The Effect Of Capitalist Values On The Prioritization Of

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The Effect of Capitalist Values on the Prioritization of Obesity in the United States of America

In theory, the US is capable of providing a varied and healthy diet for all; yet why are more than one third (36.5%) of US adults obese (Ogden)? Broadly defined, the World Health Organization states that obesity is a condition in which the presence of “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation presents a risk to health” (“Obesity”). However, regardless of the growing prevalence and incidence rates, capitalism has increasingly driven consumer behavior, perpetuating the wide spread of this health issue. Despite the fact that four of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States in 2015 were a direct result of obesity, the government
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To begin with, the negligence of obesity in the United States today is rooted on the prevalence of greed that has become a leading force in the economy and society. By putting profits above consumer health due to the fear of not attaining the benefits of more wealth, greed has become a socially accepted and justified trait. In a society where money is at the center of all decisions and activities, it is unsurprising that the government has chosen the low-hanging fruit for convenience’s purpose by neglecting this health issue and focusing on gaining profit instead. A clear example of this was in 2009 when the Obama administration first issued a stimulus bill to fight against obesity through community-level anti-obesity campaigns. Unfortunately, at first the bill was not passed as the cost was too expensive and it also came at a time where numerous households and firms were facing economic hardships. DesJarlais, a leading US physician justifies the rejection of the bill by stating “it was absurd for the federal government to spend billions demonizing certain foods and trying to affect people’s personal dietary choices…it makes absolutely no sense that federal and city agencies would aggressively advertise against American products made by American workers” (Crabtree). This justification explicitly depicts how, despite attempted
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