By CHANDA CRENSHAW
Today’s society is being targeted daily by fast food restaurants. Whether it’s billboards, commercials or ads, we never get a break. People argue whether or not these fast food companies care about their customers or are they feeding them anything to make a quick buck? What many people don’t know is half of what we eat from fast food restaurants isn’t covered under the Food and Drug Administration labeling laws.
Should the government have more restrictions on food?
Society questions if the government were to get more involved with food restrictions, would the obesity rate decline? Advances in the medical field (such as gastric bypass) are causing our country to make obesity more acceptable in our culture. The surgery is often considered a quick fix. Obesity-related conditions cost our country around $120 billion yearly.
More than 35.7% of Americans are overweight.
The government is supposed to oversee the best for our society. More restrictions on commercials (for example) could be the start of a healthier country. Advertising companies are targeting our young community as well. Market researchers are going into elementary schools and giving children surveys on designing mascots and figures that they would like to see paired with food.
Although it’s supposed to be up to the parents to supervise what their children eat, the decision is leaving their hands when the children attend school. Another factor in childhood obesity is the economy. Due to budget cuts, elementary schools are limiting the amount of physical activity children are getting throughout the day.
Children in the U.S. watch 40,000 commercials a year and more than 56% of them involve food.
What we need to do as a country is educate our young community on the importance of healthy eating and exercise. We should encourage our children to play outdoors and become more occupied with physical activities. The reason why people eat fast food is because of the easy access. If people understood the effects that it had on the body, they wouldn’t be lured into going to these restaurant chains. Gaining awareness about health and fitness could make a huge difference as to where our country is headed. This change cannot be done overnight.
Fast food companies, though starting to make some health-conscious moves, still tend to dominate eating habits. It’s time for society to take control and start educating its next generation.