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The essay “What You Eat is Your Business” has been written by Radley Balko. The thesis statement of this assignment is: the argument of Balko would not be agreed that the restaurants, food manufacturers and an individual purchasing food are equally responsible for issues of obesity. He agrees that making reduced obesity may be possible through making this problem public and to make it an individual responsibility. The main argument presented by the author is that obesity is an individual responsibility and it is not the responsibility of the government. It has been depicted in the argument that government should not manipulate the availability or accessibility of food that cause obesity, however, the government is responsible for making the citizens aware not to choose appropriate diet for themselves.
Naysayers may present different counterpoints against the argument of Balko. However, David Zinczenko’s arguments can be presented to demonstrate the opposition. As per Zinczenko, eaters are not to blame for obesity. To support this argument he presents the evidential statistics where it has been found that fast food companies do not offer alternative products to the customers and even they do not mention the calorie and other nutritional information. It is highly agreeable as individuals purchasing food have the right to know how the food is going to impact on the body after consuming it which should be mentioned by the food manufacturers.
Another argument is the fast foods are the only accessible to the children of America for their meals. It is presented by the author through argument that include the responsibility of the customers for knowing about their food and other detailed information about the food they are consuming. The third argument has been presented evidence in support of his argument. A company’s offered chicken salad has been said to contain 150 calories in their website which was actually was 620 calories (Zinczenko, 3). Therefore, it has been argued that it is the responsibility of the government to enforce rules so that companies are directed to follow the rules for serving food. However, it is the responsibility of a person right from choosing food, purchasing to consumption of food as these people are going to be affected by the action.
The first claim made by Zinczenko has indicated that consumers Are not responsible for obesities they are not conscious about the food ingredients and their nutritional value while purchasing from a fast food firm or a restaurant. Arguing this, Zinczenko claims that “Fast-food companies are marketing to children a product with proven health hazards and no warning labels”. Therefore, it can be stated tht the health hazards that may take due to unhealthy food consumption is highly essential for reducing the obesity issues. For instance, it can be stated that a parent cannot control their children’s food habits and choices as they sometimes are not aware about the potential impact of the food (Birkenstein et al. 17). Therefore, it is the responsibility of the fast food industry to responsibly put the nutritional information along with the food. Which he has presented through his statement; “there are no calorie information charts on fast-food packaging, the way there are on grocery items. Advertisements don't carry warning labels the way tobacco ads do.”
The second persuasive claim is that on most cases the fast food is the accessibility and the availability of the food to the children of America. In order to present this argument Zinczenko stated that “the only available options for an American kid to get an affordable meal.” It has been depicted in the argument of Zinczenko that of there was healthy food options available to the children of America they would not be this attracted to the fast food companies and restaurants (Stanczak, 89). For supporting this claim he stated that, “Lunch and dinner, for me, was a daily choice between McDonald's, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut then as now, these were the only available options for an American kid to get an affordable meal.” It can be stated that availability is highly important factor to notice here as purchasers are likely to consume products from the available and accessible option. Therefore, it can be stated that enough argumentation is presented to support the statements.
The third argument made by the author is the governmental responsibility is important over the personal awareness. It has been stated that “If you pour what you've been served, you're suddenly up around 1,040 calories, which is half of the government's recommended daily calorie intake. In other words, bringing government between you and your waistline.” It is evident that rules and regulations enforced by the government is likely to create pressure upon the food companies to serve foods providing actual nutritional information or maintaining the permitted level of the ingredient composition (Camacho et al. 6). In support of this argument, Judith Warner states that “government must make healthy food more appealing while making unhealthy high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie food less appealing.”
The current study represents the argument of Balko that depicts obesity is responsibility of an individual. In argument against this Zinczenko presents 3 claims such as food availability and accessibility, responsibility of the restaurants and fast food industries to mention nutritional information in packaging and the role of government for enforcing rules and regulations against the statement of Balko.
Birkenstein, Cathy, and Gerald Graff. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. WW Norton & Company, 2018.
Camacho, Salvador, and Andreas Ruppel. "Is the calorie concept a real solution to the obesity epidemic?." Global health action 10.1 (2017): 1289650.
Stanczak, P. (2016). Manipulative Tactics in Supermarkets and Personal Responsibility of the Customer. ESSAI, 14(1), 35.
Zinczenko, David. "Opinion | Don't Blame The Eater". Nytimes.Com, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/23/opinion/don-t-blame-the-eater.html.
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