In the article, “Don’t Blame the Eater” David Zinczenko talks about the obesity rate growth not just being a personal problem but becoming everyone’s problem. Even though we’re making ourselves obese by eating junk, we need to help get the obesity rate down because it’s causing diabetes and we’re spending billions on health care costs.
Zinczenko tells his readers when he was younger he would eat fast food for lunch and dinner and the only reason he lost weight from always eating junk food was because he joined the Navy Reserves and got involved with a health magazine. David says, “But most of the teenagers who live, as I once did, on a fast-food diet won’t turn their lives around: They’ve crossed under the golden arches to a likely fate of lifetime obesity.” (Zinczenko 463) When I was a junior in high school I got my first job working at McDonald’s. You learn quickly who the regulars are and what their order is. There was this sweet old man who brought his granddaughter three times a week to get a kid’s meal after karate class. To the grandpa, he probably didn’t think he could potentially be hurting her health by getting her a kid’s meal three times a week but by doing so he made her accustomed to eating out.
Another big health issue that can come from eating unhealthy is becoming obese which could lead to diabetes. Zinczenko tells his audience that “Before 1994, diabetes in children was generally caused by a genetic disorder – only about 5 percent of childhood cases were obesity-related, or Type 2 diabetes. Today per the National Institutes of Health, Type 2 diabetes accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country.” (Zinczenko 463) Due to an increase in diabetes the money spent on research for diabetes has increased significantly over the past few years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 1969 about $2.6 billion was spent in health care costs and today they estimate we spend about $100 billion a year. The article also discusses the troubles of trying to find how many calories are in the food you’re consuming. You can ask an employee but the number of calories they give you might not be right. He gives an example of a salad, the number of calories they’re telling you is just for one of the ingredients. When you read the labels they all have their own calorie amounts and by the time you add it all up your 150 calories quickly turns into a 1,040-calorie salad and that’s not including that extra calories you’re going to consume by ordering a soda. By not having correct calorie totals and marketing a product that has proven health hazards and no warning labels they’re leaving themselves open to get sued. “Without such warnings, we’ll see more sick, obese children and more angry, litigious parents.” (Zinczenko 464) It’s the fast-food company’s responsibility to make sure they’re giving the consumer the correct information.
I believe that Zinczenko made some great points in his article and he gave good data to back up what he was saying. If David is right that once kids walk under the golden arches they will have the likely fate of becoming obese, as I think he is, then we need to reassess the way we think about fast-food and try to make a change to be healthier. Diabetes is becoming a serious problem, and fast-food restaurants are most likely the ones to blame for it. In the article, David says, “Drive down any thoroughfare in America, and I guarantee you’ll see one of our country’s more than 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants. Now, drive back up the block and try to find someplace to buy a grapefruit.” (Zinczenko 463) Since 1994 diabetes rates have gone up 25 percent and we spend $97.5 billion dollars more in health care costs a year. We should be spending that money to regulate the kinds of food fast-food places can sell and how many calories, grams of fat and sugar can be in every meal.
In my opinion we need to make fast-food restaurants have healthier food items on their menu. Currently kids are most likely eating at fast-food restaurants 2-3 times a week minimum. I believe parents need to teach their kids how to eat healthy and what eating healthy looks like. My aunt would get her family McDonald’s once a week because she was too tired to make dinner when she got home from work. The days they didn’t get McDonald’s they got Del Taco, Taco bell, Bakers etc. Since my aunt stopped making her family dinners and they always ate out my cousin is now overweight. Most of the time at McDonald’s you have kids coming in after school getting food off the dollar menu while they wait to get picked up. Fast-food is such an easy option for families who are always on the go but the down side to that is no matter how athletic or “skinny” your body maybe you are still harming your body on the inside. If we don’t make a change, then the next generation will have an even higher obesity rate and diabetes rate and the cycle will just continue to get higher. I know eating healthy isn’t easy and it takes more time to make dinner than to go grab something from the drive thru but in the end, it might help you and your children get better eating habits.
In conclusion, we either need to change our eating habits or make fast-food restaurant’s sell healthier items. If we don’t make a change soon the obesity rate is only going to increase and cause health costs will rise even more than they already have in the past 22 years. The lesson we should all take away from Zinczenko’s article is that we need to take our health more seriously and try to find a way to end the obesity rate.
Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater.” They Say, I Say 2016 Mla Update. N.p.: Turtleback, 2016. 462-65. Print.
They Say, I Say 2016 Mla Update. N.p.: Turtleback, 2016. Print.