Solution Proposal Luke Fox

Writers Memo

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: I found how people can have such a large impact on how companies make and sell their product something that was very interesting.

This part was surprisingly difficult: The part that was surprisingly difficult was coming up with counter arguments.

Next time I would do this differently: I would make sure that I did the best that I good and got more information for my previous papers to help better support this paper.

Thesis Statement
In the United States there is a growing problem revolving around the unhealthy diet of the American people. The unhealthy eating habits of the American people stems from a fast paced lifestyle that has evolved over the last fifty years. This fast paced life hinders people from talking the time to sit down and eat a healthy meal at home. Children as well as adults have been adversely affected by their fast pace of life and the eating habits that accompany this lifestyle. We, Americans, need to make some healthy changes when it comes to our daily eating habits.

Outline

  • America's fast paced lifestyle leading to eating more fast food
  • Eating on the run
  • Food is not healthy
  • Fix this by making a point to cook a dinner with healthy food
  • To sit down with people and not rush through the meal
  • Try to relax

After super Size Me
Weighing the Impact of Super Size Me
Pink Slime
reaction to super size me
Increase public awareness — what has worked that has changed the way corporations conduct business, and then what else could we do to increase public awareness

Solution Proposal Peer Review Luke Fox

Need to talk about what is going on right now. Talk about what I think is the best solution to fix what is going on right now. I also need to show that there are other ways that we can fix this but make sure that they know why they wouldn't work or can not work.

The United States is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world. Talk about how by using statistics to back up what I am saying. Also use how we are a fast pace society and how we are going to change this. Need to break this up into at least Three Paragraphs.

Solution Proposal

More and more research is confirming the serious negative impact of American’s obsession with sweets, fats, and artificial foods (Korth). Academic institutions in the United States have completed hundreds of studies on the effects of food consumption and the effects on the human body. These studies prove that the food people consume does have an effect on their bodies and health. These results should be an eye opener for America. American people and their eating habits are making news all over the world, mainly because the world's population cannot and does not understand how a developed country like the United States can have such a large population of obese people. One study found that a majority of the United State's young children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. This study found that only 57 percent of parents reported that their child ate at least five fruit and vegetable servings in the previous day (Driscoll). The United State is lacking the consumption of healthy and nutritious foods; 43 percent of children in the United States are eating less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, there are American children who do not consume one serving of fruits or vegetables on a daily basis.

What about the people who think they are eating healthy foods? Or the individuals who can't understand how they aren't as healthy as they were when they were younger? According to the World Watch Institute, farmers today can grow two to three times as much grain, fruit, and vegetables on a plot of land as they could 50 years ago. The trade off of this accelerated food growth is nutrition; today's food contains 10 to 25 percent less iron, zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C, and other nutrients (Cummins). American people who are making conscious choices to consume more healthy foods or who are eating healthy foods are not getting as many nutrients as they could or would have gotten fifty years ago, basically the American peoples diets today are much more calorie dense and nutrient poor. There are three reasons why our diets are calorie dense and nutrient poor. First, modern agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil. Second, our diets contain more processed foods and fewer fresh foods than is good for us. Third, Americans want all produce to be available all the time, but nature has seasons (Cummins). Most of the United States population is consuming a diet of foods that are not healthy and that do not contain all of the nutrients that the human body needs to live a healthy life style.

Nutrition fact labels explain the nutrition of a particular product. This information includes serving size, number of servings in the package, calories per serving and the amount of various nutrients contained in the product (Healthy Eating). The information printed on the food labels is hard to understand for a majority of the American population, many educated consumers have trouble deciphering food labels for products sold in the United States. Consumers are not sure what exactly they should be looking for on a food label, uneducated and educated consumers alike struggle when reading labels because they do not understand what information is actually important data when looking at food labels. One such example would be that all of the information on the label is based on the serving size listed ("Taking a Closer Look at Labels"). This means that if there are six grams of sugar per serving size in a can of peaches and there is three serving in the can of peaches there would be eighteen grams of sugar in the whole can. Serving size is one of the most important things consumers should pay attention to when reading food labels. The fact that people do not understand serving size when looking at the ingredients on a food label explains the over consumption of fats and sugars in the United States. Consuming an entire can of peaches may seem healthy but consuming the whole can leads to consuming triple the amount of sugar. This is a common misunderstanding, Americans believe they are eating healthy and choosing foods with less sugar or fat, but in actuality they are consuming double or triple the sugars and fats when they consume an entire package of a food product.

University of Minnesota researchers recruited 203 participants to gauge what kind of information people looked at before deciding to buy a food product (Melnick). In this study the 203 participants reported that they look at the food labels when they are looking at food to purchase while grocery shopping. When asking thirty-three percent of participants said they “almost always” looked at a product’s calorie content on the Nutrition Facts label; 31% said they almost always looked at total fat content (20% said they looked at trans fats); 24% said they studied products’ sugar content and 26% said they paid close attention to serving size (Melnick). The people who were participating in the study truly believed that they understood the labels when they read the labels. In actuality, only 9% looked at calorie count for almost all the items in the experiment; 1% looked at each of the other components, including fat, trans fat, sugar and serving size, for almost all of the products (Melnick). This is shocking but very important information to show that the people of the United States even though that they think they're looking at the foods labels of they products that they are purchasing. This study shows that consumers are not looking at the contents of these products accurately.

The United States of America's general population appears to live in a very fast paced society. The country seems to be "on the go" and people appear not to have time to focus on proper nutrition, sitting down for a family dinner seems to be a dying tradition. Life is busy, there may not be enough time in the day to prepare meals or sit down to eat. Eating in the car or going through a fast food drive-thru may be part of the average Americans eating habits ("5 Most"). Many families have fallen into this unhealthy habit; one of the most common bad eating habits is eating on the run ("5 Most"). The challenge with eating on the run is that the consumer does not have a chance or the opportunity to pay close attention to what they are eating ("5 Most"). The issue with not paying attention to what a person eats is that one has no idea as to what they are putting into their body, they do not know if it contains the right or proper nutrients or if the products they are consuming is unhealthy or not.

It appears that the United States problem with unhealthy eating and obesity has only gotten worse over the years, Americans need to find a solution that the general population will find workable without drastically changing their lifestyle. Educating the American people about nutrition as well as the nutrients that can be found in the food that they are consuming or putting in their bodies, explaining how to read food labels that they are eating, including serving sizes will help consumers to understand that even though food may seem like a healthy choice they still need to consume in moderation. Also, informing and education individuals regarding their eating habits, how their eating habits can effect individuals body weight as well as whether or not they are actually consuming healthy foods. People of the United States need to be able to make smart and healthy eating choices, this will only be possible if they have an understanding how to read the labels on their food and have a good understanding as to what each ingredient or item on the label means. Knowledge is power, when people are educated about things they are able to make a choice to do what they think is the best for themselves as well as the people around them. When people become educated about a problem or issue they generally are open to finding a feasible or manageable solution; when given a way to fix the problem in a manageable manor most individuals will do what they can to help fix it. One example would be fast food, if there is an easy, quick and healthier choice available that the consumer can grab and eat they will. Some people may argue that many fast food restaurants have already changed their menus and have began serving healthier alternates. Critics also suggest that the healthier options tend to be more expensive and many wonder how much healthier these option really are. Basically education is power and if consumers where properly educated about what to look for as well as what the items on the label mean, it will make it easier for consumer to make healthier food choices.

Educating consumers about healthy food choices has already been proven to be effective on a small scale. The movie, "Super Size Me", came out in 2004. This film focused on the affects of eating McDonalds on a daily basis. This documentary followed Morgan Spurlock, an independent filmmaker, as he began his ate three meals of fast food a day for thirty days straight, literally eating McDonalds for every meal. Spurlock’s physical and mental health was adversely affected. He gained about twenty-four pounds, increased his body weight, and cholesterol levels as well as experienced mood swings and a build up of fat in his liver. After the movie it took Spurlock a little over a year to lose the weight he gained from eating McDonalds three times a day for thirty days. Another example is "Pink Slime". This is something that consumers should be aware of, if it something that you have never heard about you maybe interested in learning about it, mainly because there is a good chance you have consumed some of this "Pink Slime" within your lifetime. "Pink Slime" or within the meat industry it is more delicately known as "lean finely textured beef trimmings," is a product is made from connective tissue (versus meat muscle) and fat, and is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill salmonella and E. coli (Nelson). When “Pink Slime” was discovered researchers and the general public wasn’t really sure what it was in it. However, when the news video was released online via McDonald’s Canadian operations, it created an up roar of negative publicity. The responses to the video and picture went viral, creating enough controversy to spur an investigation of meat processing plants; ground beef and chicken were both investigated. One of the most disturbing videos showed a machine that was supposed to be mechanically separated chicken, a.k.a., “pink goop,” which sort of resembles strawberry soft-serve ice cream and most certainly does not resemble anything like chicken meat. At some point, the weird goop began being associated with McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets (Tuttle). When this video was released McDonald's and other fast food restaurants that were accused of using this product in their food. The fast food industry caught a lot of flack from the media and this attention forced the industry to change some of their food products. Basically, if the fast food chain was using “Pink Slime” or “pink goop” they made sure that they no longer used it in their products, mainly because they knew that if they didn't change this practice people would stop eating their food.

"Super Size Me" ended up having a positive affect on Americas fight against obesity. Morgan Spurlock’s challenge to eat McDonalds for all three of his meals of the day was influenced by two events. First, he found it very interesting that if the McDonalds server asked consumers if they wanted to super size their meal and that a majority of the American population would say “yes”. Secondly, the surgeon general had declared obesity as an “epidemic” and Spurlock had been made aware of a lawsuit against McDonalds. Two obese girls were suing McDonalds claiming that their food caused them to become overweight.

His mission was to eat nothing but McDonald's for 30 days. During the 30 days he followed very specific guidelines. He had to try everything on the menu at least once, he could only super size a meal if offered, and — most importantly — if he couldn't get it over the McDonald's counter, he couldn't eat it. These rules weren't arbitrary. They were determined as a result of Judge Robert Sweet's 64-page decision that dismissed the case of Pelman v. McDonald's. This was the well-known case that inspired Spurlock's dive into the world of Biggie Fries and McFlurries. I'm sure you've heard about it. A bunch of obese teens and their parents decided to sue McDonald's for making them fat. Ah, crazy lawsuits. Almost more typically American than obesity (Sood).

After hearing about the lawsuit and the ruling Spurlock decided that even though the lawyers were not able to prove that eating fast food can cause real health problems that he was going to try and make a documentary to prove that fast food is not good for a persons physical or psychological health. Spurlock met with three doctors, these doctors would be tracking his health over the full month when he ate nothing but McDonalds. Each of the doctors reported that Spurlock began the documentary with health that was above average for someone his age. All three doctors also reported that he would most probably gain a bit of weight on his McDiet, but that's about it (Sood). After watching the Super Size Me documentary the general public could not believe how eating fast food for just one month could affect a person’s physical and mental health. Spurlock gained weight, scared his doctors when his liver went south, felt depressed, lost sexual function and more. But the film also became a sort of watershed moment, shocking general audiences and thereby playing a big role in spurring growth of the food movement (Crossfield). The media was blown away with the results of Spurlock’s medical tests. This documentary raised several problems for McDonalds. The average American was able to see how bad the food that McDonalds was serving to the public was and how it affected a human beings health.

What did the film accomplish, other than destroying Morgan Spurlock's health? It won the top documentary director award at the Sundance Film Festival. Then, six weeks later, McDonald's took the "super size' option off of its menu. Furthermore, McDonald's "Go Active' adult happy meals were introduced the day before "Super Size Me" was scheduled to open (Sood). It is unbelievable what can happen when the American people are informed of the ingredients of the food they consume as well as the impact people can have on businesses and the products that they sell or make available for consumers. One relatively unknown man, armed with a low budget and a video camera, was able to make a highly popular film, send an incredible message, change the fast food industry, and most importantly, educate (Sood). “Super Size Me” is an amazing example as to how knowledge is power, when people are educated about what they are eating they tend to make the healthier choice.

There are other ways to go about getting people to slow down and eat healthier. Families should take time each day to sit down and have a home cooked meal. This would enable people to know exactly were their food is coming from and how it is being prepared. Shopping with a careful eye on labels would help families to make healthy home cooked meals. Another option would be to have families grow all of your own food. Urban and rural families have the option of growing their own fruit, vegetables and even raising their own livestock. Consumers who grow and raise all of their won food tend to me healthier and have fewer issues with obesity. Many consumers find it comforting knowing what their livestock has been eating and that the fruits and vegetables they are consuming have not been chemically altered to grown more and grow bigger. Lastly, one could opt to cut all fast food out of their diets. This choice means that they would not eat fast food at all. All three alternatives are good options to make sure that the American people will eat healthier and in turn help the United States become healthier country overall. However, consumers need to be realistic, there are some issue or problems with actually being able successfully carry out the three above options.

Getting a busy twenty-first century family together for dinner and/or making a healthy meal can be difficult. This task can be very difficult, especially when families have children who are in sports or other after school activities. Most parents work long hours and have long commutes to and from work; everyone in the average American family has busy schedules which makes it difficult, sometimes impossible to find a time to get everyone in the family in one place at one time. If a family can actually get everyone in the same place at the same time then the next challenge is making a healthy meal. Many family who sit down together opt for take out or fast food at home rather than cooking food that is healthy, mainly because it is fast and easy to pick up a meal on the way home from work. America is the land of the free and it is just not possible to regulate what people are making for their families in the privacy of their own home. Option number two, having individuals or their families grow their own food and raise their own livestock can be extremely time consuming and expensive. People whom live in urban areas would have a difficult time raising livestock and growing their own produce. Residents of large cities do not have the space to grow food or raise the livestock. Also, people who live in large cities as well as in rural areas just don't have the time to attend to the produce or livestock, it would be difficult to make sure that the plants and animals would get enough attention to grow due to families busy work, school and extra curricular activities. Even if a family did live in a small town they may have the space to grow the produce but there may not be room to have animals or their may be city or town ordinances restricting livestock or animals. Growing ones own food is a job in its self; most people whom have full time jobs do not have time to do what is necessary to grow and raise everything on their own. Finally, option three, cutting out all fast food from ones diet may sound easy but in all actuality it is difficult. Cutting out prepared pizzas, tacos, burgers, chicken, French fries and more takes dedication. Many times work events, birthday parties and even family get-togethers have pre-prepared meals due to their convenience as well as these types of meals tend to be very cost effective. Deciding to cut out fast food is the most common way many Americans chose to get a handle on obesity. Many families find it difficult to totally cut out fast food but are trying to cut down the number of fast food meals they eat on a weekly or monthly basis.

Americans need to pay closer attention to their health. One way to watch ones health is to make an effort to consume healthy foods. Paying attention to serving sizes, calories, sugars, fats and nutrition labels is a good start. It would be easier to keep obesity at a minimum if people would cut back or cut out fast food, if families would eat home cooked meals on a daily basis and if more Americans would opt to grow and raise their own produce and livestock. These three options would be asking individuals and families to completely change the way they are living their lives. Americans tend not to appreciate being told what to do and feel as if freedom includes the right to eat or consume as much as they want as well as whatever they want. Americas fast paced society makes it very difficult to eat healthy and make healthy food choices. Year after year Americans have proven that they enjoy having busy lives and that they are not going to slow down and/or become less busy. United States citizens need to find a solution that can be implemented that does not change how people live their lives but offers education and information to aid in making healthier good choices. People need to understand what they are eating and make the big fast food companies or chains change how they make their food as well as what they put in the food. Americans need to take a vested interested in what they consume and how much they consume to help stop the obesity epidemic in the United States.

Works Cited

"5 Most Common Bad Eating Habits." 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet! Famous Weight Loss Support. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Cummins, Denise, Ph.D. "Good Thinking." How American Food Makes Us Fat and Sick. N.p., 14 June 2013. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

For News Media." Unhappy Meals? Majority of Very Young Children in California Eat FasFood at Least Once a Week / UCLA Newsroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Luke, this one should be:
Driscoll, Gwen. "Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once a week." UCLA Newsroom. 25 November 2013. Web. 06 March. 2014.

"Healthy Eating." Healthy Eating. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.

Korth, Christie, CHC AADP. "Healthy Bites: The Decline of the American Diet." Brain Balance Achievement Centers. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Melnick, Meredith. "Study: Why People Don’t Read Nutrition Labels | TIME.com." Time. Time, 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.

Nelson, Jennifer K., R.D. , L.D., and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Pink Slime and Red Meat — What's the Takeaway? N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.

Sood, Suemedha. "Weighing the Impact of 'Super Size Me'" Alternet. N.p., 29 June 2004. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

"Taking a Closer Look At Labels: American Diabetes Association®." American Diabetes Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2014.

Tuttle, Brad. "McDonald’s Made the Right Move in Response to Gross ‘Pink Slime’." Time. N.p., 5 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

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