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Obesity In The United States And Unhealthy Foods

1237 words - 5 pages

If someone could stop another person from dying, would they? If they had the power to extend a life, what would it take to get them up and moving? These are the questions American health care professional and government officials are trying to answer, because they are facing an epidemic of staggering proportions. An astounding 18.2% of deaths from 1986 to 2006 have been attributed to overweight and obesity (Masters, 2013). Obesity in America has moved out of the shadows of private homes and into mainstream media. The government has implemented extra taxes on unhealthy foods but has not put enough pressure on the fast food companies. There should be more of a focus on educating the public ...view middle of the document...

Fast food restaurants have started posting calorie count on the menus and offering “healthier options”. This acknowledgment of informing consumers on the high caloric intake from fast food companies has only just started in the last three years. Americans are busier than ever and have less amount of time to prepare meals. The fast food industry has thrived off of this busy lifestyle making it more convenient to just drive-thru or pick something up on their way home. While not all fast food choices are completely unhealthy the majority of them are, which is helping this epidemic keep a foothold in the US.
Education is in the key to slowing down the progression of obesity in America. Without educating the public on the importance of eating right and exercising no one will ever change their “bad” habits. Schools have started by educating America’s youth on the effects of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Children are more absorbent and will take the information home to their parents. As the children grow older the education they received will follow them keeping the obesity rates lower in their generation. Educating American’s children has made an impact on children’s obesity rates; from 2003 through 2010, obesity in preschool aged children decreased from 15.21% to 14.94%. While extreme obesity in preschool aged children decreased from 2.22% to 2.07% (CDC 2012). During a Q and A with First Lady, Michelle Obama stated “We've seen that when kids play an active role in what they eat — whether it's planting a garden, grocery shopping with a parent, or helping cook dinner — they're much more willing to try new things and take ownership of their own health”(Tucker 2013). There is a direct correlation between education and obesity; individuals that have not received a higher education are two times more likely to become obese (Devaux et al. 2011).
The implementations of Fat Taxes are not the kind of government assistance that will best curb obesity. With obesity becoming so rampant in the United States and driving up the health care costs the government has started instituting Fat Taxes on certain foods that has been deemed unhealthy by the government. Clark and Dittrich wrote “The Institute of Medicine (2005) advocate’s fat taxes because of the effectiveness of tobacco taxes in the reduction of smoking in U.S. adults. However, using taxes to control obesity is much different than using taxes to control smoking.” The tobacco tax was on a specific item making it easy to tax driving up the cost of the product which in turn deterred consumers from purchasing the product.
Fat taxes...

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