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Why Did American Teenagers Stop Eating?
Why have American teenagers stopped eating healthy? The American people have not stopped dressing, playing sports, working, or traveling, so why did they stop eating healthy? Is it because American teenagers today have grown up with junk food that they do not know how to eat healthy? Maybe it is because Americans are so involved with many other activities that they cannot find the time to eat a decent meal. Whatever the specific reason may be, American teenagers have stopped eating healthy and something needs to be done. This paper examines the reasons as to why American teenagers have stopped eating healthy, but first it explains some reasons as to why teenagers eat so unhealthy.
It is not enough to simply say that American teenagers have unhealthy eating habits. Although the eating habits vary from teenager to teenager, that is to say some eat too much while others eat too little, the general reasons as to why this fact is true needs to be examined and should be understood by everyone. Teenagers are unhealthy eaters because they eat to free themselves from boredom, they go out to eat to have a fun at night, and they eat because food is always available to them one way or the other. Some teenagers do not eat enough and when they do eat they eat junk food because it tastes better than "healthy" food. Truly, teenagers are not healthy eaters.
Few people besides nutritionists and dietitians are aware of the reasons as to why the American people have such horrible eating habits. One reason as to why teenagers are unhealthy eaters is that eating provides something for them to do when they are bored. Eating while doing homework helps keep teenagers focused and awake so that they can get their homework done in a timely manner. Keeping their mouth occupied with food will stop them from talking to others around them. People who like what they are eating will most likely keep on eating and hold off on a conversation. If teenagers just watched television while doing homework, they would most likely watch the television screen rather than do their homework.
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Another reason as to why teenagers are unhealthy eaters is that dining is a past time activity. When going out for the night, there are millions of restaurants to eat at, which provide something to do other than hanging out at someone's house or going to a movie. Eating at a restaurant also lets teenagers get out of their cars and sit down at a social place where they can enjoy themselves more. The fact that most teenagers do not like to spend large sums of money leads them to fast food restaurants, which are not the healthiest places to eat. Places such as Denny's, Dairy Queen, and Taco Bell provide good food at cheap prices along with an environment where teenagers can be teenagers. Teenagers still attend fancy places and expensive restaurants every once in a while just to have some fun, but most of the time they pick places where they can have fun for a cheap price.
Whether teenagers are watching television, working on homework, or even just sitting around with nothing to do, many can be seen constantly eating. More often than not they are chewing on a candy bar, drinking a carbonated beverage, or eating some other kind of snack. This is due to the fact that there is always food available; meaning that they can go to a candy store, they can buy snacks from a snack machine, and they can go to a concession stand. In addition, teenagers are always thinking about food because they are constantly watching television or reading magazines. There are numerous advertisements for food that lead teenagers to think about food. For example, McDonalds and Burger King must have at least 15-20 advertisements per day trying to persuade people to buy their food. Teenagers who watch a ton of television, and most do, will start to think about food. Maybe they end up taking a drive to the fast food restaurant or maybe they just go into their kitchen and grab a snack all because of one food advertisement. One way or the other they were led to eat something.
Not all teenagers eat whenever they are bored or need something fun to do. In fact, some teenagers rarely eat. Teenagers today are so concerned with the way that they look so they are constantly finding things wrong with their body. Part of the reason is that there is so much pressure in today's society for people to maintain a certain figure. Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders in which the person views himself/herself as fat. People with eating disorders believe that the only way they will have a "better body" is if they do not eat as much. Teenagers who have eating disorders do not eat very much and if there were something that they would eat, it would have to be something that they like. Again, most teenagers will choose junk food over healthy food as their snack for the day considering that it just tastes better.
Teenagers today have been surrounded by junk food all of their lives so it is really the only type of food that they have ever known. People who lived one hundred years ago did not grow up with junk food so they are used to eating healthy food. Because of the advertisements shown on television, the many fast food restaurants to attend, and the fact that teenagers can obtain food whenever they are hungry, teenagers are not healthy eaters. Junk food can be found anywhere. One can go to the grocery store and see soda, fruit roll-ups, and chips. At the gas station one can find a variety of candy bars while at a concession stand one can obtain popcorn and licorice ropes. Junk food is constantly around teenagers in America. There are not many places in this world where one can find just healthy food.
What do sports, jobs, and clubs have in common? These are the activities that control the lives of most American people especially teenagers, which leave them with very little time to eat a decent meal. The American people are always on the run that all they eat is a granola bar or a pop tart when they are off to work or school in the morning. In the afternoon maybe they eat some nachos or pizza which will allow them to be up and moving in a short period of time. For dinner, before they have to rush off to soccer practice or to a club meeting, maybe they will grab something from the nearest fast food place. Because teenagers never have the time to sit down and eat a decent meal, they are always eating unhealthy foods. People today always seem to find the time to get dressed in the morning or write their English paper before class, but they cannot seem to find the time to eat a healthy meal for once.
What made getting dressed in the morning, exercising, and writing an English paper more important than eating a healthy meal? The answer is that people today are so obsessed with being successful that they will do what ever it takes to reach their goal. People will never give up dressing because they know that they need to look nice in order to be considered business like and that they cannot just simply walk around nude. Writing that English paper will make them one step closer to reach that goal of becoming successful in the real world and exercising keeps people in shape so that they will look good when they put on their business suit. The fact that everyone is so obsessed with being successful and that eating does not help the American people become successful, eating healthy is on the bottom of the priority list. The American people need to stop worrying about becoming so successful and need to start worrying about their eating habits.