Adios, Adipose! Essay

1266 words - 6 pages

“Would you like fries or a side salad?” “Fries.” This is a conversation that occurs at many fast food places across America each day. On the television, commercials of steaming plates of food are accompanied by a commercial advertising this weight loss drug or that exercise machine. The American diet has caused controversy over the years as it is portrayed in the media and experienced by millions of Americans everyday. The American diet has led to an unprecedented weight gain that has left belt buckles the country over straining. There are many factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic plaguing the country such as increased food availability, lack of physical activity due to technological advances and sedentary living, and preservatives in the food. While many have heard about this epidemic, what exactly is it?
The obesity epidemic started in 1820 with the introduction of corn whiskey into the diet of the average person. (Pollan) They began to drink to excess which for much the same reasons we eat to excess now-availability and supply. Obesity is when an individual has abnormal amounts of body fat significant enough that it presents a hazard to that person’s health. (Harvard School of Public Health) Obesity can lead to the onset of several diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure; just to name a few. (Harvard School of Public Health) With restaurants such as McDonalds and Burger King, it can be difficult to avoid the pull of unhealthy food when it is so readily available.
The United States is a land of plenty and it is reflected in the sheer amount of food that is accessible on any given day. Most fast food places are now open until late or even twenty four hours. This, coupled with the nutritional disvalue of the food, has aided in the growth of the American waistline over the years. (Boero) The increased availability means that there is no longer a limit on what we eat or how much of it. With fast food places that are open late, one simply has to drive to the nearest one and be given instant gratification. It does not help that the foods that we now eat have very little nutritional value and the foods that are have a tendency to be expensive. (Boero) With the ease and abundance that this food is made available, this has led to unnecessary quantities and a lack of the foods that should be consumed such as whole grains, nuts, and fruits. (Harvard School of Public Health) While this made sense back when our ancestors had limited access to food, the constant feasting is now leading to a high rate of obesity. (Pollan) To remedy this, there should be greater portion control both in public and by people in their personal lives. Instead of emphasis upon red meats, refined grains, and sugars; there should be an emphasis in whole grain, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins. This could be done through lowering the price of such foods and making them more readily available on menus throughout...

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