Do you ever feel ashamed the way you are viewed by the way you eat? In an article written by Radley Balko, the author writes about What You Eat Is Your Business which he provides instances and studies about the food you eat should not be viewed publicly but on a personal level of responsibility. He explains how the government is trying to be “between you and your waistline” (Balko 466), by implementing more healthier food to the public to ensure responsibility of one’s health. He states the actions that the state legislatures and school boards are handling the obesity situation by banning unhealthy foods from school campuses, and introduces the fat tax that the senators called for. In his opinion Balko believed the way they were dealing with obesity was very wrong and stated, “… our government ought to be working to foster a sense of responsibility in and ownership of our own health and well-being” (467). Balko brings up how America’s health has lead toward socialism. Due to the way people’s health has changed by the way they eat, obesity has taken a public matter rather than it being a personal matter. He concludes how as a whole we’ve become more responsible for everyone’s health rather than our own. His research explains how people’s health affects others financially by their cost of “premiums and office visits” (Balko 467) as a toll of being responsible for everyone’s health. He gives examples about how a society that is responsible for everyone’s health causes the government to implement such restrictions that make the food industry at fault for the people’s poor choice in diet. “…what McDonald’s can put on its menu, what Safeway or Kroger can put on grocery shelves, or holding food companies responsible for the bad habits of unhealthy consumers” (Balko 468). He believes that the obesity crisis should not be viewed as a public matter but more of a self responsibility matter. That everyone should take responsibility rather than making everyone as a whole accountable for the poor choices an individual makes. Balko finishes the article by explaining how people would make better decisions about their health when they face the consequences of their choices.
Radley Balko’s theory of What You Eat Is Your Business is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of self responsibility. In his article he mentions how the best way to remove the stigma of obesity is by removing it as a public health crises and making it a personal matter. People should take responsibility for their own well-being because it’s not really other people’s occupation to take care of it for you. Personally I feel that people blame others to feel resilient about their poor choices. 1 in 3 kids/adults in the U.S consumes fast food every other day, but since the pricing on food is considerably cheap and affordable it’s hard for that person to resist buying that next cheeseburger. If we were to take that single second to think about our choice of buying that next meal to eat, we can maybe take to consideration that we are doing this to our body not the person who is making our meal nor the industry but ourselves. So the next time you buy that meal from any fast food restaurant ask yourself, “is this really good for me?”.
For a busy individual who works 10 hour shifts I don’t have the time nor patience to wake up and make a lunch early in the morning. Only having a 30 minute lunch means I need to get a meal fast and since I can get a meal on the go without the wait fast food is always the best option for me. When I’m buying that double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonald’s the first thing that comes to mind is “that food isn’t healthy for me, but I don’t have time”. In my case I already know that type of food is not healthy to consume but I still take responsibility for my actions and choices I’ve made about buying that meal and what effects it’s going to have on my body. The only time I blamed someone other than myself about buying a meal was when my food was under-cooked, but that’s completely out of proportion. You see, there are certain situations you can and cannot blame others for your situations. We all have to start somewhere and take responsibility for everything we do even if it makes us feel guilty about ourselves we just to be accepting of who we are.
I believe if we were to stop shaming others to make ourselves better, obesity wouldn’t be viewed as a public crisis. Taking accountability for our health will minimize the regulations that are implemented by the government due to our complaints about the food industry. Rather than blaming the industry we should start blaming ourselves. It’s common sense to realize that we’re the ones choosing to consume fast food; we’re the ones responsible for our own health. We are all responsible for our health and well being because we are the ones at the end of the day that choose to consume things that are or aren’t good for our bodies.
Although we can’t change the way people eat, we can at least take responsibility of our choices. I agree with Balko about how people will start making better choices once they suffer the consequences. Learning from our consequences will make people realize that if they don’t change their ways of eating they can have severe health issues down the road. Also it’s the best way we can learn from our mistakes to better ourselves. So next time when you’re stuffing your face with fries and a burger take that second to reflect on whose fault it is for consuming that food.
Works Cited Page
Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” They Say, I Say, with Readings. 3rd ed, edited by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, Russel Durst, WWNorton, 2017, pp 466-470.
Aubrey, Allison. “About A Third Of U.S Kids And Teens Ate Fast Food Today.” npr.org. 17 Sep. 2015, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/.