Arguing Cause Sean Streier

Living a Fast Paced, Fat Lifestyle

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: I found this interesting due to the fact that I have looked at this kind of thing before. I have taken classes that have gone over these concepts, seeing as though I am a Phyed and Health ed major.

This part was surprisingly difficult: The hardest part of this whole paper was not writing a solution to the problem. I think we are all so use to writing research papers where we come up with a solution rather than just talk about the problem.

Next time I would do this differently: Next time I would try and clear my mind of all solutions, it seemed as though the whole time I was writing this paper I had solutions in the back of my head. Which would lead to me starting to add sections of solutions to the problem.

What if I told you that obesity is one of the fastest and growing and deadliest diseases in the United States, with one and three adults being classified as obese, would you believe me (Garcia, Sunil and Hinojosa, 810)? As we all know obesity is a rapidly growing problem in the United States. It is not only about the lifestyles we live, but also the types of foods we eat. Which in today's market we tend to eat "junk", but why? We tend to always eat this "junk" because it is cheaper, easily obtained and cheap. While on the other hand healthy food is considered to be expensive and needing more time to prepare. Therefore, as a nation what is the real problem, our lifestyles we choose to live, or the companies who choose to supply us unhealthy foods at a (unreasonably?)reasonable low price?

The first problem in the cause of obesity in our nation would be easily accessible junk food, or in other terms "fast food". Written by Eric Schlosser in his book; Fast food nation: The dark side of the all-American meal,

"Over the past three decades, fast food has infiltrated every nook and cranny of American society. An industry that began with a handful of modest hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California has spread to every corner of the nation, selling a broad range of foods wherever paying customers may be found" (3).

When brought up in this context does it not open your eyes to the real problem in our society? Even at an early stage of this new product we called "fast food", companies were still able tell we could easily become addicted. From there companies just took advantage of the opportunity to grow and make more money from a society willing to sacrifice its body and their health. With that said, fast food has been around for decades, and we are now just beginning to realize how bad it actually is for us. Though it may (be) obvious that these companies are a major source of the access to "junk food", there are also companies that provide products in the stores we shop. Like (As) previously stated, junk food is everywhere and can be obtained at a moment's notice. For example, when you walk into a store, what is the healthy to unhealthy food ratio? In most cases the ration leans towards unhealthy. That is because the amount of companies providing us with cheap unhealthy food is far superior to or healthy foo companies. That is because those companies know our lifestyle and how we live and just like fast food companies, they want to make money and take advantage of how we live. Therefore, we have unhealthy food all around us at almost any given time, our society has become dependent on the fact that we live fast paced and need anything to eat at a moments notice.

On the topic of fast food, we as a society have also grown dependent on the fact that we can go through a drive threw and have food at a moment's notice. However, we do not think of the consequences of what this food will do to us. We just care about the fact that we need something to eat and we need it now. My first job was at a McDonald's, I can not count how many families I saw on a regular basis due to their hectic schedule. Whether it be one family every Tuesday and Thursday because of baseball, or another family every Monday because of dance. This just shows how much of a fast paced environment we live in. Which in the long turn will affect your health, due to the fact that any fast food place you go, the food is unhealthy. Yes, some places do offer salads, however these salads are not necessarily healthy. Like I stated before I personally worked at a McDonald's I saw what would go into making those salads and I know how unhealthy the dressings are. So in reality are there really any "healthy" options at a fast food restaurant?

A second cause of such a high obesity rate in the United States is the price difference between unhealthy foods and healthy foods. Through a nutrition class I took this past summer through the university we discussed this topic very diligently. One of the biggest things (maybe factors — more specific) we brought up and discussed was the cheapness and the easiness of preparing unhealthy food. If you think about the obesity rate, a very large portion of these people may be part of low income areas. This is mainly due to the fact that these families have very limited income, which in the long term will require them to purchase this said cheap junk food. Therefore, it is not society that is the problem in our obesity rate but the companies providing us with food (White).

Even though these food prices will affect low income families, it will affect what the country considers to be an average family as well.

"Obesity rates in the US are not equally distributed across all social strata. Instead, higher rates are observed among some minorities and groups with lower education and incomes"(96).

No this is not because they can only afford these cheap foods. Rather it is because we live such a fast paced lifestyle that we want to make something as quick as we can. Which these junk food, unhealthy products are there to answer that calling. Like previously stated we as Americans live a fast paced life style, with companies that sell "junk" taking advantage of that. They do so by making there product easier to prepare, or in some cases there is no need to even prepare the product at all. Therefore, we can realistically determine that the cause to our countries' obesity problem would be (think about 'is' instead of 'would be' — stronger) companies supplying us with cheap easy to access junk food (White).

With that being said one might counter argue this statement and say that it is our decision to purchase these items. Yes it our decision, but is it our decision to only be able to afford these foods? No that is not the case, people do not choose to live in poverty, they are forced too. With that said people don't also choose to purchase these cheap unhealthy foods. They are forced to purchase these foods because it is all they can afford, due to having to live in poverty from the high cost of living our country puts on it's people. Which in result increases the amount of processed, sugary, unhealthy food our country consumes. Therefore, should we as a society really consider this to be the doing of the person on themselves, or should we try and understand maybe the situation they are in?

Another counter argument that can be made is that people do not have to live in poverty, they can find jobs and they can work to earn money to better their lives. Well I am sorry to break it to these people but it just does not work that way. A lot of these people who live in poverty do have jobs. It is just the fact that these jobs are not enough to support the cost of living in today's country. I personally have a relative who has experienced this, he at one point had four different jobs just to make enough to pay bills. Even then he still did not have enough money to buy food that was healthy for him. Yes, there are people in our country that do not work and are just taking money from the government. While according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate so far this year is at 6.7% (Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey). Personally that is pretty low if you think about it. Therefore my point is, that not all in poverty Americans are jobless, it is just the cost of living that are driving these people into poverty and creating them to only being able to afford certain foods.

In conclusion, what is the real cause of obesity in America? Through research, there are two reasons we have such a high obesity rate. The first being, how easy we are able to access junk food or unhealthy food in our country. While the second reason is, the difference in price between healthy and unhealthy food. Slowly but surely our country is becoming more and more obese, whether it be to the two factors listed above or others not previously discussed. We as a country we need to reconsider these facts and determine what can be done to solve this problem. Then hopefully in the near future we can step up and increase the health of our country.

"Much of what we eat is quick and easy — from fat-laden fast food to microwave and prepackaged meals. Daily schedules are so jam-packed that there's little time to prepare healthier meals or to squeeze in some exercise. Portion sizes, in the home and out, have grown greatly. Plus, now more than ever life is sedentary — kids spend more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outside. Television is a major culprit" (Overweight and Obesity).

Arguing Cause Peer Review Sean Streier

Works Cited:

n.p. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor. n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Drewnowski, Adam. "The economics of food choice behavior: why poverty and obesity are linked." (2012): 95-112.

Garcia, Ginny, Thankam S. Sunil, and Pedro Hinojosa. "The fast food and obesity link: consumption patterns and severity of obesity." Obesity surgery 22.5 (2012): 810-818.

"Overweight and Obesity." Kids Health. Ed. Mary L. Gavin. The Nemours Foundation, 01 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast food nation: The dark side of the all-American meal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

Talukdar, Debabrata, and Charles Lindsey. "To Buy Or Not To Buy: Consumers' Demand Response Patterns For Healthy Versus Unhealthy Food." Journal Of Marketing 77.2 (2013): 124-138. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.

White, James. Bemidji State University. Physical Ed Complex, Bemidji, MN. 27 June 2013. Lecture

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