ENG122: English Composition II
June 11, 2012
Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. One in three children is overweight and overweight children leads to a higher percentage of adults who will be overweight also. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems (Wootan, 2012). Food additives and other preservatives are the main cause of childhood obesity, processed foods are cheaper, and the uses of food additives and preservatives have increased in processed foods. The American lifestyle of eating low cost high calorie processed food is leading Americans down the road to obesity. Children's diets are increasingly shifting to high calorie, additive rich processed foods. These fast foods are nearly double the calorie intake of the recommended healthy diet. Foods that accounted for the biggest increase of consumption by Americans were salty snacks, desserts, soft drinks, fruit drinks, hamburgers, cheese burgers, Mexican food, and pizza in the study accounted for the years 1982 to 1998. The study also shows that these foods accounted for eighteen percent of American diets in 1977-78. In 1994-95 the percentage increased to twenty seven percent. These processed foods are high in calories and high in trans-fat. These processed foods have many chemicals (flavorings, colorings, preservatives, and trans fatty acids) that are meant to enhance the flavor, change the color, change the texture, or change the taste. There are currently over 3000 food additives registered with the Food and Drug Administration (MacInnis, Rausser, 2005). "Biomedical studies show that processed foods in the form of refined starches and concentrated sugars are energy-dense and found to be associated with an increased risk of obesity" (MacInnis, Rausser, 2005, p. 1154).
Americans are eating at fast food restaurants more than ever. Americans spend almost half of their food allowances on eating...