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A Generalization Of A Generation Essay

1383 words - 6 pages

    In their recent work, Radley Balko and David Zinczenko have offered harsh critiques about today’s food industry.  Many people who frequently eat out at restaurants assume that it is the food industries fault for making America an obese Nation, including Zinczenko, however, Balko has a slightly different opinion.
In his article, “What You Eat is Your Business,” Radley Balko blames individuals for fueling today’s so-called obesity epidemic that is occurring throughout the United States.  He argues that the government should stop labeling obesity as a “public health” issue, and start making people take responsibility for their own actions.  Balko discusses how the idea of someone's "...well-being, shape, and condition have increasingly been deemed matters of 'public health,' instead of matters of personal responsibility" (Balko).  He claims that deeming obesity as matters of "public health" is the wrong way to fight the obesity epidemic.  He suggests that the best way to "...alleviate the obesity 'public health' crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of 'public health’ (Balko).  He tries to convey the message that obesity doesn’t belong under “public health,” by emphasizing the fact that, “It’s difficult to think of anything more private and of less public concern than what we chose to put into our bodies” (Balko).  Balko insists that if people take credit for their own actions, and stop blaming others for their condition, then they will start to make better choices when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.  But what about the nonexistent nutritional facts on menus at restaurants Radley Balko?  If the nutritional facts were available would that help decrease the obesity rate, and would people try to eat healthier?
David Zinczenko, author of “Don’t Blame the Eater,” argues that the food-industry is contributing to today’s obesity epidemic by failing to adequately label the menus with the nutritional facts of each item. In Zinczenko’s view, the menus, “lack the information about what we’re consuming.  There are no calorie information charts on fast-food packaging, the way there are on grocery items.  Advertisements don’t carry warning labels the way tobacco ads do.  Prepared foods aren’t covered under Food and Drug Administration labeling laws.  And even when the fast-food restaurants provide calorie information on request, it is hard to understand” (Zinczenko).  For example, “...one company’s Web site lists its chicken salad as containing 150 calories; the almonds and noodles come with it (an additional 190 calories) are listed separately.  Add a serving of the 280-calories dressing, and you’ve got a healthy lunch alternative that comes in at 620 calories.  But that’s not all.  Read the small print on the back of the dressing packet and you’ll realize it actually contains 2.5 servings.  If you pour what you’ve been served, you’re suddenly up around 1,400 calories, which if half of the government’s recommended daily calorie intake.  And...

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