Paper type: Essay Pages: 6 (1345 words)
In a recent documentary film I’ve seen called, “Super-Size Me,” it was stated that in the past 20-25 years, obesity levels in America have doubled. Why you may wonder? Many factors contribute to the way we live in our society today, but the main reason for obesity levels being so high is the fast food industry and its effects on everyone it comes in contact with. Anyone who has ever had junk food in their life know its addicting features.
Seeing it everywhere you go whether you are at a grocery store, fast food restaurant, or on TV doesn’t help stop the urges in anyone’s case.
Fast food is convenient, cheap, and is what the average American family would choose to eat. Obesity is an ongoing problem in the United States today, and if it cannot be stopped, this problem could potentially be passed down from generation to generation. The reason America has allowed this to happen is because of the way society portrays how to live and eat in this world, how Americans have adapted in a way where they heavily rely on fast food for convenience purposes, and the individual’s lack of effort in living a healthy lifestyle.
Every woman in America once in their lives has seen or bought a magazine. What do you see on the cover?
A skinny, beautiful model or celebrity, and a tagline on how to lose more weight or how to eat healthier in order for you to look more like the picture. Everywhere you go society portrays a certain way woman should look that is acceptable in this world. I strongly believe that one of the reasons that obesity has struck America so negatively is because society has pushed the woman in this country over the edge on how they ‘should’ look. “For many women, compulsive eating and being fat have become one way to avoid being marketed or seen as the ideal woman:
My fat says ‘screw you’ to all who want me to be the perfect mom, sweetheart, and maid. Take me for who I am, not for who I am supposed to be” (Orbach, pg. 452). This quote comes from the article, “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” and it heavily relates to why obesity is still an ongoing issue in the United States. Susie Orbach strongly explains how fat expresses a rebellion against how women feel powerless because of all of the pressure to look and even act a certain way. Society has even changed the way women should look over and over again throughout the years (pg. 452).
This in my opinion puts more pressure on the women because they are constantly changing their image and even their body in order to fit in. This topic alone, has a huge impact on why a lot of people are overweight in the world. Now a days, people want to be what they want and not what society wants. Since society hasn’t given woman and everyone else a break on what they expect from them, obesity has increased and a rebellion on body image is its result. If society would stop stressing how to look and act, people might want to start to do things for themselves and not for the ‘betterment’ of society.
In my experience, I can honestly say that being a women in society today is difficult. Yes I do eat what I want when I want, but I do watch my body image. Half of the reason is because it makes me feel better as a person when I look and eat healthy, but the other half is because I know society would qualify me as someone who would fit in. You could say that society has gotten to me, but I do feel great when I eat healthy and when I look healthy. In my nutrition class, I learned that junk food is very low in satiation value, this means that people don’t feel as full when eating them, which tends to lead to overeating.
These two factors relate to why people choose to go to a fast food restaurant. Americans don’t realize the negative effects it has on their mind and body. Not only is that a factor, but the taste also plays a huge part too. A lot of great tasting foods are bad for you, which just happens to be the disappointing truth that many people disregard. All anyone wants is to find good food that is affordable in this world right? That is what makes fast food so convenient!! In the article, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” David Zinczenko makes a good point about fast food.
“Lunch and dinner for me, was a daily choice between McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut. Then as now, these were the only available options for an American kid to get an affordable meal” (pg. 391-392). Everything he stated is true for the average American family, why wouldn’t you stop at a fast food restaurant if you are tight on money and time. When I was a kid, sports was a big part of my life…but time and money was also tight in my family because my two younger sisters also played sports. We stopped for fast food whenever was convenient for us on and off the road.
At the time, it was almost like I was being treated when we stopped for fast food. Little did I know the only reason we got fast food was because it was affordable and reliable. Even now to this day, it is hard for me not to stop at a fast food restaurant every once in a while. I don’t go as much as I used to, but it is still convenient and it always will be. Just like Zinczenko was saying, whether we like it or not, fast food surrounds us and lures us into its traps. We have the choice to escape it or embrace it. The individual has this decision alone.
Society plays its parts in luring, but it is ultimately your own decision in the end. In the article, “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating,” Mary Maxfield heavily stresses how it is the individual’s ultimate decision on what to eat and how much of it to eat. I could not agree more with her article, even though society does its job in persuading, it is the individual who is left with the decision because it is their body. Maxfield states, “…. what a person eats [rarely] takes primacy over how they eat it….. in essence, we can eat as we always have- which includes eating for emotional and social reasons and still survive or even thrive” (pg. 445).
What she is saying is that no matter what social interactions stand in someone’s way, they are the ones who decide what and how much to eat. You must trust yourself, trust your body and meet your own needs (Maxfield, pg. 446). Personally, there are days where I know I need to cut down on the junk food and focus on drinking water and eating foods with nutritional value. That is because I have the motivation and drive to do so. Many Americans do not have this motivation and drive. This is what is increasing the obesity levels in America. People do not know what is too much, and do not know when to stop.
So in return, they are putting themselves more at risk for the chronic diseases that obesity has to offer. In the end, the individual has the power to decide what is best for them. If everyone started to make healthy life decisions, obesity levels could slowly start to decrease, and the world could have a more restored environment. We need to start by educating our children about the smart and healthy life alternatives they can make and continue to educate their parents as well. In turn, we can decrease the many factors that have led our country to where it is today…. a fast food driven, obese and lazy society.
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Fast Food Driven Society. (2017, Apr 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/fast-food-driven-society-essay