“Dad, Dad, what’s going on? Mom help him!” The shock on my mom’s face was something I have never seen before. Physical pain came over me as adrenalin was flooding through my body, but I was left paralyzed in horror. I watched my dad collapse to the floor then instantly paramedics were coming through the front door. It was so abrupt my brain was left in a fog until my mom and I were seated next to his hospital bed that evening where she had told me everything that happened. My dad was rushed into emergency surgery after the massive heart attack that almost took his life that day. He received a sextuple bypass brought on by years of consuming high sodium and fatty foods without knowledge of where it would leave him. This life-threatening situation opened our eyes to the fact that a diet of this sort can really take a toll so we needed to do something about it. We began taking the necessary precautions to reverse or prevent future damage to his heart and well-being. Throughout the following years, he dieted and exercised gaining back his health doing better for himself. David Zinczenko has a similar life story of growing up with fast food chains readily available all around him. He took on the lifestyle and gained a massive amount of weight until he was ultimately dissatisfied with his figure. Zinczeko took necessary actions to turn his life around. He became educated on the issues of the fast food industry and is using his knowledge to help others by informing them that it is the fast food conglomerate causing this rapid decline in human health beginning in young children who are exposed to this easy and attainable lifestyle.
In Zinczenko’s article, “Don’t Blame the Eater” he addresses a few different sides of the argument of who is really to blame for the obesity epidemic in 2002. Zinczenko goes on to state that some of the culprits could be: marketing from the company, lack of nutritional information, convince, and affordability. When he was young, his mom worked long hours, just like many parents today, and he was left to turn to fast food as his main food source. After years of relying on fast food, Zinczenko put on the weight that comes with eating such foods. However, he was fortunate enough to join the Navy Reserves and get involved with a health magazine, resulting in him making personal changes for a healthier lifestyle. Many kids today are growing up in the same situation as Zinczenko and over time are becoming more and more overweight with no plans to change their diet.
I believe we are personally responsible for what we put into our bodies daily. I grew up in a family where both parents worked all the time and didn’t have time to spare to make homecooked meals. It wasn’t until after my Dad’s nearly fatal incident that my family began acting. We started making home cooked meals together and began seeing results in all of our health. It was difficult for me at first because like any child who is accustomed to a lifestyle of junk food, changing a diet takes time and self-discipline. After long days of school, after school programs and homework I always wanted to stop for food on the way home because it was what I loved and clung to. Luckily for me every time I asked my mom for any sort of fast food she would always say no. Some days I would ask repeatedly until she simply flipped out on me, and with that, she was able to control what I was eating. Sometimes it’s easier to handoff lunch money than it is to make a lunch at home, but just because it’s easier doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your body. What so many people are uninformed of is that it could take about ten minutes to make a lunch at home and it’ll be better for you and it will be cheaper in the long run. For the parents who work long hours and don’t have the time or energy to make dinner, the answer is simple, teach your kids to cook. When I was younger there were nights where my parents were just too tired to make dinner, they would have my brother and I help them out. Somedays we made dinner for ourselves, other days we made dinner for everyone. It never felt like a chore because we were taught in a way that made cooking look like a party each time. I believe that if parents took the time to do so, it could have an impact on future generations as well.
For years, people have been trying to sue McDonalds for making them and their children fat instead of taking the blame themselves. Although it is indefinitely personal responsibility, major companies are still a key factor in the obesity epidemic. McDonalds for example, can be incredibly sneaky when it comes to their nutritional labels and marketing towards younger generations. For instance, a salad is typically a healthier meal and the customer is left to believe that if they were to order a salad from McDonalds that they would be doing good for themselves. Unfortunately, McDonalds salads are far from healthy, and the way they are portrayed on the nutritional label can be a maze just to understand how many calories you are really consuming. As time goes on, McDonalds continues to open new locations. Nowadays there is a McDonalds almost everywhere, making it even more convenient for those who are in a rush or simply just too lazy. Over the years, McDonalds continues to grow. They didn’t open thousands of locations for the whim of it, we clearly choose to go and support them. People and especially struggling parents are so quick to choose this fast food chain because it is so affordable but due to their lack of guidance they are sadly ruining theirs and their children’s bodies and well-being. If there is an ongoing demand for McDonalds they will continue to build more locations to suit our wants, or even needs.
The obesity epidemic is real and it is a life-threatening state. The world itself but primarily America is at risk of more health issues than ever even since 2002. More and more fast food chains and companies are being built for the convenience of consumers based on their taste buds as well as budget. It’s up to us to start informing ourselves as well as others on what these chain companies are striving to do. They are here to make profits off the unconscious members and do not care what harm it will bring them. We must take control of our own lives as Zinczenko has made a beneficial example of. It is our duty to make decisions for the better. Children depend on their parents and parents do have control of what their children are consuming. My parents took actions for themselves as well as my siblings and I and we are still on his journey of being in a healthy lifestyle environment. It’s not impossible to make changes before it’s too late and it is much easier to begin a healthier lifestyle when you are informed of the possible harmful outcome.