April 4, 2011
The topic that I have chosen is obesity in America. I had wanted to do this topic from the very beginning; in fact, I was the one who had suggested it in the first place. Coming into this assignment I was already very aware of how this topic is affecting people in America, which is the primary reason I chose to research it. Obesity is an ever growing problem that needs to be stopped, it is the number two cause of preventable death in America and is second only to tobacco. The fact that millions have died from obesity is what really made me want to research this topic more.
Obesity hasn’t really effected me in any major way, besides the fact that my overweight cousin was just diagnosed with diabetes. After I had heard that I was curious as to why, and found out it was from all the sugary foods he had eaten throughout the years. After a little research I found that his predicament was similar to many people all across the nation. With millions of people being obese in our nation it seems as though it’ll be impossible to make the United States skinny again, but it doesn’t mean that we should give up trying either. So now that America knows that a problem exists, the only question left is: how can we stem the ever-growing numbers of obese Americans?
My first personal stance on this topic is that it really makes me angry that this is even a problem at all. At first I thought that the only reason someone could be that obese is because all they do is eat fast food and sit on their couches all day (which is partly true). So what originally interested me was: what exactly causes a person to be fat, not what type of foods, but how can someone physically let themselves get that fat without wanting to do something about it. So I would have to say that I have a very strong view towards this topic. Mostly because I am such an active person and I couldn’t picture letting myself get that fat without going crazy from boredom first. Research has actually shown that you won’t get obese if you eat relatively healthy and get at least sixty minutes of exercise everyday. It really frustrates me that obesity is such a preventable disease but it claims thousands of people lives across the nation. I guess you can say this is why I am so interested in this topic, not because it’s a disease that claims the lives of unsuspecting people but because they actually do it to themselves through over eating and exercise.
When I first started gathering my research I was focused on finding out what obesity was and how exactly it has an impact on not only the obese citizens, but America as a whole. The first three articles that I found were not very useful only because the only criteria I used was, does the article inform me about obesity and its effect on America? One article that I found was very interesting because it was written through the point of view of a vegan, it was interesting because normally the viewpoint that you get is from doctors telling you the horrible effects that fast food has on your body. But articles like that are a dime a dozen. The vegans say that being obese is a perpetual cycle and that the more bad food you eat, the worse you feel about yourself which means they you go out to get more of the food because of that. The second helpful article wasn’t so much an article as it was just a fact sheet. But it did help to lay done some framework and to give me all the essentials I needed to form my opinion.
The second set of research was only a little more in-depth than the first round of research but unfortunately not to too in-depth. When I went about my second round of research I was still thinking about the factors that lead people to become obese. Which really made it far too broad for how specific we are trying to get. But what I did find that was a little more narrow was how the constant over saturation of media is one of the leading causes of obesity. I thought that this was interesting only because it takes the consumer completely out of the equation, and placed the blame solely on the companies that produce that food. I guess what the second round of research exposed to me is that on some sort of sub-conscious level we are pre-conditioned to eat from fast food places. It makes sense seeing as how you can’t go 100 yards on the street without seeing a McDonalds billboard.
All of the sources that I found were simply just articles on the internet from various online newspapers. There really weren’t too many other publications concerning media and its effect on obesity in America. But I am not discouraged and am still searching currently.
Really the overarching theme of all these articles were the fact that even with all of this literature on how not to be obese, the number of obese people is on the rise and there is no end in sight. Another theme was that there are several easy ways to keep the weight off, and that is to get a minimum of sixty minutes of exercise everyday and to not eat out at restaurants more than a couple of times a month.
The people who I personally believe should care about this topic is every singles person that is living in America. Not only does it make us look bad as a country but it shows other countries that we are a people of gluttony and have no self control whatsoever. If I were to make it less broad than that, I would say that new parents need to be conscious of what they put into their children’s bodies. They need to educate them while they are young so that they can have the smarts to not eat themselves to death.
So, I would have to say that after all of my research I have taken some of the blame away from the obese people themselves and have aimed some of it towards the fast food companies that spend millions upon millions of dollars to try and get us to eat their food. As well as the fact that going to a fast food restaurant is much faster than making a home cooked meal, and since not very many people have the time at the end of the day to cook for themselves a fast food joint seems like an enticing alternative. So what I really intend on focusing on in my personal public argument is the whole advertising aspect of obesity and how they are able to get so many people to eat their food even though they know it’s so horrible for them. My focus has evolved greatly throughout this whole process I went from not having any clue what to research to finding a topic that actually does interest me.