Less Care, More Fat By Akira Hagiwara You stare down at the greasy, salty French fries and burgers that are waiting to be eaten. Oh, yum. You are about to take a heavenly bite…but wait! Think carefully! Do you really want to be one of the 74.1% of the over weight people in the U.S? One of the fast-food devourers? One of the junky soda drinkers? I don’t think you want to be one of them…no don’t! Don’t eat the French fries! Don’t drink the L-size cola! Think again! Noooooooo! Come on! You have enough of that junk every week! Americans eat a lot of food, and that is known to be one of the biggest reasons for Americans being fat, but it isn’t the only reason… This problem has received the attention of many, but not enough. Thomas Vilsack, a democratic politician and former governor of Iowa says, “The lack of access to proper nutrition is not only fueling obesity, it is leading to food insecurity and hunger among our children.” Thomas Vilsack also says, “If we can get people to focus on fruits and vegetables and more healthy foods, we’ll be better in terms of our healthcare situation.” I think he knows what he is saying… Fast food is one big reason for Americans being overweight. On average, people in the U.S eat about 2 meals of fast food a week. That is 8 or 9 meals of fast food a month and over 100 meals of fast food every year! Additionally, fast food meals are getting bigger and bigger! This is becoming an ominous problem. In the U.S, the country with nearly 50,000 fast food chains…96% of the students in a school recognized Ronald the McDonald, the face of McDonald. Santa Claus was the only person that was recognized more than him. Why is fast food getting so popular? Is this really what America wants? Another big reason for Americans being fat is their environment. This includes lack of neighborhood sidewalks, safe places for recreation, affordable gyms. As you can see, these causes are all about exercise. The U.S does not have enough places to move your body. Also, people don’t get the chance to travel by foot…they ride buses, or taxis, cars and maybe trains. That was only the environmental problem. You see there are also work schedules. People often say that they don't have time to be physically active because of long work hours and time commuting. I disagree with these people. You never have time. You need to make time. I think these people can make time on the weekends and spend time at the pool or at an exercise place. Although you have to
have more energy out than energy in, in order to lose weight, some Americans have more energy in than energy out, which makes them fatter. Aren't these people just being lazy? Of course the grand finale problem is…food! Food advertisements, food portions, and also not enough accessibility to healthy foods… Food advertisements invite many Americans to eating foods, tricking the consumer, lying that the foods are healthy as much as lying about there sizes and looks. The food advertisements may sometimes say that the foods are healthy, but the “healthy foods” may have unhealthy things like artificial flavoring, and things like corn syrup. These are just two hideous, unhealthy ingredients. I thought of two in just two and a half seconds…I wonder how many I can think of in a few more minutes. Next is, of course food portions. The U.S is known to have huge food portions that are almost impossible to eat. Over the past few decades, the food portions in the U.S have changed dramatically. For example, portions of the French fries in MacDonalds have become bigger. In 1970, McDonalds offered only one French fry size to choose from. That is now called the size, “small”. Eventually, they introduced a new size called, “large.” Now, that “large” is called “medium,” and a bigger portion was made, and now it is called “large,” but you actually have another choice…you can always “Super Size” it. (No, I’m serious) I wonder what it would be like in thirty more years…is they’re going to be salt amounts to choose from? The last problem is the fact that citizens in the U.S do not have enough access to healthy foods. Some people don’t live near supermarkets that sell fresh vegetables and fruits, and for some people, the fresh fruits and vegetables are too costly. In American restaurants, they do offer you vegetables, but not in the healthiest way. For example, when you order spinach for your side, you are expecting maybe a pile of spinach, with no sace, or in a light sort of dressing or sauce, but when your spinach comes, it is heavy, chunky cream spinach. Also, when you order a salad, the dressing is mushed into the veggies, and the veggies don’t taste like veggies. The Americans get used to eating these foods with loads of fat and calories, so they get fatter and fatter. Sometimes they may think these foods are good for them, although it is actually not good nutrition.
As you can see, the Americans are not the healthiest people…and I don't even know if they are trying to be healthier…but one thing I know is true is the fact that they have to change. If they don’t change, they will fall to the hands of the risks, such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer, and other health problems. To prevent these risks, there are many small steps you can take. There are many approaches to prevent these risks, and one is food. You can deny ordering the biggest size even if it may seem like a bargain, you can stop drinking sugar sodas and drink liquids like water, fruit juice or milk, not using too much heavy sauces such as tartar sauce and dressings is also good for your health. Asking for no dressing or dressing on the side for you to add on is a smart choice, because most restaurants serve you with too much dressing. Choosing from the grilled or baked items instead of the fried items is a good choice, and you can also choose from the “light” or “healthy” section of the menu. You can also work at being healthy by getting energy out of you. You have to take out all of the energy you have inside of you. You can do this by making time to exercise or move your body. Research shows that obesity and overweight are both preventable. If 74.1% of the Americans try best to lose weight, and think carefully at what they can do at that moment to lose weight, everyone has the possibilities to overrun the big barriers of obesity and overweight… A special thanks to these sites that helped me get the information for my article… Bibliography: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/everyday_economics/2001/05/why_are_we_g etting_so_fat.html http://notthemajorityopinion.blogspot.jp/2007/02/obesity-in-world-whoranking.html http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/causes.html http://www.pamf.org/teen/health/nutrition/fastfood.html http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/ http://www.nutrition-charts.com/mcdonalds-shakes-and-drinks-nutrition/ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tomvilsack459329.html http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tomvilsack459342.html