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Persuasive Essay About Obesity

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Autor:   •  April 17, 2011  •  1,595 Words (7 Pages)  •  2,564 Views

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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" Ð'-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,


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