A current controversial issue surrounding our society today is the relationship between fast food restaurants and childhood obesity. Obesity has always been a problem in the United States; however, it has become an even greater problem in recent years. According to the Mayo Clinic, childhood obesity is defined as "when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height" (Disease and Conditions: Childhood Obesity). Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are now overweight and the obesity rate among preschool aged children is increasing at an alarming speed (Childhood Obesity Facts). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years" (Childhood Obesity Facts).
Fast food always comes in the clutch, but what is really behind the happy meals and sweet teas. We all know fast food is not good for you, but who’s to blame. Is it fair that we blame fast-food chains or are we just to afraid to blame ourselves? It is said that fast food advertising is linked to rising childhood and teen obesity. The childhood obesity epidemic is a serious public health problem that increases morbidity, morality, and has substantial long-term economic and social costs (opposing viewpoints).
Is there a strong connection between the fast food industry and the growing rate of obesity among young children? The answer is yes- fast food consumption is a large contributor to increasing child obesity risks and the effects of long-term health problems in the future. Children are bombarded by fast food advertising on a daily basis which lure them into wanting fast foods in addition to the great taste. The rapid growth of child obesity is in step with the growing fast food chains and market. The realization of this important link is the first step in finding a solution to the growing epidemic of child obesity.
First, big corporations had made an impact on the advertising and have changed the food house. Between 1977 in 1995 "Fast food marketers such as McDonald's and Burger King have a reshaped diets of American parents and kids"(Ruskin 4). The rise in fast food consumption has led to the effect in obesity especially in America. Secondly, fast food is so broad now; McDonald's is all you see anymore. Consumers "Eat food design for the health of corporate balance sheets rather than the health of children's bodies"(Ruskin 5).
There has been a long term concern that youth or children who eat from fast food restaurants have a big risk for becoming overweight. Some research shows that "greater familiarity with fast food advertising on television is associated with obesity in young people" (Pediatric Academic Societies parag.1). It is known that these children and adolescents are being extremely exposed to fast food advertising including the internet, social media, and particularly on television. The marketer and owners of these fast food restaurants use many techniques to attract children and help cause childhood obesity. Not only are they mainly targeting children but also they target low income families and helping cause obesity in their income groups, with their low prices and dollar menus these families are vulnerable to their advertisements.
Some people see fast food as the cause of obesity, whereas some see obesity as the cause of an individual choosing to eat unhealthy food, given them full responsibility for their dietary choices. Fast food is seen as one of the cheaper ways of eating compared to buying healthy food from the local supermarket. In the last few years, obesity rates have been on a rise. Obesity affects everyone ranging from young children to adults. An individual does have responsibility for their dietary choices, but perhaps they cannot afford the expensive prices of healthier foods, so they have to turn to fast foods as a cheaper unhealthy way of eating.
In today's society, fast food has become a large part of many American's lives. With the rising numbers of obese people, it is hard not to draw a correlation between the increase in fast food and obesity. Most obese people don’t want to be obese and wish they could lose weight, yet they continue to struggle with their fast food intake and obesity. This is due to the advertising done on the consumers, the highly addictive food itself, and most importantly, how advertising and addiction combine with children to form habits that are kept once they become adults. These factors are the reasons that fast food restaurants are to blame for the rising obesity and health risks across America.
Children are expose to hundreds of ads promoting fast food every day. In America obesity has nearly increase fivefold since 1970 and will most likely continue to rise; The Fast food industry is a leading cause for obesity in America, causing to depression, low self-esteem, and negative body image. Fast Food industries are taking advantage of families and children who don’t know the dang...
And one of the biggest causes of the obesity epidemic, according to wholesome food supporters, is fast food. But fast food might not be the real culprit. There are several other issues that could be he cause of the obesity epidemic. For example, food availability has increased tremendously in the last century, and portion sizes are larger. In addition, attempts to add healthier choices to the menu are often not received well by the general public.
Why are Americans rapidly growing obese? Are fast foods the reason behind this or our choices in food consumption our very reason for the fast climb in obesity? Why is that people tending to blame all these fast food chains for our obesity? Obesity is not a result of fast food corporations, but it is the fault of the individual who chose to consume such foods. Rising in obesity is excessive.