Comparative Critique of Greg Critser's "Too Much of A Good Thing" and Hillel Schwartz's "Fat and Happy?"

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The steady rise of obesity rates in the United States is most definitely something Americans should be concerned with. This modern epidemic is causing people young and old to fear what they consume. Who to blame for this epidemic is still undecided. The many fast food chains spending billions of dollars in advertising yearly is certainly a problem, but they are not fully to blame either. So who is at fault? Is it the people themselves or society? Greg Critser and Hillel Schwartz both wrote articles on this recent outbrake of obesity to look further into the problem and see what lies as the cause for this problem and what will solve it. In “Too Much of a Good Thing,” Critser focuses on the increasing rate of obesity in children. He states that in recent years, childhood obesity has been dubbed an epidemic by the surgeon general because “at least 25% of all Americans under age nineteen are overweight or obese,” (Critser 355). He continues by stating that most advocates fighting against childhood obesity are largely outnumbered in the media by fast food chains and other junk food companies. He emphasizes that parents are not fully to blame for the recent epidemic, but also states that are all but afraid to confront children about their eating behaviors. He states that contrary to the beliefs of most parents, children may not know when they are full (355). As an example, Critser speaks about a study done by Pennsylvania State University nutritional scholar, Barbara Rolls, on the eating habits of children. In the study, Rolls discovered that children do not necessarily know when they are full. The older group of children in the study were given a larger portion and they consumed whatever was on the plate. Critser theorizes that children respond best to dietary advice. He concludes by telling of the French’s response to a rise in obesity; adult supervised meals

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