Essay about The Obesity Epidemic: Fast-food Companies Are to Blame

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Obesity has become an epidemic in today’s society. Today around 50% of America is now considered to be over weight. Fast-food consumption has been a major contributor to the debate of the twenty-first century. Chapter thirteen, titled “Is Fast-Food the New Tobacco,” in the They Say I Say book, consists of authors discussing the debate of fast-food’s link to obesity. Authors debate the government’s effects on the fast-food industry, along with whether or not the fast-food industry is to blame for the rise in obesity throughout America. While some people blame the fast food industry for the rise in obesity, others believe it is a matter of personal responsibility to watch what someone eats and make sure they get the proper exercise.
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Balko believes that instead of people blaming the fast food companies, people need to be responsible enough to understand that fast food is not healthy for some people to eat regularly. The author explains how the government wants to intervene in the struggle against obesity when there is no need for them to do so. Balko proposes that instead of wasting money trying to fight obesity, the government should simply reward those who have the willpower to stay away from fast food and manage their own health. Balko believes that the government should reward these people through the healthcare system (158). Zinczenko and Balko represent the 2 sides of the argument over fast food.
Political activist Yves Engler’s article “Obesity: Much of the Responsibility Lies with Corporations,” blames corporate capitalism for the obesity of children. Engler urges the government to put tighter limits on fast-food marketing not allowing them to reach the youth of America. Also Engler proposes that availability of junk food in the school system should decrease. Engler writes about how the government could help the obesity rate in children by creating more parks and funding physical education programs in public schools. Engler and Zinczenko both talk about the government’s ability to intervene in the fast-food industry, and both offer valid solutions. Engler talks about the
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