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Obesity and Fast Foods - Research Paper Example

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This essay "Obesity and Fast Foods" outlines the impact of the consumption of junk food on the level of obesity. In an article by Swaine, the author cited a study by academics from the University of California and Northwestern University which set forth that the link between the consumption of restaurant foods and obesity is minimal. It therefore argued that placing a tax on high-calorie food is not an effective way of reducing obesity. The study covered data from the US Department of Agriculture on calorie intake in the United States (Swaine). In the course of its study, it established that individuals living near restaurants were not more likely to be obese, as compared to those living further away. This article indicated that easy access to fast foods had little effect on the obesity (or lack thereof) of nearby residents. The study also expressed that even as fast foods often contained more calories than home-cooked products, most customers often compensated for this by eating less throughout the rest of the day (Swaine). Obese individuals who eat at fast food restaurants often end up eating more in their own homes. In effect, fast food restaurants cannot be solely blamed for people’s obesity because even without their presence, those who are obese would still likely be obese. Consequently, even as taxing restaurants for their high-calorie foods may indeed be prudent and may trigger customers to eat something else, it would still not resolve people’s inherent tendency to overeat (Swaine). ...
In effect, fast food restaurants cannot be solely blamed for people’s obesity because even without their presence, those who are obese would still likely be obese. Consequently, even as taxing restaurants for their high-calorie foods may indeed be prudent and may trigger customers to eat something else, it would still not resolve people’s inherent tendency to overeat (Swaine). The blame for obesity is being placed on fast food chains. This blame has apparently stemmed from the practice of these food chains in supersizing their meals and making them available at low prices. This supersizing practice has been attributed to the fierce competition among these food chains (Murphy). Consumers who are financially disadvantaged sometimes look to these meals for their family dinners in order to save on cash, and still be able to feed their families. These supersized portions however are also high in fat and cholesterol (Murphy). Overly eager lawyers who have seen their colleagues profit from the 90 million dollar payout from the tobacco lawsuits have now eyed fast food restaurant as their next “Joe Camel.” After the tobacco lawsuit, the blame for obesity has been pointed on fast food companies because of the latter’s apparent practice of actively selling and peddling their high-calorie and high-cholesterol foods to unsuspecting customers (Murphy). Considering the significant number of obese Americans and the various fast food chains stores who are earning major profits from their supersized meals, the “tobacco lawsuits” are an enticing prospect for lawyers wanting to cash in on these potential lawsuits (Murphy). In a discussion by Murphy, she set forth that “the portions served by fast food chains and other restaurants are far larger than ...Show more
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Summary

This essay describes the factors that contributed to the increasing level of obesity and especially the role of fast food in this health condition. Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate the world over. The WHO estimates that current figures for the condition are at 300 million…
Obesity and Fast Foods
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