Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NEXT, “Fried Foods to the Stand”
     Many are the lawsuits brought against the fast food giants especially McDonald’s and we are yet to hear of the last one. It does not sound like anytime soon! This is what David Zinczenko is writing about in the short essay “Don’t Blame the Eater.” He is the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health, a monthly magazine that focuses on fitness.
     Zinczenko grew up a typical 1980’s latchkey kid. His parents had split up and while the father was on his own trying to rebuild his life, the mother was working long hours to pay the bills. This meant he was left to himself and had to fend for his meals. He writes that lunch and dinner were taken at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut. Meals in these places were affordable and by the time he was fifteen years, he weighed 212 lbs. The only salvation for him was the college he joined and got into the Navy Reserves involving himself in the health magazine.
     The information he writes here, informs us that before 1994, only 5% of childhood diabetic cases (Type 2) were related to obesity. Today it has risen to 30%. Money being spent on this condition has skyrocketed. He continues to say that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that $2.6 billion in health care was channeled to diabetes in 1969. Today, an unbelievable $100 billion is used each year.
     The argument he is putting across is, why can’t consumers - particularly teenagers- avoid the fast-food restaurants? On the other hand, he wonders, where do the teens find alternatives? He emphasizes that the other problem is lack of information on what the consumers are consuming for example calorie information. In the case where calorie information is given, it is hard, if not impossible to understand.
     To conclude, he says that it is only a matter of time before state governments begin to see a direct line between $1 billion that McDonalds and Burger King spends each year on advertising and their own health care costs. To reduce lawsuits, the fast-food companies should provide nutrition information so that people make informed choices about their products
     Alongside the presentation, we watched a clip from “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I” which showed a teenager who was tired of eating sardine only day in, day out. He therefore experimented by making a machine that would manufacture some different food and was able to get all kinds of fast-foods!
Class Discussion and other Suggestions

A number of suggestions were raised as to the direction we can take to alleviate this situation.
1. Teach children to cook to help them avoid reliance on the fast-foods.
2. Avoid very oily foods even when cooking for one self.
3. Boil the foods that can be boiled and add spices to flavor them.
4. Include lots of vegetables in meals as a fiber source.
5. Snack on cheap, healthy foods like baby carrots, tomatoes and MILK- avoid fizzy drinks.
6. Walk more especially in fine weather avoiding buses, taxis and even trains in short distances.
7. Be active in sports like cycling or keep fit on your own- gyms not a must!
8. Where possible, get rid of the flower beds and get kitchen gardens for vegetables instead.
9. Put that remote down and get off the couch- potato couch! 

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