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Mark Steven Rodriguez


Professor Dylan Altman
English 113A
20 September 2014
Obesity: A Haunting Problem
Obesity is a major issue that is starting to become hazardous to children in our
nation. Our nation is becoming wildly obese, particularly children because they are
targeted by the fast food industry. Children are being showered with unhealthy foods
because they cost half the price of healthy substitutes. David Zinczenko states in his
article, Dont Blame the Eater, that there are 30 percent of new childhood cases for
diabetes. Judith Warners article, Junking Junk Food states that two thirds of adults
are obese or overweight. These articles also state that there is a lot of money being spent
on obesity for health reasons. Obesity has become a great threat to our nation because it
affects everyones health, finances, and children.
Our nations health has worsened due to the percentage raise in obesity over the
years. The most affected by this increase has been children. Over the years, children have
been getting more and more obese as the fast food industry continues to prey on them.
Before the 90s, most cases of childhood diabetes were through genetic disorders.
However, now most cases are due to poor eating habits. David Zinczenko says, Before
1994, only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity related, or Type 2,
diabetes. Today, according to the National Institute of Health, Type 2 diabetes accounts
for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country. Zinczenko
explains that most children currently have diabetes from eating too much food that is

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typically unhealthy; while over twenty years ago most children had diabetes from a
genetic disorder.The percentage rate skyrocketed within twenty years due to the fast food
industry targeting children. There was a less percentage rate before 1994 than now
because of how many calories children are taking in today. Children are not the only ones
that are being affected by obesity; adults and adolescents are also being affected. Judith
Warner states in her article, Junking Junk Food, that Glenn Beck claims that we are,
At a time when more than two-thirds of American adults are indeed (overweight or
obese) and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese (2). This shows us that
obesity is not only spreading throughout children, but also in adults. Children are not the
only ones being affected by obesity; adults are also at risk of becoming obese. Obesity
has many drawbacks for adults when it comes to healthcare payments for themselves and
their children.
Obesity has given our nation numerous amounts of trouble, especially in finances.
The US has spent millions on trying to lower the obesity rate. Thousands of people and
organizations have donated their time and money to help the cause for diabetes. For
example, Zinczenko says, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that
diabetes accounted for $2.6 billion in health care costs in 1969. Todays number is an
unbelievable $100 billion a year. This proves we use too much money on healthcare for
diabetes because in a span of a few decades the money used for diabetes caused by
obesity has grown out of proportion. This has become a great epidemic that is slowly
taking out nations money that could be used for anything else. It is unbelievable how
much the cost of obesity skyrocketed through a few decades and it shows us how much
can happen and change in a short amount of time. Through this short time there has been

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organizations, people, and politicians that have tried to lower the rate of diabetes.
Politicians have already climbed aboard. President Bush earmarked $200 million in his
budget for anti-obesity measures, claims Radley Balko in What You Eat Is your
Business. Glenn Beck also states that, Teaching Americans, and children in particular,
healthier eating habits seemed so commonsensical a venture, so wholesome and safe, that
Michelle Obama chose it for her apolitical personal project as first lady (2). Politicians
and important figures in our country have taken their part by giving their money and time
to decrease obesity. Michelle Obama uses funds to teach kids to eat healthier in many
ways. Michelle Obama goes to schools to talk about healthier eating habits. Fast food
companies are lowering the first ladys chances by targeting children to eat their food,
which has no health benefits.
The fast food industry has been heavily targeting children for years. Children are
being targeted because they are seen as easy targets due to the fact that they are easily
influenced. The fast food industry is using this to their advantage by using advertisements
and things that appeal to children. The foods they advertise are not always healthy but the
fast food companies still advertise anyways. Zinczenko claims, Fast-food companies are
marketing to children a product with proven health hazard and no warning labels. This
proves that the fast food companies are targeting children to eat their food through
marketing, which is dangerous. Fast food companies do not care whether or not the
children are eating healthy food. Although fast food companies have made a great impact
on the way children look at their food, we can still change it. The ways we can change
how children see foods are by making unhealthy foods look revolting and unappealing.
David Kesseler claims that social norms could change: that huge portions, or eating

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processed foods loaded with sugar, salt and fat, for example, could come to be seen as
socially unacceptable. This shows that we can defeat how these fast food industries are
advertising to kids, and do the opposite of what theyre doing. Instead of making
unhealthy foods look appealing to the eye, organizations can make advertisements
showing the horrible facts hidden behind these foods. These are only some things that the
country can do to decrease obesity throughout the United States.
Obesity has been a problem with our country for a long period of time and will
continue to be a problem until there are regulations. Some problems occurring because of
obesity are that children are becoming overweight due to the fact that they are being
targeted. The obesity rate has gone up the past two decades and we are spending too
much money for healthcare on diabetes. Though it is a problem, there are many ways to
turn it around and make a change to lower the obesity rate. This issue has been a major
topic through out the US because it is affecting everyone. We can make a change and
make things better, we can change the way children look at unhealthy food and make it
unappealing, and we can start now. What are you going to do to help with this issue?

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Works Cited
Balko, Radley. "What You Eat Is Your Business." (2004): n. pag. Rpt. in N.p.: Cato.org,
n.d. Print.
Warner, Judith. "Junking Junk Food." N.p.: New York Times Magazine, n.d. Rpt. of
"Domestic Disturbances." (2010): n. pag.
Zinczenko, David. "Don't Blame the Eater." (n.d.): n. pag. Print.