Adam Y. Michigan

Obesity in the United States

Who is to blame for our obesity problem and how can we resolve it?

Dear next President,

First off, congratulations on your victory of the presidential election. You now run and have complete authority over the fattest country in the world. How does this make you feel? Now I know that Body Mass Index (BMI) is an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring obesity, but technically speaking, thirty eight percent of your adult constituents are considered obese. Obviously this is a severe predicament, one that we have been experiencing and trying to resolve for decades, and one that is drastically unmatched by any other country in the world. There is one question that we continue to ask ourselves; who is to blame? Is it the fast food restaurants who are serving a crushed bone paste on a bun, making billions of dollars each year to basically serve heart attacks for under a dollar? Is it the American people who disrespect their bodies with such toxic ingredients? Is it you?

The answer to these questions is everyone. Everyone is to blame. In order to preserve our state as the greatest country in the world, a combined effort is necessary that we will be collectively healthier which will create a happier and more productive lifestyle. This means doing what needs to be done to cut down obesity levels and promote a higher functioning way of life.

First, the fast food industry is a huge factor of the obesity levels we have here in the US. Although they are there to make the most money they can, hence the word industry, places like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell are fully capable of improving their quality of ingredients while still making a sufficient amount of money. For example, the McDouble, a popular dollar menu item from McDonald's, is made for only $0.36. Approximately 6.5 million of these are sold each day, while the corporation is profiting through the roof. It would be so easy to up their costs just a little bit in order to produce higher quality products that could directly affect the obesity rates in a country of over 300 million people.

The responsibility for our country’s state of health also lies in the hands of us, the people. We should want and be encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle because we are the people that live in our bodies every day. Eating healthier, which involves cutting back on fast food, and getting the appropriate amount of exercise will make American lives happier and more enjoyable. While fast food is much cheaper than organic and fresh foods, some Americans do not have the financial capability to completely change their diet. Eating fast food in moderation is ok, and there are many items on a fast food menu that are more acceptable and won’t take as bad of a toll on your body. It is our job, the people who make up this country, to cut back on fast food and want to pursue a better lifestyle in order to create a successful environment.

If we want to cut back on the obesity levels, the responsibility also falls on you and your staff, Mr. or Mrs. President. First Lady Michelle Obama has done an incredible job promoting health in schools and public places, but we cannot slow down. More regulations need to be put in place in fast food restaurants about their quality of food, along with regulated meals in schools that will train kids at a young age to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is your job to pick back up with the progress we have already made and continue to improve the health of our country and cut down on obesity levels.


Adam Yaker

Oakland Writing Project (Michigan) - CASA

CASA - AP Lang

9th-12th grade students who come from 3 different schools.

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