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Persuasive Essay About Obesity

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Category: Miscellaneous

Autor: anton 17 April 2011

Words: 1595 | Pages: 7

I. Introduction

Because of the omnipotence of fast food chains in America, when we feel the urge for an easy meal, Americans, in general, immediately look to the fast food nation for a quick suppression to their hunger. Because we live in a time-is-money society the most efficient means of hunger satisfaction is the almighty drive-through. Corporations spend billions of dollars advertising to enhance sales of their products. With American catching on to the lack of healthy food options in the fast food nation, fast food chains began campaigning healthier food such as their salads and fruit cups. However salads may sound healthy but a Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken from McDonalds has 320 calories and 90 grams of fat. Where's the "healthy" in that. Now that Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. we need to re-evaluate the importance of healthy eating. By increasing awareness of the obesity epidemic in America we can begin to reverse the trend in weight gain among Americans.


1. Americans continue to gain weight, increasing the number of obesity related deaths each year.

2. The availability and advertisement of fast food restaurants prevents Americans from slimming down.

3. We'll discuss the solution to weight loss through personal motivation.

TRANSITION: In order to understand the impact obesity has on America we should all be aware of the facts.

II. Body

A. SIGNIFICANCE: In 1966 four out of every 10 Americans needed to lose weight. "Today, two out of every three Americans need to lose weight" (Obesity in America, 2006, p.1).

1. A person is considered obese when they have a Body Mass Index of 30 or more (Schroeder, 2006).

a) "Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height" (CDC, 2006, p. 1). DEFINITION

(i) "To calculate BMI divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply by a conversion factor of 703" (CDC, 2006, p. 2).

2. The earlier someone becomes obese, the greater the impact on their life.

a) For example, "a very obese 25-year-old man can expect to lose 13 years of his life", which turns out to be nearly a quarter of his life expectancy (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 1).

(i) "Obesity and lack of exercise are responsible for about 1,000 deaths in the United States every day" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 1). FACT

(ii) Government researchers say that "obesity is associated with 100,000 to 300,000 deaths a year" (Tumulty, 2006, p. 1). STATISTIC

3. "The rates of obesity among children and teens have tripled in the past 25 years" (Tumulty, 2006, p. 1).

a) Children as young as 10 and 11 are being diagnosed with potentially lethal Type 2 diabetes, which used to be the adult-onset version of the disease (Tumulty, 2006, p, 1).

b) "One survey found that 96% of American schoolchildren recognized Ronald McDonald, placing him just behind Santa Claus among fictional icons" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 2). QUOTATION

4. The average number of daily snacks has risen 60% since the late 1970s (Koretz, 2003).

a) "In 2001, Americans spent more than $110 billion on fast food" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 2).

b) "The Department of Agriculture reports that food consumption rose by 8% or about 140 pounds per person per year, during the 1990s" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 2).

c) The United States "produces about 3,900 calories a day for every man, woman, and child", which is "50% more food than we need" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 2).

5. "Obesity uses $39 billion of our health care dollars each year" (Obesity in America, 2006, p.1).

a) "The food industry spends $30 billion a year on advertising" (Obesity in America, 2006, p. 2).

TRANSITION: Now that you are familiar with the facts and statistics, you may be wondering why obesity still exists today and what is preventing us from acting.

B. INHERENCY: The availability of fast food and the advertising techniques utilized by fast food chains has created a major problem in the United States

1. Fast food chains are effortlessly accessible to the public.

a) There are 30,000 McDonald's locally, 5,840 Wendy's in the US, and 66% of the more that 11,220 Burger King's are in this country. PHOTO

b) Many of these restaurants are located around schools to reach a key group of customers-kids.

(i) 50 % of schools in Chicago have a fast food restaurant within .3 miles (a five minute walk); 78% have one within .5 miles ( a ten minute walk); and 35% have one within .25 miles. (Children's Hospital Boston, 2004).

2. Customers are drawn in using marketing devices that are catchy and use celebrities.

a) Justin Timberlake, one of the most popular recording artists today, filmed a commercial for McDonald's. A spokeswoman for McDonald's said "the campaign is getting "buzz on the street." The song he sings in the commercial was also to be released as a full length single (MacArthur, 2003, p. 2).

b) Fast food restaurants advertise themselves and their food as different than all the other restaurants.

(i) "Think Outside the Bun" В–Taco Bell; "It's better here."-Wendy's; "There's Fast Food, Then There's KFC"-KFC

3. The food being advertised is extremely unhealthy and contributes to the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the nation.

a) Almost all food served at fast food restaurants has an extremely high fat and calorie content and lacks nutritional value.

(i) "Typical fast food meals consist of hamburgers or cheeseburgers, french fries, and sugar-sweetened sodas. They are frequently 'super sized' at very little additional cost, encouraging children and families to purchase larger portions. These meals, which are high in refined starch and added sugar, have a high glycemic index and glycemic load." (Children's Hospital Boston, 2004).

(ii) Some studies have shown that meals with a high glycemic load "increase hunger, and thus food consumption over the course of a day." (Children's Hospital Boston, 2004).

b) A Big Mac meal (with soda) from McDonald's contains around 1700 calories. This amount is just shy of the 2300 calories needed daily for women and the 2900 calories needed for men (age 25). (Callahan and Payne, 1956).

Transition: Now that we have recognized the disease that has affected 2/3 of Americans, it is time to look at the solutions to this growing epidemic (Obesity in America, 2006).

C. The answer to weight loss cannot be found in infomercials, but can only be found in your own motivation to be healthier.

1. As a result of growing obesity, American's have looked to fad diets and weight loss surgery to help solve their weight problems.

a) Low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and other similar diets all lack in healthy nutrition, and instead include portions way above or below doctor recommendations (Dennison-Haines, 2005). FACT

b) The poor nutrition in these diets can cause serious health problems later on in life (Erickson, n.d.).

c) These diets are easy to recognize because they normally offer a quick fix to weight loss, eliminate certain food groups (such as carbohydrates), and require no exercise (Erickson, n.d.).

2. Instead of looking to fad diets, American's should focus more on smart dieting.

a) "Educate yourself about healthy eating - Decreasing fat and sugar and increasing fiber in your diet will improve your health, and help you lose weight if that's your goal. Learn about foods and cooking methods that will help your diet is a healthier one" (Erickson, n.d., p.1).

3. In addition to smart dieting, exercise is essential in weight loss and being healthy.

a) "Exercise - Get that body moving. In addition to helping you burn calories and improve your overall fitness, exercise is a great mood elevator. Exercise is not a "one size fits all" proposition. You can join a gym, walk with a friend, ride a stationary bike in front of your favorite TV program or join a sports team. Most important, pick an activity that's fun for you" (Erickson, n.d., p. 1).

III. Conclusion

By increasing awareness of the obesity epidemic in America we can begin to reverse the trend in weight gain among Americans. We believe that the plan we proposed will increase your health and happiness. Not attempting to live a healthier lifestyle may result in type 2 diabetes, Coronary heart disease, and may be even death. Instead of living a life of grief, or having to shoot yourself up with insulin everyday, which is what people with diabetes have to do, you need to act now and begin the journey of bettering your life. Act now before it's to late. It's ultimately up to you to make the right decision, but you're your life and health at hand. Isn't your life is worth fighting for?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2006). About BMI for Adults. Retrieved April 9, 2007, from adult_BMI/ about_adult_BMI.htm

Koretz, G. (2003). Those Heavy Americans. Business Week, Retrieved Tuesday, April 9, 2007 from the Academic Search Premier database.

Obesity in America: Large portions, large proportions. (Cover story). (2006). Harvard Men's Health Watch, Retrieved Tuesday, April 9, 2007 from the Academic Search Premier database.

Schroeder, K. (2006). Education news in brief. Education Digest, 71(5), 71-74. Retrieved Tuesday, April 9, 2007 from the Academic Search Premier database.

Tumulty, K. (2006). The Politics of Fat. Time, 167(13), 40-43. Retrieved Tuesday, April 9, 2007 from the Academic Search Premier database.

MacArthur, K. (2003). Timberlake shoot creates buzz for McDonald's effort. Advertising Age, 74(33), 2-2. Retrieved Tuesday, April 10, 2007 from Academic Search Premier database.

Children's Hospital Boston. (2004). Study Links Fast Food to Overall Poor Nutrition and Obesity Risk. Retrieved April 7, 2007 from newsroom/ site1339.

Callahan, D. and Payne, A. S. (1956) The Great Nutrition Puzzle. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Dennison-Haines, C. (2005). Weight Loss: Spotting Fad Diets. Retrieved April 8, 2007 from

Erickson, J. (n.d.) Ten Tips to Lose Weight, 30 Pounds in 30 Days and Other Dangerous Diet Myths. North Bay Medical Center: Fairfield, CA

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