Everyone is in charge of their own body and takes full responsibility in it, however in some cases; they are not the ones at fault. “Don’t Blame the Eater” by David Zinczenko opens up the topic of obesity in children and young teens. In Zinczenko’s article he exclaims that fast food corporations should be the ones at fault when it comes to obesity in the nation, not the person itself who’s eating the food. I agree with Zinczenko on how fast food corporations take a big roll on obesity in the nation, but i have to disagree with him when he says fast food corporations should take full responsibility.
Zinczenko brings several examples and facts to support his backup such as; the accessibility of fast food, financial struggles of affording healthier options, and how the fast food industries are deceitful with advertising and labeling. Zinczenko suggests that to fix this issue fast-food industries should provide the nutritional information to show people what choice they’re actually making when they choose what to eat. I agree with what he says however I do not believe this will fix the full issue at hand, he believes that it will help greatly if people know the health hazards and proper labeling of what they are eating they will make a healthier choice, but I believe that to take a bigger effect on the epidemic, exercise needs to be included into the average consumers lifestyle.
In an everyday lifestyle, it is very complicated to find accessible healthy food options as opposed to fast food. When Zinczenko 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, CH. 7) Zinczenko is basically trying to show how accessible it is to purchase fast food as your meal instead of the alternative, especially for teenagers and children. Teens and children normally rely on fast food as their meals because of how cheap and convenient it can be, they never pay attention if it is a healthy choice or not. I experience this situation constantly in my everyday lifestyle. On a regular day I look for dinner after a long day of school and work I do not have time to go home and cook a meal so I automatically think of fast food as my choice. Like me, hundreds of people face this problem so we turn to the easiest, realistic choice, fast food. Unlike most people however, I try to strive to include exercise in my life even when I struggle for the time to do so. People may argue that it is the consumer’s fault for what they put in their body however most of us lack to time or money to cook a healthy meal at home, which is a relatable manner. I am not suggesting that we should drop our responsibilities to run a marathon every day; I am suggesting that people should start making small changes to make a difference in the end. For example, if people took the stairs instead of an elevator, or took a walk around the park on one of the less hectic days in the week, or even spring cleaned your house one day, it would still allow yourself to get physical activity to help burn some of the calories we get from all these “unhealthy decisions”.
Zinczenko brings up several accountable back up facts but one he didn’t discuss in his article is the expense of whole foods versus fast food restaurants. It could be that someone does have the time to prepare a home cooked healthy meal for the family but lack the finances to do so. Instead they would go to the grocery store and buy the cheap fastest option or grab a five dollar pizza at little Caesars; it still doesn’t help the epidemic at hand. I face this issue as well as a part time student and a full time worker I normally can’t afford to buy ten dollar veggie bowls or the extravagant healthy options I normally succumb to the four dollar cheeseburgers.
Another topic Zinczenko brings up is the false advertising and misleading labeling companies provide. In Chapter nine of Zinczenko’s article, he shows an example of misleading labeling when he talks about a company having a one hundred and fifty calorie salad on their website for a nutritional fact. The label doesn’t include the extra ingredients to add such as almonds, dressing, noodles, etc. allowing the consumer to believe it’s healthy. In addition the serving portion most of the time is incorrect and consumers fail to catch the extra servings. Instead of one whole serving size it’s actually 2.5 so the customer ate a salad of 1,000 calories instead of 150. (Zinczenko, CH. 9) Even if people are making an effort to make the healthier choice how are they supposed to know if the choices they make are actually healthy.
Zinczenko believes that to help this epidemic, fast food industries need to provide truthful accurate nutritional labels on their products to show what the consumers are actually buying. Zinczenko also suggests that we have no more false advertising for the products companies sell. If we show the accurate nutritional facts people would think twice about what they’re buying and although sometimes the food choices aren’t as healthy as a bowl of vegetables, it’s still the better choice over what other foods might be. To achieve better healthy habits and ensure a healthier life style, consumers must be aware of what they are eating and how they can get involved with physical activity. This can still be complicated to reach for several people being that it would take time that people simply do not have, but I think it is a start to bring effect to the obesity epidemic. Small changes can make a big difference.
Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater.” They Say I Say. W.W. Norton and Company, 2012. 391-393.