Food is essential to communal or familial roles and refusing to consume large quantities of food is thought of as impolite or antisocial in many ethnic groups in America. As the obesity epidemic in the United States spreads, the communal perception of the obese and overweight is that they are chubby or plump instead of obese. When the community sees an obese individual as anything other than obese or overweight, he or she will not alter his or her eating habits (Schwartz 61). The level of influence that food companies have over Americans’ consumption rates is a crucial factor in studying obesity as a culture.
American fast food organizations such as McDonald’s or Burger King have stated that they merely respond to consumer demands and consider frame regulations and extension of a “Big Brother” government (Puhl and Heuer 1026). In effect, the same firms argue that they cannot be held liable for the rampant nature of obesity or the culture in support of it. Among these companies’ responses to consumer demands is advertising, which many Americans are unaware of its influence on their eating habits.
The advertising of fast food product by these companies is influential to the extent that even obesity clinicians and research specialists exhibit an intense weight subjectivity (Schwartz 61). When obesity clinicians and practitioners are subjective towards obese patients, then the influence of advertising and effects of obesity is clearly seriously problematic. The difficulty of obesity’s causes, advertising influence, and poor educational tool concepts concerning dietary balances and control make individual accountability very hard for Americans (Brownell, Kersh, Ludwig, Post, Puhl, Schwartz, and Willett 381). When local authorities, food companies, and even schools are part of the culture that exacerbates obesity in America, individual responsibility will most likely not take off as required.
For example, Connecticut lawmakers tried to ban sugar beverages from being sold in schools in 2006. Soda companies responded with a declaration of their role in this problem as a solution. This solution was a collaboration with the Ad Council that involved emphasizing the need to exercise, mentoring, and learn about energy balances. Unfortunately, the solution did not entail teaching children ways to consume fewer amounts of foods with surplus quantities of calories and sugar.
This solution does not highlight individual responsibility over personal health and restraint. As a result, the solution propagates the possibly already established culture of gorging sugary and fatty foods (Brownell, Kersh, Ludwig, Post, Puhl, Schwartz, and Willett 383).
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