According to the latest obesity statistics, the U.S. is slowly losing the battle of the bulge. Due to a number of reasons, including laziness and fast-paced lifestyles, the eating habits of several individuals become worse each year. Yet, a number of obese Americans blame popular fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King for super-sizing their waistlines when it is the consumer’s choice whether to take care of his own body or to carelessly stuff it with Big Mac after Big Mac, Whopper after Whopper. Obviously, this is a plot to bleed the multimillion-dollar fast food industry dry. There is a very noticeable line between a consumer’s responsibilities and those of the industry itself.
Take the ridiculous case of Caesar Barber, a 270-pound maintenance worker who is one of 44 million Americans who suffer from obesity. According to Geraldine Sealey of ABC News, Barber filed a lawsuit in July, claiming, “McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC jeopardized his health with their greasy, salty fare.” Barber, who supposedly ate from these restaurants four to five times a week before becoming obese, claims that these restaurants did not reveal the fatty ingredients of their food, and that his consumption of these foods led to further illness.
Statistics from an MSNBC government report reveal, “A poor diet and physical inactivity caused 400,000 deaths in 2000, a 33 percent jump over 1990.” Through these factual statements, one might realize that healthy dieting and exercise go hand in hand.
On the technical side, though, Barber is absolutely correct. These restaurants did not directly inform him of the food they served him, and he has every right to know the contents of his food. The only solution to this dilemma would be for fast food companies to smarten up and label the nutrition facts on every burger wrapper and French fry container along with a Surgeon General warning similar to that on a cigarette package.
Barber also makes a good point with his claims that fast food advertisement makes the food “look healthy.” Because of this, he claims he thought the food was actually “good for [him].”
However, just as children become self-reliable adults, there comes a point where one must judge the food one consumes instead of letting the fast food industry, which seeks profit rather than the well being of individuals, decide the difference between healthy and unhealthy items.
Due to numerous studies revealed to Americans through the media, it should be no secret to Barber that fast food is unhealthy, hence its universal nickname, “junk” food. Furthermore, Barber, a diabetic who continued to religiously eat fast food even after having a heart attack, should be responsible for his own health. Barber should take strict precautions and avoid the notorious burgers and fries altogether.
McDonald’s, Burger King, and other fast food franchises are not in business to keep America healthy. They cater to what makes the majority of Americans happy-greasy, unhealthy comfort food that serves as a treat to some and an everyday staple to others. Yet, just like any other substance, Americans need to know their consumption limits; they need to stop blaming the fast food companies for failure to take care of their own bodies.