A Defense of Collective Responsibility
Within the context of the obesity epidemic today, the finger of blame is most often cast in the direction of individual responsibility towards health maintenance. This reasoning, however, is ineffective, as it evokes shame upon those struggling with weight management, suggesting their weakness and/or poor self-control, and is a source of lax governmental intervention. When we consider the externalities at force which manipulate eating habit and choice, it’s found that general lack of food knowledge, corporate behavior, and biological mechanisms severely compromise the concept of free-will. Thus, the issue of obesity is a matter of collective responsibility, in which a multitude of factors exist to influence our nations over-weight. Embracing this ideology would serve us best to acknowledge the circumstances of our health decline, and alter them accordingly in order to better the health of the people.
The dueling ideologies of “personal responsibility” and “collective responsibility” are perhaps most influential in Americans’ attitude toward obesity. Given that both maintain exceptionally different responses to the health dilemma, it’s the acceptance of either which have divided our nation on who is to blame, and how the issue can be resolved. In consideration of what summons their contrast, we find at the most basic level, that collective responsibility accepts our nations lack of dietary knowledge as a predecessor to obesity, and stipulates that we are not to blame for either (“Theories of Weight Bias”).
Knowledge, or lack thereof, in the case for collective responsibility.
As children, many of us were implored by our parents to eat the vegetables that they had purposefully sectioned on our plates. More often then not, their cajoling was met with our discontented whines. To the best of our ability, we denied their offerings. We cast meal-time battles and “played” with the colorful masses of natures provide, pushing them as close to the edge of our plates as we could without them hitting the tablecloth. When this system failed us, it was then that we demanded to know, why? Why was it so imperative that we force something down that was so unappealing? The answer was simple: Because it’s good for you. Because you need to eat these foods in order to grow up to be healthy. Our parents were simply looking out for our better interest, while pitted against the inherent biological preference of our growing bodies to eat foods that would yield high energy. These preferential foods, still colorful though by means of artificial additives, were the kind of elevated sugar and fat content. “Junk foods” with little or no nutrient allowance.
Many parents possess, at the very least, a basic knowledge that these foods aren’t the most beneficial to their children. They may not be educated on the finer details, but this sentiment is a repeated given. Since a child’s diet is largely under their parent’s...