously high sodium, sugar and fat content in the food served. To make matters worse, fast food restaurants are also serving bigger portions compared to a decade ago.
The fast food industry is facing a stiff competition. Since it costs just a little bit more to serve a large portion compared to a medium portion, “supersizing” became a common practice especially for fast food chains like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2004, How We Got So Fat section, para. 5). The burgers served are oversized, fries come in extra-large servings and the soda drinks are bottomless (Whatscookingamerica. net, 2002, para. 2). Then again, even if fast food restaurants offer “super-size” portions, customers are not forced to double their potion (Nutracheck. o. uk, n. d. , para. 8).
They can still opt for the normal size serving. Fast food restaurants are also to be blamed for disseminating wrong messages about diet and nutrition in television advertisement targeted towards children (Nutracheck. co. uk, n. d. , para. 7). In these television advertisements, children are convinced to eat processed food that is really bad for them. Fast food restaurants take advantage of the fact that children are more susceptible to marketing campaigns and they cannot decide on what is best for them to eat since they are not as well informed as adult consumers (Nutracheck. o. uk, n. d. , para. 7). Hence, the fast food industry is clearly the culprit of the growing obesity problem among children. In conclusion, the responsibility of choosing healthy food and getting daily exercises lies in every individual to tackle the obesity problem. Meanwhile, fast food restaurants have to bear the blame of serving unhealthy food to their customers, “super-sizing” portions to retain loyal customers and making children the target of their sinister television advertisement.
Courtney from Study Moose
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