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Amy Cook

ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson


Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014
Comparison and Contrast
Americans today are faced with a problem that is becoming an epidemic. It is a disease
that is growing rapidly among young children and young adults. Without a solution to it soon,
our children could be in danger. The disease is obesity. Everyone knows at least one person in
their life that suffers from the terrible disease. It is a growing problem that we, as a country must
work together to help try and prevent and stop.
First Lady Michelle Obama presented a speech to the NCAAP. In her speech she talks
about the how kids are overweight and unhealthy. She states in her speech, But its important to
be clear that this issue isnt about how our kids look. Its not about that. Its about how our kids
feel. Its about their health and the health of our nation and the health of our economy. (420).
She knows what kids that are overweight go through. They get made fun of by friends and
classmates. Not only because of their body shape but also because of the way they dress or the
way they wear their hair.
I agree with the First Ladys argument that obesity is a growing problem in the United
States and that as a country need to do something to try and help these kids. She has some really
good ideas on how to try and correct them problem. I might not agree with all of them but I do
agree with most of them. In her speech she states that people need to get their kids out and
moving more. This is a big part to a healthier lifestyle. She encourages kids to get outside and
play and sit around all day watching TV or playing video games. She uses her own childhood as
an example of how kids used to play outside all the time, not get snacks all the time and how
they grew up on home cooked meals and not fast food.
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Amy Cook
ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson
Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014
In Radley Balkos article What You Eat is Your Business, he agrees that obesity is a
problem that needs to be dealt with and taken care of, but he feels that it should approached in a
different way. He doesnt feel that the government should be involved in the decision making. He
states, The best way to alleviate the obesity public health crisis is to remove obesity from the
realm of public health. (397). Here Balko is going against everything that First Lady Obama is
saying. She feels that they government should be the one to step in and start helping make
healthy decisions for kids. Balko feel that the job should be left up to the parents. He states, It
only becomes a public matter when we force the public to pay for the consequences of those
choices. (397). Obama presents a counterargument to this in her article by saying, This is a
bipartisan legislation and it is critically important for the health and success of our children, and
we are hoping that Congress will act swiftly to get this passed. (426). She feels that the only
way that something can be done about obesity is if Congress gets involved.
Balko made some very good points about his argument but so did the First Lady. I tend to
agree with Balko that once you get the government involved in a disease like obesity, it will be
hard to get them to stop form getting too involved. They will think that they can continue to tell
people what they can eat and how they can get more physical activity in. It should be up to the
individual person or their parents. If the government wants to be involved then offer classes for
these kids and their parents for free of charge. Maybe they should allocate some money so that
towns and cities that struggling financially can build a YMCA or some type of recreation center
so these kids have somewhere to go to play basketball or football or even a swimming pool. A lot
of these kids get bored according to them, by just going outside to play. Maybe the parents

Amy Cook
ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson
Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014
should teach them how to play tag, kick the can, capture the flag, or any of the games they used
to play when they were younger.
First Lady Obama has gotten the USDA involved in setting up guidelines of what kids
have for school lunches. In her speech, she told the audience, And were working to reauthorize
our child nutrition legislation that will make significant new investments to revamp our school
meals and improve the food that we offer in those school vending machines, so that were
serving our kids less sugar, salt and fat, and more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. (426). I
agree with her on the vending machine part of the plan. Too many schools were putting machines
in that were packed full of candy, chocolate, chips and other sugary foods. Kids were shoving
their bodies full of this stuff and then expected to sit through class and be able to pay attention.
Well we all know what a kid pumped full of sugar can be like. They dont like to sit still and its
hard for them to concentrate. It wouldnt be a bad thing if they started putting cold vending
machines in like hospitals have, to have fresh fruits and vegetables and maybe even sandwiches.
I argue that the need to try and control the obesity problem in the United States is
important but to go to the extreme that school lunches have taken is going overboard. Balkos
argument to controlling obesity is Instead of manipulating or intervening in the array of food
options available to American consumers, our government ought to be working to foster a sense
of responsibility in and ownership of our own health and well-being. But we are doing just the
opposite. (396). He has a very valid argument. The solution is not to cut back the variety of food
kids are being offered in school but to come up with a solution that both sides will agree on.

Amy Cook
ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson
Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014
On argument that Balko presented that I will agree with is that obesity and the health
problems related to it cause problems not only for the person that is obese but everyone else also.
The tone that he portrays is one of anger and frustration. He argues, Were becoming less
responsible for our own health, and more responsible for everyone elses. (396). His argument is
very valid. People that are having heart attacks, strokes and other health problems that are caused
by obesity are making insurance premiums raise on a daily basis. The American people are the
ones that are suffering for their obesity. This is one thing that the First Lady agreed with. She
knows there is a growing problem and by her starting the Get Moving program she hopes to
alleviate some of the problem.
First Lady Obamas speech to the NCAAP was to get their support for her Get Moving
campaign. She feels that if she can get the support of a major group like that, then hopefully
everyone will get on board. Balkos article was geared towards a different audience. He was
writing to the American people. By presenting their arguments to two different groups of people,
both writers are trying to accomplish the same thing. To get the message out to the American
people that obesity is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Between the two essays, First Lady Obamas speech was stronger in organization than
Balkos was. Her speech was easy to read and understand what she was saying. Balkos was
sometime difficult to understand and I would have to go back and reread the paragraph a few
times to understand what it was saying. The purpose of both articles was obvious by reading the
first few sentences of the reading. Balkos title, What You Eat is Your Business gives the
reader an insight to what he is writing about. But the First Ladys title, Remarks to the NCAAP

Amy Cook
ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson
Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014
gives no hint at all what will be talked about. The only way you would know that she was talking
about obesity is once you get into the article and start reading.
After reading both of these articles, people will be more aware of the growing problem of
obesity and hopefully be more willing to help come up with a solution. If more people try to help
cure the problem, the better off the country will be.

Amy Cook
ENG 206 Lindsay Simpson
Compare and Contrast
Sept 15, 2014

Works Cited
Graff, Gerald, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel K. Durst. "They say/I say": the moves that matter
in academic writing : with readings. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012. Print.