January 15, 2014
Obesity in America
Within the past decade, the epidemic of obesity has taken a huge toll on the lives of Americans as approximately 300,000 people die per year due to this disease. Despite the fact that this problem has increased drastically over time, Americans are not contributing enough effort towards solutions; therefore, morbidity and mortality rates are rising. However, there are several causes to obesity, which each require different solutions. America’s high prevalence of obesity is primarily caused by food advertisements, lack of exercise, and genetics.
In recent years, food advertisements that give us the desire to consume their items have become the foundation towards the success of a company. These food industries take advantage of humans with the knowledge that food is our most important and desirable necessity. Deborah Cohen explains in her article “The conspiracy to keep you fat”, that food companies are partially responsible for the obesity epidemic because of their tactics of interrupting the impulses that give humans the desire to eat. The food industry’s marketing strategies trigger food impulses, which are very difficult to resist and have often led to over-eating.
Food advertisements urge Americans to feel the need to consume their high-calorie items by using several photo enhancement techniques as well as using celebrities to attract customers. Cohen states, “Manufacturers began to embrace impulse-marketing strategies, buying prominent shelf space for tempting, high-calorie foods and beverages at the end of aisles in supermarkets and at cash registers” (1). Cohen’s point is that food companies purposely use bright colors, bold font, and animated pictures on their advertisements to draw attention towards their products. For example, high sugar foods such as Oreos, ice cream, and sweet cereals like lucky charms and frosted flakes are typically located at the level of a child in a shopping...