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Published by: mwoods15 on Dec 06, 2012
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Woods 1Michael WoodsInstructor: Malcolm CampbellEnglish H1103Date: 11/5/12
Obesity Blame Game, Fast Food Industry vs. People
"According to a news segment on obesity in America, by network Al Jazeera, within thenext 18 years the number of obese people in the US is expected to rise to 42 per cent of the adult population. What is obesity though? According to WebMD, Obesity is an excess proportion of total body fat and one is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normalweight. But who is to blame for this mind-blowing statistic; the fast food restaurants, or the people that are giving into the industry? A lot of the time, we love to throw the blame off of ourselves and find a scapegoat which is where the fast food industry finds itself. What if I toldyou it was the America people's fault for becoming one of the most obese nations in the world?
My Own Look 
Throughout my exploration on who is to blame on the obesity in America, I decided toconduct a little research of my own in which I become the guinea pig of my own experiment.For about a month I recorded how many times that I went to a fast food restaurant for weekdays,and the weekends. I also recorded how many times that fast food restaurants were an optionwhen talking over plans with friends and family to determine where we were going to eat.Alarmingly, over the past month, fast food restaurants were one of the first options that weresuggested to the group of people that I was around. This discovery strengthened my curiosity
 
Woods 2more and more as to what is making the buzz so hot around the fast food industry and who is to blame for the obesity of America.
Home vs. On the Go
Like I said earlier. One of the most eye popping statistics was that a fast food restaurantwas suggested every time we spoke about where we would like to eat. According to the data Igathered, I noticed that one in every two meals during weekdays consisted of fast food, andalmost two thirds of my meals on the weekends involved fast food. So I began looking into howmy statistics matched up with America and surprisingly, according to
Time Magazine
, "thenational average of eating fast food was 3.7 times per week", which is about one half of myaverage (Zoglin). One of the main contributing factors of fast food being consumed was the factthat we were on the run trying to get somewhere; which is the story of many American familiesthat deal with church events, school events, recreational games, or band concerts. Now more thanever, American families are always on the move which brings in more revenue for these fastfood industries. We live in a society where home cooked meals have been replaced by getting aquick bite to eat at Jack in the Box before an event. Being always on the move and eating fastfood is a positive feedback loop because generally when individuals are constantly on the move,they tend to stress more, which increases their likelihood of becoming overweight/obese.The bottom line is that we are either too busy or too lazy to cook our own meals at home,in turn we are consuming less healthy food. According to my father Scott Woods, "Fast foodindustries have identified most of the American family lifestyles and have perfected the art of supplying good food that is easily accessible." Being a doctor for 15 years, my father has seenobesity and its effects on a regular basis. One way they have made them more accessible is byselling burgers that are already cooked for a dollar each, opposed to individuals going to the
 
Woods 3grocery store, buying raw meat, and cooking it for themselves. Hyman speaks to this: "In 2010,50 percent (of meals) were eaten away from home and one in five breakfasts is fromMcDonald's" (Mark Hyman) This is direct evidence that the kitchen has moved from inside of the homes, to the inside of the family car. Placing blame on either the fast food industry or theindividual in this case is a very shady area because some families can't help but to be busy withactivities, or even work.
The People
Obesity in America is taking the world by a storm making the U.S.A. number one in theworld with a total 30.6% of our population! (OECD Health Data) We love it when America getsranked number one in something, but this is one of those categories we should be ashamed of. Not only are we ranked number one, but the country that is closest to us on the charts is Mexicowho are an astounding 6.4% of their population below us. Although it does not sound like a lot,we are speaking in the terms of millions of people. I was shocked to see that we were ranked firstin the world, but we can only blame the choices that we decide to make at meal times.
Technology
Through the advancement of technology, America has slowly becoming more dependenton material things to make their life easier, thus, increasing obesity rates. The advancement intransportation is a great example because most of the population walked, biked, or rode horses towork before Henry Ford constructed the assembly line and invented to Model T, doing thiswould keep literally millions of people on their feet, which burns calories and keep thoseindividuals healthier. After the Model T was produced, many citizens began to rely more on carsto get them to places instead of either walking, biking or riding horses. Also, the workplace hasdramatically changed; many people now have jobs that involve a lot of sitting at a computer desk 

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