Obesity: Society's Epidemic

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Obesity: Society’s epidemic Since the introduction of fast food in the 1980’s, obesity rates have risen due to a variety of factors. Physical activity has decreased among schools while more fast food restaurants are created in the US. Furthermore, the convenience of a meal makes people come back for more, with catchy commercials luring both children and adults in. Moreover, the food is convenient, cheap, and advertised well, and our nation pays for the cost of obesity. Fast food has become part of our culture, forming our adults and children into becoming overweight. And the numbers don’t lie. “Obesity rates for children have doubled over the past 20 years, and overweight children are being diagnosed with obesity-related illnesses…show more content…
“The core problem is that cooking is defined as work, and fast food is both a pleasure and a crutch. People really are stressed out with all that they have to do, and they don’t want to cook,” says Julie Guthman, associate professor of community studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (Guthman). The scientists working behind your instant snack is what’s plumping the country everyday. Eric Schlosser of PBS explained the use of additives in food and their effect on people who ate there. “The flavors of childhood foods seem to leave an indelible mark, and adults often return to them, without always knowing why. These “comfort foods” become a source of pleasure and reassurance, a fact that fast food chains work hard to promote. Childhood memories of Happy Meals can translate into frequent adult visits to McDonald’s, like those of the chain’s “heavy users,” the customers who eat there four or five times a week.” (Schlosser) Many companies have realized this and are constantly modifying different items on the menu to reach the perfect flavor. This combined with the advertisements aimed at both adults and children dramatically increase the number of customers per…show more content…
In a 2004 study in Health Affairs, conducted by Kenneth Thorpe and colleagues, showed “obesity attributable health care spending increased in the United States between 1987 and 2000, and found that increases in obesity prevalence alone accounted for 12 percent of the increase in health spending; at about $301.” (Dunford) Health care costs in turn become more of a luxury to the middle class, thus less Americans are covered. The setup of the care therefore only jumps into action once people become sick, and not prevent the cause of the disease in the first place. Healthcare becomes directly affected by the food companies make, due to the man-made ingredients and unfair advertising. In the end, we are paying the price. Obesity’s effect on our culture and health costs is only rising, making this problem detrimental for the future for the US. We can’t keep eating like this when we can’t pronounce the ingredients in a strawberry milkshake. Children are struggling with diseases that, in the past, only adults had. Physical activity has become non-existent in American’s lives and if we don’t make changes soon, it might be the too late to slim our nation

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