Don`t blame the eater
Don’t Blame the Eater, Blame the Eating Industry In terms of personal health, the borders of proper nutrition are similar to that of a jail cell. Zinczenko points outs the restrictive nature of food within modern day Am erica. A generalized point of view that can be taken from this is that the fast food industry is incredibly convenient and affordable for necessary needs to live and thrive in modern day America. Zinczenko brings in examples that involve personal experiences in his family, as well as an argument that the convenience and affordability issues a large health problem itself.
While obesity can be seens as ither a personal or societal issue, Zinczenko proposes that the issue on obesity is a societal issue based on the circumstances of cheap-and-fast fast food restaurants, which is a reasonable claim based on Zinczenko’s point of view. Affordable, efficient, and convenient food may help the population, however, it is a market based on unhealthy practices. The author elaborates on the convenience in a matter of personal story, in which his choice as a fifteen-year-old would be “McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut” (Zinczenko 391).
With this personal experience, he can sympathize with a population that needs fast food ecause he witnessed it as an “the only available option for an American kid to get an affordable meal” (Zinczenko 392). Luckily enough, the author managed to reach to college and fix his eating habits. He is reaching out to a vast population that shares a similar experience or lifestyle, which encompass a large amount of people, thus creating a personal approach to the topic of obesity. Along with his noted personal experience, the raw statistics and facts about obesity back his claim on fast food being a primary catalyst for obesity in America.
Driving down the block to eat healthy is a bit of a stretch when there are “more than 3,000 McDonald’s restaurants” in the country (Zinczenko 392). The crippling statistics under the cases of obesity since 1994 also carry a charming state of nausea and face-melting characteristics: diabetes now had more than one cause. Childhood diabetes was generally caused by genetic disorder before 1994, with only a 5% statistic being obesity-related. Today, obesity-related diabetes “accounts for at least 30 percent of all new childhood cases of diabetes in this country’ (Zinczenko 392).
The calorie counts in fast-food salads can ascend to “around 1040 calories,” and it is vidently hazardous when a salad can cost you “half of the government’s recommended daily calorie intake” (Zinczenko 393). Obesity, on an objective point of view, is a developing problem due to the efficient and affordable nature of fast food. The author mentions his personal experience with fast food and how it is a problem beyond personal preference, and my personal experiences lead me to fully agree. With this in mind, fast food is a very efficient source of food to me.
With a hectic lifestyle or even a hectic household, fast food can be one of the few places to go. I do not have all the time in the world to get a proper source of nutrition. School and work constitute my time on a daily basis, and in that case, fast food helps relieve that time in order to focus on the priorities in my life. My source of coffee in the McDonalds, other gas stations) and my quick source of mediocre nutrition. In this day and age of living, food is not a big priority to people, it is always there at convenience.
There is no time to worry about what you are going to eat because there is a test or report for you to do in class, or you have to make it to work on time; ime is very limited and restrictive. I can sympathize with Zenczenko’s point of view on the need for fast food in a hectic lifestyle. Not only does the author mention the social stigmas that surround fast food and obesity, but also the crude facts that are the nutritional values of fast food and its impact on obesity.
Although I do carry a hectic lifestyle, in which my go-to source of food would be a fast food place, it carries significant stress and impact on my life. Over the past school year, with work and school, my usual breakfast would include a Monster energy drink and a McChicken from McDonalds. Though this did not affect my weight, it affected my productivity. No physical withdrawals were the side effect but I was absent-minded to my convenience food intake that let me make it throughout the day.
The author points out physical consequences of convenient food; however, I faced psychological and mental consequences when eating convenient food. Zunczenko proposes a very thoughtful understanding to the nature of obesity. The author constitutes the matter of obesity as a societal issue because of convenient food rather than a personal stigma. Our society hosts more than 13,000 McDonalds n its land, and since we continue to trade our money for their instant sustenance, I do agree that obesity is a societal issue.
Expedient food helps shape the busy and it is good for the quick knick of hunger, but it is not good for the healthy nutrients our society actually needs. The convenience and affordability of “food” from the fast food industry is the convicted criminal that is building bad health habits and furthering obesity in todays society. Works Cited Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater. ” They Say, I Say. Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. New York: W. W. Norton ; Company, Inc. , 2012. 391-394.
A Critique of “Don’t Blame the Eater”
“I couldn’t open up a magazine, you couldn’t read a newspaper, you couldn’t turn on the TV without hearing about the obesity epidemic in America. ” is a quote by Morgan Spurlock, that acutely describes the obesity problem going on in America. Anyway one can want to talk about the problem, it will always be a huge dilemma throughout the United States. For a long time now, people have been discussing who is to blame for the obesity crisis going on.
Some people prefer to blame the government, several blame the restaurants, others the parents and even the schools receive criticism for obesity. People should develop their own ideas on the obesity crisis and to figure out who is to blame and how to fix the problem. The main article I want to focus on is “Don’t Blame the Eater” by David Zinczenko. Throughout this article, he refers to the few kids suing McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants.
According to the book, They Say, I Say, there are two major parts of an article, the They Say, and the I Say. From Zinczenko’s point of view, he was biased towards the side saying that the food restaurants is responsible for the obesity crisis, while the others he is writing against, are writing about personal responsibility and how to teach the world how to be self-empowered and control what they eat. Others write about the government flailing around, not doing anything to stop and fix the obesity crisis.
Zinczenko focuses on the fast-food restaurants are causing all of the problems, because their advertisements are focused to children, (The Happy Meal by McDonald’s) and teenagers, by having cheap carb-filled food for the average poor teenager and college student. Throughout his article, he made many valid points as to why the restaurants are to blame for obesity. The restaurants create a very difficult way to tell exactly what you are eating, mainly because there are no calorie information on the food you get in these eateries.
This is mainly because the FDA does not cover prepared found in all restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, where it is needed the most. An example he gives is that is that a website says a chicken salad contains 150 calories, the almonds and noodles it comes with is an additional 190 calories, a 280 calorie dressing, but the dressing is 2. 5 servings.
That total is 1,400 but that excludes anything else you might get, like a coke or fries. (Zinczenko 393) He also gives statistics that show how Type 2 diabetes has increased 25% since 1994. (Zinczenko 392) After all of the points he has shown, he came up with a solution to solve this risis, “And I’d say the industry is vulnerable. Fast-companies are marketing to children a product with proven health hazards and no warning labels.
They would do well to protect themselves, and their customers, by providing the nutrition information people need” (Zinczenko 393) This is one way that we can start to work with the restaurants to solve this problem. Although he brought up very good points, his argument was very biased against fast-food restaurants.
During the article he mentioned that we should be responsible for our actions, such as “Whatever happened to personal responsibility? (Zinczenko 391) and “Shouldn’t you know better than to eat two meals a day in fast-food restaurants? ” (Zinczenko 392) He did not display both sides equally, or even bring up the other side, not contributing to the “They Say” of his article.
Other than those two quotes, he does not talk about others to blame or any other solutions to this crisis. Another part of the article that confused me was the part where Zinczenko told his story about how in high school, he was 210lbs. with a lanky 5’10’’ body frame. According to the article, he joined the Navy Reserve in college, lost all the weight by working out, and took responsibility for himself.
Zinczenko 391)Even though he uses this story in which he took responsibility for himself, he still blames the fast food restaurants and barely scratches the surface of self-responsibility. Another article about obesity is “What You Eat is Your Business” by Radley Balko, but it has a different approach then the way Zinczenko had used. Balko believes that the government needs to leave the public be, and promote personal responsibility.
He says that politicians are joining the fight, “President Bush earmarked $200 million in his budget for anti-obesity measures. (Balko 396) Those two hundred million dollars could have been spent on much more important things, like helping people with more serious problems. Throughout Balko’s article he supports the idea the people need to take responsibility for their own actions, such as becoming obese. Balko says “It only becomes a public matter when we force the public to pay for the consequences of those choices. ” (Balko 397) When the people who stay fit and control their own weight have to pay for those who do not stay fit and become obese is when this becomes a large debate.
He continues on to discuss how easy it is to get health benefits while obese, such as not having an extra fee for people over a certain weight and “Your heart attack drives up the cost of my premiums and office visits. And if the government is paying for my anti-cholesterol medication, what incentive is there for me to put down the cheeseburger? ” (Balko 396-7) The United States do not give any sort of privilege for being in shape, so why not just get fat and enjoy life. A third author who has written about the obesity crisis is Judith Warner, with her article “Junking Junk Food.
All through her article, she pokes fun at the government giving different stories about how individual people are trying to fight the ways that the government is trying to deal with the obesity crisis. She starts the article off by telling a story about Sarah Palin bring a bunch of cookies to the schoolchildren to try to stop the “high-minded anti-sugar edict. ”
She made a few mistakes about the whole set up, such as Pennsylvania was not in a debate against sugar in their public schools, and the school she showed up to with her cookies was a private Christian Academy. Warner 400) despite the miscommunications that happened there, Palin’s message traveled straight to the American heart, “she had come up with new and vivid imagery to make the case that the Obama ‘nanny state’ is, essentially, snatching cookies – i. e. , the pursuit of happiness – from the mouths of babes. ”
Suddenly, any kind of attack on sugar or some sort of healthy sweet became an attack on the American way of life. (Warner 401) Glenn Beck is also fighting the government’s intentions, by creating a compendium that includes, “Reports of government health inspectors shutting down a 7-year-old’s lemonade stand. According to Warner, the “choice architects” of the Obama Administration believe that “you’re incapable of making decisions …. Left to your own devices, you’re going to eat too much, you’re going to be a big fatty. ” (Warner 401)
According to Beck and Warner, the government has no faith in us, so it views itself as needing to intervene. My own ideas of this topic lean towards Balko’s point of view, that we must become responsible for our own bodies. I do agree with Zinczenko up to a point that the fast food restaurants are partly to blame, but not all of the blame can be sent to them.
And I do agree with Warner up to a point as well, we cannot leave ourselves in the government’s hands, we have to take responsibility. We, as a country, must work together with the fast-food restaurants and the government to stop obesity right in its tracks. There are other ways to stop this crisis that are not mentioned anywhere in the article, such as teaching children to cook healthy foods and exercise using such things as a nutrition class to teach the students to be responsible for themselves.
We have to try to distract the children away from computer games and television to get them to play outside and get their daily amount of exercise. Others would point blame to the parents, for if the parents put in the effort with their children, and kept an eye on what they eat, and how often they go outside to play, can make a large difference throughout a child’s life. Zinczenko argued that as a teenager, he only had four or five places for him to eat around his house, but where were his parents at the time.
No parent would ever want their son or daughter to be obese, so we need to let the parents know how bad fast food can be if that is all you eat. My goal here was to help you decide which group of people do you blame for the crisis, and how do you think it can be stopped. My answer is that we must influence ourselves to become responsible for ourselves, to help us want to stay physically fit and healthy. We cannot rely on any power, such as the government, or lay blame on the restaurants, such as McDonald’s, but take responsibility into our own hands. Which choice would you pick, and do you think you can make a difference?
- Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business” They Say/ I Say with Readings. 2nd. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel Durst. New York: W. W. Norton, 2012. 395- 8.
- Warner, Judith. “Junking Junk Foods. ” They Say/ I Say with Readings. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel Durst. New York: W. W. Norton, 2012. 400-4.
- Zinczenko, David. “Don’t Blame the Eater. ” They Say/ I Say with Readings. 2nd ed. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein and Russel Durst. New York: W. W. Norton, 2012. 391-3.
Response Don’t Blame The Eater
David Zinczenko is arguing that fast-food restaurants aren’t to blame for people, especially children and teenagers, for their obesity- it is their fault. And I agree with him one hundred percent. Yes, the menus at fast-food companies aren’t the healthiest, but they shouldn’t be blamed for making kids obese. The parents are all fully aware that the “Big Mac” and “Baconater” aren’t the most nutritional foods, and they need to take the responsibility for their children’s obesity.
Zinczenko argues that we as people should “…know better than to eat two meals a day in fast-food restaurants”, and the fact that it’s near impossible to find healthier alternatives to fast-food. How can people just sit around all day watching television, participate in a fast-food buffet, and then blame the restaurants for their health issues? That’s just absurd and very irresponsible. If people don’t like how their kids are fat, stop taking them to McDonald’s all the time!
They don’t drive themselves there! And maybe those parents can make some responsible decisions for once in their lives and make their child exercise more and eat healthier. If people expect different results, they have to work for them. Also, Zinczenko mentions how teenagers can’t necessarily find healthier places to eat instead of fast-food places. It’s pretty hard to find a healthier alternative to fast-food when you’re an overweight teenager with a car and a hungry stomach.
I mean, there’s only like twelve stores in the entire country that carry fresh produce, low-fat snacks, and 100-calorie chips. NOT. Come one people, you have the car, you have the option of eating healthy or not, why can’t you just suck it up and take the blame for your irresponsible actions? If toddlers can own up to coloring on the walls, why can’t teenagers and adults own up to their decisions to eat at unhealthy places? If you know it’s not a healthy restaurant, don’t eat there!
It’s pretty simple. Fast-food industries may try to “target children in their ads”, but it ultimately comes down to the adults-the parents- choosing to dine at these places and pork up their kids on the high-sugar sodas, salty French fries, and greasy burgers. If they would just take the time to look out the window, they would see the healthy alternatives to fast-food, and how the alternatives are literally right in front of them.