Overweight and Obese: America’s Scream for Change
The following annotated bibliography is based on America’s health issues dealing with obesity in not only adults, but in children as well. Obesity is quite common, but very serious and should be taken as big deal. Centuries ago, being fat meant living the good life and you were wealthy. Now, that is not the case. Since the 1970’s, obesity has doubled in adults and children. Obesity is in widespread and continues to be a leading health issue in America, but what’s the reason? There is no simple answer to why there is so much obesity. Numerous factors contribute all comes from not taking care of ourselves and the way we eat some would say. Incorporating physical activity into everyday living and paying attention to what we eat are very important. A part of the problem is that many people run to comfort foods or cheap foods like McDonald’s and don’t even realize all the calories they’re consuming. America is a country that is always on the move and we are so busy, so fast food is a convenience. When you think about it, women are rapidly drifting out of the housewife world and actually working jobs, so there aren’t a lot of home-cooked meals made. Obesity is also correlated with economic standpoints. A lot of people can’t afford healthy living and organic foods. They think about quantity over quality. Children are becoming more and more overweight because parents don’t care about their children being active or what foods they consume. They don’t go outside and play as much. They spend more time playing video games, watching TV, and using social media. They over feed them the wrong foods as well, so a mix of not getting the appropriate exercise and consuming all these unhealthy foods is what is making children obese. Obesity is an avoidable situation that leads to many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and even some cancers. As I read essays and remarks from Radley Balko, Michelle Obama, and Michael Pollan, I learned their different arguments on obesity and health in America and what they believe the solution should be. As an American, I feel that obesity is threatening to our society. Obesity is a matter where we have to try to avoid by taking care of our bodies. Obesity is dangerous and some Americans are screaming for a change.
Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 395-99. Print.
In “What You Eat Is Your Business,” Radley Balko argues about how the government is spending lots of money on anti-obesity measures, but this is the wrong way to prevent obesity. According to Balko, “For decades now, America’s health care system has been migrating toward socialism. Your well-being, shape, and condition have increasingly been deemed matters of the ‘public health,’ instead of matters of personal responsibility” (396). He argues for less government intervention. Obesity should be in the hands of the individual instead of the public realm. To him, we are responsible for ourselves and ourselves only. Balko also states: “The best way to alleviate the obesity “public health” crisis is to remove obesity from the realm of public health. It doesn’t belong there anyway. It’s difficult to think of anything more private and of less public concern than what we choose to put into our bodies. It only becomes a public matter when we force the public to pay for the consequences of these choices” (397). Basically, Balko is saying that weight is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. If people were responsible for paying their own medical bills, then they will be forced to face their own consequences. Balko concludes by saying once obesity is in the hands of the individual, then will things get better for America.
Obama, Michelle. “Remarks to the NAACP.” They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 417-33. Print.
In “Remarks to the NAACP,” Michelle Obama discusses the importance of children living and maintaining healthy in the African American community. She stresses the fact that one in three children are overweight or obese, which puts them in great risks of having diabetes, cancer, asthma, and heart disease. She discusses the fact that the government is spending millions of dollars treating these conditions which is going to increase when these unhealthy children become adults. Michelle Obama states: “Our parents made us get up and play outside. Had to get up, get out, didn’t have to˗˗˗just couldn’t be inside. And we would spend hours riding bikes, playing softball, freeze tag, jumping double-dutch. Kids nowadays don’t even know how to jump double-dutch” (421). By this statement, Obama is making a reference to her childhood and current childhoods. Kids aren’t active like they used to be because they sit inside watching TV and playing video games. Along with Balko, Obama also believes that by offering people the best health care, it’s still not going to make a difference if people are still living unhealthy lives. The conditions are just going to get worse. According to Obama, “It’s about making those little changes that can really add up˗˗˗simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of riding in a car or bus, even something as simple as turning on the radio and dancing with your children in the middle of your living room for hours” (428). Obama thinks by making small changes and switching up daily routines is a great start on trying to be more active. Obama believes that not only should we make changes in what are children are eating, but we should make changes in our own lifestyles as well.
Pollan, Michael. “Escape from the Western Diet.” They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing: With Readings. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst. New York: Norton, 2012. 434-41. Print.
In Michael Pollan’s “Escape from the Western Diet,” he discusses breaking away from the western diet that we Americans love. Americans spend so much money on food daily and it’s so cheap and good, but it’s awful for us. It’s becoming more and more common each day. According to Pollan, “when most of us think about food and health, we think in fairly narrow nutritionist terms˗˗˗about our personal physical health and how the ingestion of this particular nutrient or rejection of that affects it. But I no longer think it’s possible to separate our bodily health from the health of the environment in which we eat or, for that matter, from the health of our general outlook about food (and health)” (439). Most people have a narrow outlook on health, simply believing that eating vegetables is good for you period. But, they should be paying attention to where the vegetable came from and what pesticides may be on the vegetables. In reality, those vegetables could be harming you more than if you decided to eat a burger. Pollan doesn’t have a narrow nutritionist outlook. He looks at the general outlook of health. Pollan believes that if we eat food, not eat too much, and eat primarily plants then we will live a healthier lifestyle.