What's on the Menu? Essay

1518 Words 7 Pages
Muffin tops, Weight Watchers, Atkins, these are all among the jargon designated for the horizontally challenged today. These words and others are the runoff of a much larger problem, obesity. Americans today have made being inactive and feasting on junk food acceptable, thereby greatly increase the percentage of the population that is extremely overweight. Excessive eating is not the lone source for this disproportionate problem of obesity, there are a myriad of causes and as many solutions (Manson 1). No matter what the cause of obesity, the liberty to alter or wallow in their condition should remain the individual’s rather than the government’s. Obesity reduces the quality of people’s lives, consequently the government is
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Consequently, a government should be concerned with an issue as detrimental as obesity, but respectful of the free choice of people. Obesity is not a segueway for government to limit the choices that people have to lead a healthy or unhealthy life. In fact, the American system was “founded on the idea that individuals have basic freedoms. Among these, certainly, is the right to choose what we put on our plates” (Manson 2). If parameters were to be placed on eating options to minimize the threat of obesity, who might they begin with and where would they end? New York, California, and Washington all considered renewing bills in 2006 which would tax items such as junk food and soft drinks, but these “fat taxes are surely aimed more at raising revenue than at helping people live healthier lives” (Herrera 1). A price hike for fattening products is not accompanied by a decline in the price of wholesome foodstuffs. But the fat tax, sponsored by those who flout the healthy lifestyle principle this law supposedly encourages, creates lucrative revenue for the government. This fat tax is only aimed at foods while a major cause of obesity is not primarily the unhealthy diet but, people overeating, and under exercising is an underlying cause ( Manson 1) Realizing the value of trying to reverse this intake output imbalance, thirteen states in 2006 searched their budgets to fund “obesity prevention programs” ( Herrera 1).

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