The modern world is changing rapidly and people have been changing alongside. Mass production and mass consumption have become a talking point and many people associate these concepts with the recent problem of obesity. Thus, lots of people accuse companies of turning them into victims of the advertising campaigns.
More so, people sue McDonalds (as well as other fast food companies) trying to prove that the fast food chains are responsible for their poor health conditions (Super Size Me). A lot of Americans believe they have been manipulated as fast food companies started affecting their decisions since their childhood.
For instance, Schlosser notes that the ‘founding father’ of McDonald’s used to believe that “a person’s “brand loyalty” may begin as early as the age of two” and paid special attention to marketing to children (31). Nonetheless, people tend to blame others for their own mistakes and eating habits are no exception.
No one has ever made Americans consume so much junk food as it was their own decision which cost a lot for their health. Now, it is high time to face the reality and admit that each individual is responsible for his/her own life and for his/her lifestyles and eating habits.
Clearly, it is time to face the problem and become responsible. No one is blaming nightclubs (or people having parties) for poor health of those who spend sleepless nights. People understand that overtiredness and nervousness as well as poor health condition are results of certain lifestyles. People also admit that living such lives is individual choice and no one is responsible for negative effects of such decisions.
Likewise, eating habits are developed within families. Children copy their parents eating habits and develop their understanding of what is right and what is wrong.
Balko stresses that the US government is spending a lot of funds to promote healthy lifestyle (113). The researcher also notes that obesity has become a problem of all Americans rather than obese Americans. Admittedly, each individual has to make his/her own decisions and pay only for his/her own mistakes.
Of course, some people may argue that Americans have been told for several decades that fast food chains are reflection of the modernity where time is priceless. These people may claim that fast food companies have deceived Americans as they have not said anything about the ‘dark side’ of the industry.
Fast food companies try to affect very young consumers who cannot make right decisions yet. Schlosser stresses that McDonald’s as well as other fast food companies have acted unethically as they have marketed their products to children who can be easily persuaded (32).
Lots of people claim that their mindset was affected by the fast food companies who are often seen as symbols of the American way of life. They argue that fast food companies focused on promoting their products and concealed the truth about numerous negative effects.
Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that negative effects of fast food have already been revealed. One of numerous illustrations of the harms of fast food is Spurlock’s experiment involving the change of his eating habits to prove that fast food does pose threats to people’s health. The filmmaker concludes that thirty days of fast food led to serious changes in his body that could result in deterioration of his heart, liver, blood (Super Size Me).
At that, it is important to stress that during the thirty days Morgan Spurlock was eating a lot of fast food and had no exercise. Therefore, deterioration of his health was caused by unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. Hence, people are now aware of the negative effects of unhealthy lifestyle though they still blame fast food companies.
Apart from the health aspect of the issue, some people focus on social implications. Some people state that the food is tasty and it is fast and cheap (Super Size Me). These people claim that lots of Americans are forced to eat this food as they simply cannot afford having healthy eating habits.
Admittedly, fast food does save a lot of time as people do not have to cook and they can even eat on their way to work. This food is also cheap compared to menu of non-fast food restaurants.
However, this argument is rather weak as no one really forces Americans to buy anything and the food still costs money. Of course, fast food is very cheap compared to other restaurants. Though, it is still cheaper to buy products and cook healthy food.
People will have to spend some time cooking but this is not a high price for being healthy. Moreover, families having serious financial constraints can save significant amount of money if they stop eating out and start preparing their meals at home.
Therefore, it is not about financial benefits. It is all about people’s laziness. Lots of Americans find it easier to grab something in McDonalds rather than take pains and shop, cook, lay and clear the table. Again, this is each individual’s choice and one cannot blame the government for giving companies the opportunity to grow and sell their products at lower prices.
It is necessary to point out that Americans have blamed the government and the latter enacted numerous laws aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and helping obese people solve their issues. However, the laws and incentives are ineffective as people still have unhealthy lifestyles and tend to blame others. In fact, there is an effective way to address the problem.
People are “likely to make better decisions when someone else isn’t paying for the consequences” (Balko 113). Thus, people will still enjoy their little (but very harmful) habits as they know they are not alone and the rest of the American society will help them cope with the problem. Though, if each individual understands that he/she is totally responsible his/her choices, all people will start making better and more responsible choices.
On balance, it is possible to state that fast food companies cannot be blamed for increasing rates of obesity. The companies are only trying to sell their products. Nevertheless, people eating fast food have to make right choices. They have to understand that only they are responsible for their own health. At present, people are aware of the negative effects of fast food and there is no ‘dark side’ anymore.
There is no need (and it is quite useless) to promote healthy lifestyles if people understand that they can blame somebody else (fast food companies, government, etc.). It is important to make people see that there is nobody else as each individual is responsible for what he/she eats.
Balko, Radley. “Are You Responsible for Your Own Weight?” Time 07 June 2004: 113. Print.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York, NY: Mariner Books, 2012. Print.
Super Size Me. Ex. Prod. Morgan Spurlock. New York, NY: Samuel Goldwyn Films. 2004. DVD.