Obesity Blame Game
Obesity is a lifestyle condition that affects people of different ages including children. Many victims of obesity tend to blame slow metabolism, heredity, and fast foods sold in restaurants but the condition can result from many other factors. Some of them include lack of exercises, sedentary lifestyle, and poor eating habits in homes. Some individuals believe that as they age, their metabolism rate slows down leading to overweight. However, the fact is that several factors influence weight gain and people should understand all the causes. People are living in towns, driving to work, and spending time sitting in offices and therefore have no time to exercise. Others argue that they inherited it from the parents but this may not make a lot of sense since research shows that only a few individuals inherit it from parents (Who are to Blame for Obesity). Others claim that they could have inherited the condition from their parents. Though obesity has been blamed on either the individual or the fast food restaurants, the blame should be on the two and therefore, to fight this social problem, every stakeholder, policy makers, individuals, and fast food restaurants must play their role in promoting healthy foods and healthy eating.
Individual choices lead to extra weight gain in human beings if they do not engage in healthy eating habits and engage in physical activities. In the earlier times, people used to walk to and from work but things have changed. Many drive to their working places instead of taking a walk or cycling to exercise their bodies. In addition, many spend several hours sitting down in offices and their houses instead of taking walks or playing some outdoor games to burn calories. Obesity puts a person at a higher risk of serious health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, stroke, gallbladder, and respiratory diseases. Some cancers are even brought about by weight related issues.
Being idle most of the times can increase the risk of gaining weight and exposing themselves to lifestyle illnesses. Individual behaviors are to blame for consumption of excess calories. People love fast foods especially those that are bought from consumer retail shops most of which are ready to eat. Some of the junk foods eaten include potato chips, crisps, burgers, and many others most of them containing high levels of calories and cholesterol. Eating away from home contribute a lot to poor eating habits since individuals go for cheap snacks most of which are prepared from high energy foods such as carbohydrates. Schoolchildren are not spared especially the ones that buy foods from vendors. The choice of food eaten determines the health of the individual and sometimes may lead to obesity that may be difficult to control and manage. Individuals do not have time for exercises due to busy work schedules throughout the day. Other individual factors that contribute to weight gain include insufficient sleep at night and stress as bodies do not get enough time to rest. Controlling obesity may require a complete lifestyle change in which individuals make the right choices of foods they eat and take part in physical exercises.
Presence of many fast food restaurants in the US can also be blamed for increased obesity cases since they serve foods that are extremely rich in calories. The presence of such food joints have made people lazy such that they do not cook in their houses. Many buy packed meals from restaurants instead of going to the market, buy food items, and prepare own food at home. Most of the foods offered in fast food restaurant have high calories, low nutritional value, and highly processed. Fast foods restaurants and other processors do a lot of advertising for their products, which also play a big role in enticing people to buy their products. They do not put warnings on food packets related to the dangers associated with consuming the highly processed foods. However, foods that are rich in nutrients and do not pose any health risk to humans receive very little advertising if any. According to the essay about fastfood, it’s adverts also target young children since they are easily enticed. This has increased obesity in children especially the schooling ones since they tend to buy sweet snacks and drinks for their meals.
Fast food sellers and manufacturers are also trying to defend their businesses by claiming that individuals should take personal responsibilities and eat whatever they want. It is not the work of the manufacturers to help people in selecting their appropriate diet. Theirs is to produce and dispatch to the market for distribution and sale. They claim that they cannot be blamed for providing people with what they really want. Furthermore, they do not force anyone to eat their food and hence cannot be blamed for the consequences. Considering that fast foods are readily available, people should be disciplined enough and should be held accountable for what they eat and drink. However, it is correct to argue that restaurants and fast food processors are partly to blame for producing unhealthy foods and failing to give warnings on the packages.
The US policymakers have a role to play to reduce obesity cases in America and ensure a healthy population. They should come up with relevant policies and programs in order to address the issue of obesity in the world. One of the policies that they have come up with is the clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation and treatment of overweight and obesity issue in adults (The Obesity Blame Game). This policy tried to develop a principle that is safe and effective in losing weight. The other policy is the weight-control information network that ensures provision of information that is evidence-based on obesity and weight control. Some government policies are aimed at motivating people to eat proper diet and create time for physical exercises.
School feeding programs that help teach students in choosing between nutritious foods versus unhealthy ones are also in place. In addition, there are campaigns that help individuals to consume healthy foods and observe strict diets if they want to avoid lifestyle diseases. Most of the lifestyle diseases are caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise leading to premature death. Other policies tend to address environmental causes of obesity. For example, there is a policy, which educates children against eating sugary foods and instead replaces them with healthier foods like low fat milk and fruits. However, it is always a challenge when these children leave school and they find that sugary drinks in the fast food restaurants are cheaper than low fat milk.
There is little hope in the future since many people are not adhering to the right diet even after formulation of the policies. Despite all these policies, the fast food industries are still advertising their unhealthy foods and encouraging their consumption. Individuals seem to love processed food and some are already addicted and find it almost impossible to avoid them. Two ways in which the government is likely to reduce the consumption of unhealthy foods include increasing taxes on sugary drinks and regulating marketing of fast foods and drinks. Foods that are being marketed to young people between the ages of two and seventeen years should have very little saturated fats and processed sugar. The government can ensure enough facilities that support physical activities such as playgrounds, parks, and construct roads with walking and cycling lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. All these will help in living healthy lives and ensure effectiveness of government policies on reducing obesity in the population.
In conclusion, individuals and fast food producers have a role to play in reducing obesity in both children and adults. While purchasing food, they should keep in mind the amount of calories the foods contain in addition to the portions they eat especially in fast food restaurants. The portions that children eat should be smaller than those that adults eat. People should engage in physical activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming to cut down their weight. However, people cannot manage the condition without adapting to good healthy habits that enable them to avoid junk foods and participate in physical exercises.