The Problem with the Food Industry

In the 1950s, advertisements said that 4 out of 5 doctors recommended cigarette smoking. Now due public services announcements reporting the problems of cigarette smoking, this harmful habit is becoming less and less common every day. This cultural shift saved the lives of millions of Americans. If this technique can work with cigarette smoking, it can also work with the obesity epidemic that we are currently experiencing at the moment. More people are overweight than ever before, and it is all due to being constantly surrounded by unhealthy food. In America, the food industry constantly promotes itself on commercials, magazine advertisements, and billboards across the nation. Not to mention there are fast food restaurants everywhere you look. Are there as many health food stores as there are fast food restaurants? The answer is no because the government manipulates what we eat. The food industry is to blame for the obesity epidemic because of the mass advertisement, convenience, and government manipulation.

The food industry capitalizes its products by using mass advertisement. We see constant advertisements for unhealthy food everywhere we go. These advertisements use stand-out colors and usually have some crazy cartoon character, some sexy model, or a buff sports player to catch the public eye. This makes people curious on what product they are advertising and convinces those people that their product is beneficial to them. Then the general public buys these food products or goes to these fast food restaurants helping the food industry make money off of cheap, unhealthy meals. Unfortunately, people in this day and age believe anything that is in on the television whether it is realistic or not. As David Zinczenko states in his essay Don’t Blame the Eater, “Whatever happen to personal responsibility?”(pg 391). Well I can tell what happened to personal responsibility, it went away when Paris Hilton came on the television promoting the latest cheeseburger from Carl’s JR. Unfortunately, in our minds Paris Hilton is a sex symbol so people are more likely to pay attention to the advertisements and buy the product or go to that particular food place. Our minds tend to be attracted to things that look great but are really bad for us. Initially, people don’t know that they are damaging so they consume large portions of their snacks, meals, or drinks without seeing what they really are. Personal responsibility is taken away and replaced by the outcome of weight gain and health problems resulting from the over consumption of unhealthy foods. These advertisements stimulate the mind in the wrong way causing the loss of personal responsibility and overeating to take over.

Unhealthy food options are easy to find and even easier to buy. First off there are currently five times more fast food restaurants than grocery stores in the United States. Most of the fast-food places have drive-thrus which is convenient for our fast-paced lifestyles. No one wants to or seems to have the time to drive to a health food store and physically walk in the store in order to get their food. People usually want their food right away and they want that food to fill them up as quickly as possible which is why food places sell unhealthy snacks, drinks, and meals. They know that healthy food is not as filling and leaves people to still be hungry afterwards. Almost all food locations know this fact so they serve unhealthy food items to satisfy their customers. They do not care if what they are selling is healthy or not, they just want to have business. Manchester, Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest places in America with an obesity as high as 52 percent. One of the reasons for this shocking statistic could be that the residents of Manchester are surrounded by places that sell unhealthy food items. Pam Mathis, a resident of Manchester, Kentucky supported the statement above by mentioning that “the intersection…features a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, an Arby’s and a Subway and just beyond that, there’s a Burger King, a Long John Silver’s, a Lee Famous Recipe Chicken, a Pizza Hut and a Wal- Mart where everything is sold in supersize helpings”(pg 409). Manchester is one example of the many American towns that are surrounded by fast food. Unfortunately these types of setups are everywhere in the United States and it is just not right. Health food stores could have easily been as accessible as fast food joints if only this point was established earlier. Easy accessibility to unhealthy foods is one of the key causes of this obesity epidemic.

The food industry makes unhealthy food convenient on purpose. It noticeably takes less time and money to create processed junk food then to grow a crop of healthy fruits and vegetables. After the food industry adds various chemicals and GMOS into the food, they put all the processed foods in all different stores, schools, all across the United States. Processed junk food is cheaper than healthy food because junk food is cheaper to make. The food industry knows that people buy the cheapest thing that will satisfy their needs especially in this economy so they make the cheapest foods taste really good and make the body want to eat more of that particular food. Once people start eating too much unhealthy junk foods, it starts to affect their health in a negative way. People then need outside sources to help them maintain their health. This creates business for all exercise facilities like the gym and creates sales for exercise products like sports gear and weights. These unhealthy foods also help the medical field because it increases the sales of medication, gives doctors’ offices, dentists, and hospitals more business and allows the government to install a costly healthcare plan. The food industry wants to make people sick so exercise and medical businesses can excel finding yet another way to have citizens give the government more money. The food industry makes processed food convenient because it is cheaper and give companies business.

The government has its hand in what choices the food industry makes. They realize that we are in currently in an obesity epidemic and as our nation’s leaders, they are trying to figure out a way that we could be healthier in our meal choices. To tackle this issue, the government is focusing on socialism rather than personal responsibility. The government wants us to pay for other people’s health problems. If someone has a heart attack, people have to take money out of their wallets to pay for that person’s medical bills and medication. As Radley Balko states in his essay What You Eat Is Your Business, “If the government is paying for my anti-cholesterol medication, what incentive is there for me to put down the cheeseburger?” (pg ) Clearly, our government should be working on a way to have American gain a sense of responsibility on what they eat and how they exercise. Instead of implementing nutritional practices over and over again, the government should figure out how they can create a cultural shift that will portray unhealthy food as it truly is: harmful to the human body. A cultural shift portraying cigarettes as a harmful habit instead of a relaxing fixation happened and now the number of people smoking cigarettes are decreasing every year. The same cultural shift effect could happen with unhealthy food if the government is willing to attempt to do this. The government’s solution to stop this obesity epidemic is not working and needs to be revised immediately.

Instead of placing the blame on other issues our nation should take action to stop this obesity epidemic. There are many ways that our nation’s leaders can help our country to lead a better lifestyle. One way could be to build more health food store and making them cheaper so more people can buy their products or just making healthy foods cheaper in general. Another way to stop this epidemic is to improve the way we are educated on food and personal responsibility to empower the public. The point is that the food industry needs to tell the truth on these food items and replace the unhealthy items with healthy items and they need to find a way to do it fast or else who knows what our nation will become.

Mom, Why Should I Go To College?

What are you going to do after high school? What college are you going to? Make sure all your applications are done! Get good grades and thank me later! These are common things that parents seemingly say to their children as soon as they enter high school. Parents these days are pushing their children to go to college because they want to ensure success in their child’s future. High school students probably do not understand or care about what their parents have to say but surely enough parents do know what they are talking about. Four year colleges provide so many opportunities for impressionable 18-year-olds to learn and grow by offering plenty of courses to take, having activities and clubs that apply to all interests, and the chance to completely be independent. All of these opportunities provide a great foundation for a successful future. People should go to college because it gives them a chance to challenge their minds, to get a liberal education, have more job opportunities, and become better versions of themselves.

People generally love to learn and challenge their minds. Once high school ends, graduates have the option to do whatever they want with their lives. There are plenty of options out there but most high school graduates decide to continue their education by going to college. College gives students the opportunity to expand their knowledge, learn about what they are interested in, and apply their new-found knowledge towards a future career. Most universities provide all different types of minors and majors so anybody could learn anything they want to. Plus getting an in-depth high-level college education on whatever major of their choosing gives students a chance to develop ideas, moral, values, skills, and learning tools to use inside and outside the classroom. Adapting these things increases the amount of productivity in all areas and helps with different nessacery life skills such as time management, positive social skills, and the ability to set and reach goals. There a various learning techniques experienced in college like learning by teaching, conflict and debate, trial and error, and research and analyzing that will not only help us develop more learning tools but also allow our minds to expand further than our wildest imagination. College-level learning gives students positive psychological effects such as confidence and motivation helping them become more likely to succeed in the real world. College gives students a chance to expand their minds in the best way possible.

Attending a four-year college gives individuals an opportunity to get a unique education. There are plenty of majors, minors, and concentrations offered at every four-year college so students are usually bound to find something that they are interested in. Colleges these days use a liberal arts foundation for their curriculum. This form of education is a sensible and effective approach to learning in the 21st century and gives students a chance to explore all different types of perspectives on all different topics. In the essay Blue-Collar Brilliance, the author Mike Rose states “When we devalue the full range of everyday cognition, we offer limited educational opportunities and fail to make fresh and meaningful instructional connections among disparate kinds of skill and knowledge” (pg 254). Liberal arts classes do not devalue the full range of everyday cognition but instead better the range of everyday cognition by challenging the mind with new theories, propositions, and rhetoric questions that would make students want to learn the material that is given to them. This mental challenge gives the students a chance to learn attributes about themselves and the world that they never would have figured out, if it was not for the education college provides. A liberal education gives people the knowledge that will help them become successful.

College give students more opportunities to get better quality jobs. In this day and age, it is hard to get a decent, high-paying job without a college degree. Jobs are getting harder to find especially in this shaky economy making the job market extremely competitive. A college education equips students for the job market by providing the knowledge and sources to ensure that each individual succeeds. The knowledge that students gain from going to college gives them a better chance of finding a quicker path to a more stable career that they will enjoy. In the essay Are Too Many People Going to College? Writer Charles Murray says that “Employers do not value what the student learned, just that the student has a degree” (pg 233) which is simply not true because how would have the student gotten the degree if they did not retain the knowledge they learned at school. Employers are looking for future employees that know what they are doing in their field so what the student learned in college actually does matter when they are on the job. A recent study showed that men and women with a college degree are seven percent more likely to be employed than men and women who do not have a college degree. This proves the value of a college degree because it decreases the level of unemployment. Most colleges usually have connections to internships and jobs so people will have access to better opportunities for low-risk, high-paying jobs. Plus having a college degree gives people more flexibility when it comes down to career choices. The more educated one is, the better off they will be in the long run. College gives everyone a fair chance to acquire a great job.

College makes people into better versions of themselves. When people attend college, they are immediately on their own. They have to wake up on their own, get their own meals, and do all their chores without mom and dad doing it for them teaching them how to live on their own. This new-found independence does not show just within the walls of the dorm but in the classroom also. As a college student myself, I have noticed that students do not have easy access to the college professors as they did with their high school teachers. This forces students to pay attention in class and get accustomed to what each professor is looking for. The lack of assistance from the professors gives students a wake-up call and a realization that they have expectations that have to be met, forcing them to learn how to be responsible. College also teaches a person how to be responsible outside of the classroom. Socializing is a big part of college life because it is the only way that connects student with the college or university. Students usually have to make the first attempt to socialize in order not to be lonely on campus. Sometimes they make friends that are worth keeping while other times they could find themselves in a toxic friendship or taken advantage of without their knowledge. If they do find themselves in the latter, they would have to negative the situation to the best of their ability. These situations make people stronger because they are put into situations that they cannot avoid so they have to find the best way to get out of it. College is a fantastic way of getting an education while learning how to be on your own at the same time.

College is mainly one big learning experience if it is done the right way. The education a person gets from inside and outside the classroom can change their lives forever. Teenagers whom have just got out of high school need something to push them to discover themselves and I firmly believe that attending a four-year college is the right way to do that. College, not only gives people an education, but it can change one’s life for the better. It could make a person a better student, a better daughter or son, or an overall better version of themselves. At the end of the day, the high-school-now-college student will be thanking their parents for nagging them to finish their applications or to get on top of their studies because they are probably having the time of their life at whatever college they decided to go to. So kids listen to your parents, do the work, and go to college because I promise you college is worth it.