Cell Phone Radiation Essay

Submitted By EdmundPan1
Words: 1336
Pages: 6

Fast Food to Blame for Obesity: What the Government Can Do Fast food plays a large role in the lives of Americans. One out of four Americans eats fast food at least two times every week (Boseley). Unfortunately, there is an eminent correlation between fast food and obesity rates (Dumanovsky et al. 2520). Increased obesity rates concede to rising levels of chronic diseases (Braun), leading to overwhelming medical expenses for the healthcare department (Gates). To counter this epidemic, the government must pursue policies “At every level of the government level,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation president and CEO. Current policies to display calorie counts are posted in few locations and are not enforced (Zajac). Locations where calorie counts are posted encourage healthier purchase decisions and habits (Dumanovsky et al. 2521). The government must implement policies to expose all nutritional information in fast food restaurants in order to preserve the health and prevent disease caused by fast food. In 2011, Americans spent $115 billion on fast food at the top fifteen chains (McConnell and Bhasin). That was a near twenty fold increase from the estimated $6 billion spent on fast food in 1970. Similarly, obesity rates 14.5% from 1971 (Zajac) have now risen to the 2010 estimate of 35.7% (Gates). This rise in obesity can be detrimental to the health care system (Gates). Jeffery Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, says there are to be “6 million new cases of diabetes, 5 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next 20 years,” an avoidable issue that could “overwhelm an already over burdened health care system” (qtd. in Gates). Obesity and obesity related issues cost the health care system, and eventually the government, more than $147 billion (Gates). The increasing obesity rates will cause these medical costs to increase “by $48 billion to $66 billion in the next two decades” (Gates).
Mandatory calorie posting is one measure taken by the government that effectively raises awareness and induces positive decision making among customers. After calorie posting was put into full enforcement in May 2008, customer awareness of calorie information rose from 25% to 64% (Dumanovsky et al. 2522). This increase of customer awareness allowed more consumers to make healthier choices. Post-enforcement, twenty percent of customers reported that calorie information affected their purchase As opposed to ten percent before enforcement. Customers of the restaurant franchise Subway who reported seeing and using calorie information “purchased 99 fewer calories” customers who were not aware of the calorie information (Dumanovsky et al. 2521). Calorie postings are proven to have a positive influence on the decisions of consumers. Consumers tend to be inaccurate in estimating the calories in their purchased beverages and foods (Bollinger, Leslie, and Sorensen 116-117). At Starbucks, 76.9 percent of consumers underestimated the calorie amounts of their food; the average was an underestimate of 61.6 calories. This goes to show that without nutritional disclosure, consumers have a hard time approximating the caloric content and nutritional value of the foods they purchase. Starbucks cardholder data was analyzed to see if the habits of customers changed after seeing nutritional information (Bollinger, Leslie, and Sorensen 119). It showed that after visiting Starbucks stores in NYC that displayed calorie information, the consumers’ visits to stores outside of NYC where caloric information was not displayed showed calorie reductions as well (Bollinger, Leslie, and Sorensen 120). Consumers are not aware of the actual nutritional content of the foods they purchase until viewing posted nutritional information. After using such information, however, consumers will adopt those healthier purchasing habits even when the information is not displayed. As calorie