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Uncovering the Argument behind “Fast Food Being the New Tobacco”


Food is an important aspect of living; we need food to grow our everyday lives. But it is very imperative to know how it is produced, where it is prepared and who is in charge of controlling it. These are important issues to think about. The way food is processed has a big effect on the health and economics of a nation. Studies have shown that unhealthy eating is the second biggest killer after smoking. (“Organic Consumers Association”)

I’ll be analyzing the topic section, “Fast Food Being the New Tobacco”. This section identifies the problems related to the rapid growth of fast-food chain eateries or restaurant such as Taco bell, McDonalds and Burger King and also the health problems frequently precipitating from the expansive number of these restaurants. The advertisements of these fast foods are everywhere and everyone seems not to do without them. In this paper, I’ll be analyzing the arguments made by Marion Nestle, Redley Balko and Kristen Kirkpatrick. I will also provide my own ideas considering the views related to their presented arguments.

Argument Presented by The Supermarket: Prime Real Estate (Marion Nestle)

The article authored by Marion Nestle, which she titled “The Supermarket: Prime Real Estate” was where she emphatically unraveled  the driving force behind set up, display, pricing and how impulse buying had worked for consumers  in a market or grocery store. She clarifies the strategies and science behind the area where products are located in the store, placements of shelf, why one needs to go through unnecessary paths or aisles by undesirable products just to obtain one’s desired purchase. She obviously claims that supermarket organizations have their ways of controlling people to purchase goods by using enthusiastic strategies. This information opens all secrets associated with all supermarkets and how they intend to place as many products as possible within the visual perception of the customers making impulse purchasing, which then creates fault at the customer for acquiring an excess of unhealthy products when it is precisely planned and plotted by the supermarket organization.

Marion Nestle fundamentally addresses the problems associated with how supermarkets deliberately set up the display in their stores to attract customers or consumers. She portrays the motivation behind why many individuals impulse buy and HOW that happens. From that essay, she appears to stand on the opposing side and contradicting the science behind grocery stores or supermarkets. She is educating different customers of the diverse tricks, showing us about them and how to prevent them.

It is, however unexpected that a food corporation produces food as well as studies people’s feelings. Many people think these food corporations just concentrate on developing their products, it is necessary to understand that food organization also research and study in different fields other than just food field which they explore.

Arguments Presented by “What you Eat is your Business” (Radley Balko)

Radley Balko disagreed in his own essay. He introduces his arguments showing different approaches government carried out in an attempt to control and monitor what people consume. At this end, schools began banning specific snacks, soda and foods of high calories were enforced on “fax taxes,” also many restaurants had to send their menu lists for testing of the values their nutrition. These were the methods that are being taken into consideration. Balgo also argues that the government should be responsible for the promotion of one’s own health instead of forcing regulations.

Balko quoted, “A man’s heart attack drives up the cost of his premiums and visits to the office. If the government is responsible for his anticholesterol medication, will there be any incentive provided to put down the cheeseburger?” This question is very interesting to consider because it has been the most accurate excuse for people to excessively eat foods from these restaurants. Since the government has to pay for people’s medicine and other individuals pay for their own sedentary style of life, why then should the cheeseburger be thrown away?

Radley Balko also suggests an opinion that obesity should not be rendered as a public health issues, though it is a crisis that can actually be averted. This has also been a public issue because the government does all within its power to regulate what people should eat and what they should not. People should take responsibility of their health and well-being, not anyone else, according to Radley Balko. He provides many suggestions on how obesity can be handled, including rewarding healthy lifestyles and punishing the unhealthy ones, also to refrain from utilizing a socialized health care, then people should be given the alternatives to use money in various health accounts and they should be able to transfer them to their retirement accounts. He also stated that, “We” all make better decisions and choices about exercise, diet, and personal health when the consequences of those choices are not being paid by someone else.

Article Presented by “Fast Food’s Immediate Damage to One’s Health” (Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D.)

Kristin Kirtkpartrick presented his findings in the article made for youbeauty.com, he supports the fact that fast food is detrimental to one’s health. He explained how people in the drive-thru line of a fast food chain order well balanced meals that is contained with fiber and nutrients. He poses that they are actually willing to surrender their healthfulness for the tastes and better convenience, this actually is what the trade offers. He explained that the money paid for eating the food is not at the cash register, but apparently in the saturated fat and sodium starts taking effect through the health ramifications associated with the meal.

A new study by the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, which indicates the damage done to the arteries happens almost immediately after taking a junk food. He tried to emphasize his point that taking moderate junk food doesn’t actually exist in the real sense. He analyzed the study and statistically measured that 28 healthy, non smoking men between the ages of 18 d 50 years were tested for the impact of junk food. They were fed with Mediterranean-based food. And a week later, it was observed that the object consumed zero grams of omega-3s and 15 grams of saturated fat from the fast food egg, sausage and cheese muffin sandwich they took.

He concluded with an advice to family wellbeing to steer clear of restaurants and fast foods and people should start redefining their family’s fast food concept.

My Opinion

I personally feel that people should be responsible for their personal health. They live by themselves and nobody cares about anybody. Furthermore, I do not feel it’s necessary for the government to waste resources into monitoring and regulating fast food chains because it wouldn’t provide any solution to obesity. Despite the fact that I agree with Balko, I still strongly accept Kristin’s opinion. It’s not reasonable as obesity rate is increasing unnecessarily and government expending such huge amount to treat obesity.

Kristin is likewise right that there are very numerous fast food chains and insufficient healthy options. Additionally, he has established that food from restaurants are not suitable for the human system. However, his studies have also proven that fast food has damaged different arteries and he also pointed out a study from the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, where it is also found out at that kids consume more calories after eating of fast foods compared to days they ate at home.

In spite of the fact that I do concur that fast food chains ought to mark their items for consumer learning, realizing that a twofold cheeseburger or a plate of salad presented with dressing and a substantial soda is unhealthy is just an ordinary common sense. The fact that restaurant chains abstain from marking and labeling their foods is not an accepted excuse for eating them. Individuals ought to realize that restaurants are regularly unhealthy.


It is obvious that every food related organization does all they can to make a profit without totally considering the health of their consumers. Furthermore, Marion’s view on the strategies used by various supermarkets cannot be left out as these organizations still use various techniques to trap customers all for profits. Customers must be aware of all tricks against falling victim of it.

Additionally, customers and consumers must be responsible for their living and must face the reality that their health and well being are a function of their responsibility. Another reason people have unhealthy ways of life is that they are really being remunerated for it. The fact that other individuals pay for their visits to the physician and the government paying for their pharmaceutical is absurd. The government is operating on obesity in a wrong direction.

  • Bratskeir, Kate. “Fast Food’s Immediate Damage To Your Health.” The Huffington Post.
  • TheHuffingtonPost.com. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/fast-food-health-arteries-beauty_n_2198725.html>.
  • “Yang Wang.” Yang Wang. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <https://blogs.bu.edu/caswr100n1n2-24/other/analysis-assignment/183-2/>.
  • “The Government and My Waistline.” The Havok Journal. 29 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <https://www.havokjournal.com/nation/the-government-and-my-waistline/>.
  • “Marion Nestle – Faculty Bio.” Marion Nestle – Faculty Bio. Web. 14 Sept. 2015. <https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty/Marion_Nestle>.

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