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What you Eat is Your business: Rhetoric Analysis

            Obesity is a problem that have been persistent in the society for many years in America and internationally. Although many researchers have developed multiples theories and approaches to fight obesity, significant success has not been achieved. On the other hand, it is not clear on who is to blame for the obesity menace; the food industry or the consumer (Ogden 807). Radley Balko in his article “What You Eat is Your Business” argues that obesity is a personal responsibility and one should be accountable for what he or she eats.

[blur] Balko argues that obesity is not the responsibility of the government or the food industry and people should be conscious of what they eat. Balko states that obesity can only be eliminated if people carefully choose what they eat carefully. I agree with Balko’s argument that people should be responsible for what they eat. The government may however intervene from a different approach rather than directly determining what people eat. [/blur]

            [blur] Balko indicates that the government is in a position to make policies directed at controlling the obesity problem. Such policies may include banning of foods and snacks that are likely to cause obesity if consumed excessively, and idea that Balko is opposed to. He indicates that many politicians are for this approach such as banning soda and snacks from school cafeterias. The author argues that, instead of directly controlling what people eat, the American government should find a way to make the people responsible for their food choices. [/blur]

[blur] He argues that making people more conscious of their health would make them choose what they eat wisely. Balko states that health care system can influence the food choices for individuals if its roles are modified.  I agree with Balko’s idea of having the health care system control the obesity problem in the society. The health care system can inform people about various foods and the effects of prolonged consumption. Under this approach, people would be free to choose the type of food and frequency to consume. [/blur]

            [blur] As an ordinary citizen, I feel that direct control of what people consume by the government is unwarranted. This is because it would limit the freedom of people to eat what they want at their convenience. Majority of people are aware of the repercussions of over consumption of various foods and observe proper dietary habits. However, some people are ignorant of their eating habits and their health as well. [/blur]

[blur] In an attempt to contain the situation, direct control by the government would not be the best approach and would limit people the freedom to choose what they eat. Ogden (807) indicated that it is the consumers who give the sign of what they would like to consume and it is not the food industry that imposes the food choices to the consumers. The industry hence changes the types of foods produced based on the preferences of the customers. For instance, recently people have been very conscious about their dietary habits and prefer eating natural foods and drinking non-carbonated drinks. Consequently, the industry has been committed in providing such foods to the market. [/blur]

            [blur] Balko indicates that some approaches by the government to control obesity only make the problem worse. In a statement he writes that “if the government is paying for my anti-cholesterol medication, what is the motivation to put down the cheeseburger” (Balko 2). I totally agree with Balko that the approach by the government is wanting and should be redesigned. The government should look for an approach that motivates the consumers to choose the most favorable food for a proper diet. [/blur]

[blur] Balko states that the American government ought to implement a system that fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability among the people regarding their food choices. People ought to feel responsible for what they eat. The government should not incur costs for people who knowingly neglected their basic health needs by constantly consuming unhealthy foods. Frequenting the fast food stores is a choice that a person makes. I believe that information about healthy and unhealthy dietary habits is sufficient and people become obese knowingly. In regard to children, parents are fully responsible on guiding them on what to eat and what to avoid from the food stores. [/blur]

            [blur] The problem of obesity in America seems to bring controversy, and research shows that America is among the most obese countries in the world and has the most cases obese related health problems. While some writers indicate that it is the fault of the food industry especially the fast food stores that is responsible for this problem, I feel that it is the sole responsibility of a person to choose what to eat. Just like Balko, I feel that this is not an issue of policy but rather self control and choice. Government should have slight say in the matter and should not directly control what people eat. I believe that people are in the best position to decide what they want to eat rather than the government dictating what they should eat. [/blur]

            [blur] The idea of reducing the burden in public health brought by the rising cost of obesity by people’s choice to eat healthy foods is very logical. However, I find Balko’s statement on a person’s heart attach increasing the medical bill quite harsh and may diverge from the main argument. People who are currently suffering from obesity resultant diseases such as high blood pressure may not take it well when it is directed to them that their actions caused their fate. [/blur]

[blur] Although I agree with Balko, I tend believe that there may be another explanation for the high rise in obesity other than poor feeding habits. For instance, I tend to believe there has been a great decrease in parental care and responsibility of parents on what their children consume. By the time the children are adults, they are already obese. This may be a reason for the rising cases of obesity in America. Additionally, some social factors such as high commitment in job may have subjected people to eat unhealthy foods from food stores since they have little or no time to cook the food of their choice. [/blur]

            [blur] With all these factors to consider, I believe that everyone needs to accept the responsibilities and consequences of the choices made. No one can decide for you what to eat or what not to eat as this falls squarely on personal choice. People should think more about their lives and those of their children before eating what seems convenient today because it may cost their lives in future. The government on the other hand should identify a suitable means to build a healthy population free from obesity. This may be through educating the society on proper dietary habits. [/blur]

Works Cited

Balko, Radley. “What You Eat Is Your Business.” Cato.org. Cato Institute, 23 May 2004. Web. 11 July 2011.

Ogden, Cynthia L., et al. "Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012." Jama 311.8 (2014): 806-814.

What you Eat is Your business: Rhetoric Analysis

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