The prevalence and incidence of obesity among young children and adults have grown significantly. This is demonstrated by research reports, which articulate the doubling of obesity cases among young children between the years of four and five. Also, the incidence of obesity among kindergarten children has been established to be more than 33%. Since obesity affects both physical and cognitive functioning, the increased prevalence among children is a significant problem and concern within the country. Coming up with a program that is aimed at reducing the incidence and prevalence of this condition remains justifiable. America is known as one of the most obese countries in the world. Even with all the nutritional facts served by the food, people still consume the food knowing that it is not healthy for them. To people’s understanding, sometimes people are forced to eat junk food for various reasons such as the lack of time to eat or prepare food, lack of budgets, or maybe just availability and convenience of junk food compared to organic food. As obesity has become a major problem in the United States, many experts have come to share their opinions and solutions to the problem of obesity. We have Michael Pollan stating that Americans should leave the “Western Diet” and go back to traditional eating habits. Mary Maxfield suggests that we entrust the decision to our bodies. Radley Balko claims that the government should not be involved; instead, all the decision and responsibilities should be put to individuals. After considering all these propositions, it is clear that there is no single solution to this case. People as individuals must have the initiative to make better food choices; likewise, the government should be involved especially in the production of food and creating awareness of what is in the food products. In the article “What You Eat Is Your Business”, Balko states that people should be responsible for their own decisions in their food choice and the government holds no right to interfere with what people put in their mouths. He disagrees with people having less food choice because of government restrictions, but rather supports the idea that people should be responsible for what they eat: if the government is paying for my anti-cholesterol medication, what incentive is there for me to put down the cheeseburger? Balko gives a good idea for how people should be aware of their health, but what he failed to see is that people have no control over what is available in the market. Also, some people are genetically born with sickness such as high cholesterol, it will be unfair to cut healthcare this way. Radley Balko suggests that it is vital to ban junk food in schools, restrict marketing junk food to children, stop federal funding for new trails and sidewalks, and encourage responsible behaviors amongst people. He further highlights the political aspect concerning the issue of taxing high-calorie foods via the “fat tax” proposed by Mayor Jerry Brown. Also, proper consideration ought to be made about minimizing the intake of fast food. Generally, he emphasizes the importance of the government playing a big role in ensuring that menu-labeling legislation is implemented to curb the rising cases of obesity. On the contrary, in the article “Food as Thought”, Mary Maxfield claims that people should have no restrictions in their diet. She believes that the understanding of health is based on culture, which is to “Trust your body”. She believes people should just eat freely without any restrictions. The problem of her solution is that people already eat what they want which results in obesity; this proves that eating without restriction and going along with American culture is indeed unhealthy. She fails to see that what manufacturers put in their processed food is unhealthy and without government’s help or “restrictions” of our food choice, people will be choosing their food products from a selection of unhealthy food. The essay titled “Food as Thought: Resisting the Moralization of Eating” goes contrary to the line of thought of the writer of “Western Diet”. She insists that people are unlikely to change their eating habits as advised. She talks of people having the responsibility of trusting oneself and their body to meet various needs. She proposes similar three rules, just like Pollan. Her three-rule states: Trust yourself. Trust your body. Meet your needs. Maxfield suggests that it is an individual’s common sense to determine what we eat and whether it is healthy or not. This is slightly similar to the thoughts of Michael Pollan. Individual trust demands that one eats food without overeating or under eating. Trust your body to the extent that when you notice changes, you take precautionary measures. Meeting your needs simply implies that you eat according to what you do, for instance, if you are a footballer, you need to eat like one. In the article “Escape from the Western Diet”, Michael Pollan explained the benefit of eating traditional food that our ancestors consumed rather than eating junk food that lingers in our society. He states that we cannot rely on the nutritional facts of our food. He believed that to get away from an unhealthy diet, we have to change our cultural diet. He states, to escape from the western diet and ideology of nutritionists, we have to only to stop eating and thinking that way. His argument carries a good point about changing what is bad by not sticking to it; however, living in the American society, he fails to see that not everyone has the power and wants to switch into other diets. The author beautifully uses the fast-food meal to illustrate or explain the final product of the industrialized food products. Criticizing the industrialized reproduction of agriculture, Pollan describes how controlled the modernization is. This is a move that has left farmers with little options since most of their products are taken to the laboratories, which according to Pollan, is an unenthusiastic development. He further advices that localized agriculture can act as a remedy to environmental and health issues, which are caused by contemporary farming methods. It is important to note that when offering a criticism of the food industry, advertisers, or the government, we must not turn the process through which food reaches our table into a dysfunctional enterprise. Through placidness, civility, and determination, Pollan humorously observes that modern farming is at war with the present needs of human beings. He explains this by highlighting how the government has rebelled against scientific practices and how consumers have been misinformed as they only know that food is for enjoyment rather than for satisfying a basic human need. When Pollan endeavors to use ingredients he has hunted, grown, or gathered in preparation for his meal. He is also enlightened on how to make a salad from greens from his farm, prepare dessert using cherries, and bake sourdough bread from wild yeast. When preparing and serving food using gathered and hunted products, Pollan ponders about the ethical perspective, which is a relic of human culture too. Michael Pollan is a renowned writer who emphasizes that diet should not be based on science, which demands that one must understand what kind of nutrients one takes and which ones not to take. In his essay “Escape from the Western Diet”, Pollan indicates that the science of nutrition mainly focuses on specific nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and carbohydrates. The above nutrients are said to satisfy human hunger, but it remains a single-nutrient explanation. Pollan implies that the explanation of one-nutrient is unlikely to solve the problem of the Western diet or eating habits of American people. He further indicates that it is essential to minimize the consumption of processed food to avoid numerous illnesses, including obesity. He further proposes a rule that provides an explanation stating that to avoid a Western diet, people should “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” The entire three writers have a good point in explaining their views, but without the government’s help in fixing the food source and the individual’s initiative to go on a healthy diet, people will not be able to overcome obesity. I believe that Pollan aims to persuade the audience to understand the scientific breakdown of nutrients, which is unlikely to help in addressing the issues affecting Western people. People must strive to avoid the Western diet and the eating habits of Americans. Pollan is a credible example of writers who aim at educating people on good foodstuffs to eat, and he wrote six books on the same topic. I suppose it is the responsibility of the citizens to consider what they eat as he suggests that it is our responsibility to take care of our own well-being. Nevertheless, the government must also play an essential role in insuring this is successful. This is because for decades now, America’s healthcare system majorly focuses on socialism and more so as on public health, instead of the matters of personal responsibility. An unhealthy lifestyle must be dealt with by introducing accountability into the health care system. This will ensure that people make choices about their diets, exercise, and general individuals’ health by considering the consequences of the choice one makes on what he/she eats.
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