Our nation is suffering from a very frightening, debilitating, and prevalent problem: obesity. It affects people of all ages, and some have predicted that by 2020, 50% of Americans will suffer from obesity. Obviously this is an epidemic, and as Americans are wont to do, we have to blame someone. Who, exactly, should shoulder the responsibility of this massive problem?
Americans have adopted horrible eating habits, with a variety of factors influencing our food choices. Highly palatable, “brown” food, has overrun our food options and become highly accessible. Furthermore, studies have shown that fast food and processed food is just as addictive as heroin, as it inhibits our dopamine receptors in the same way cocaine or heroin does, over-stimulating our brains and causing us to overeat. Supermarkets are becoming fewer and farther between, creating what is known as “food deserts,” mentioned in our reading, “Michelle Obama’s Remarks to the NAACP,” pg. 427. Over 23.5 million Americans, 6.5 million of them children, according to Obama, live in areas without a single supermarket. How are Americans expected to make healthy food choices when they don’t even have access to healthy food?
This brings up the heart of the issue: who is responsible, exactly, for our health? The government, who can regulate and tax high calorie food, fund anti-obesity campaigns, pass laws on health insurance? Or the American people, who need to stand up and fight for their health choices and choose the right foods for themselves and their children?
It has to be both.
The fact that our food choices are limited are caused, and controlled by, large corporations who make money from the obesity epidemic. Whether it’s pharmaceutical companies who benefit from our failing health, or companies that produce the processed food in the first place, there are certainly extenuating circumstances. The government need to regulate and control what companies put in our food, need to provide rehabilitation...