Obesity: Nutrition and Large Corporations Essay

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Matthew Sommer

Obesity

America is riddled with concern that obesity has taken over in the lives of so many in the country and around the world. Today in this world, so many people are subjected to unhealthy food and bad exercise habits from the moment of birth. Some feel that large corporations to blame for this; of these large corporations, the soda and fast food industry should get most of the blame, but there are other groups that could be held responsible also. As many of us are shown television at very young ages, TV shows are played with characters such as Ronald McDonald, giving children a false idea that McDonalds is a safe, fun, and healthy place. Large companies get people addicted to their products through their advertisement of their goods, changing viewers into brainwashed obese people who eat unhealthily at their facilities. Americans must change their ways of eating and exercising because obesity is no longer a thing that is just talked about; it is becoming the norm of today’s society. One way for Americans to make such changes is to hold large corporations accountable to their advertising and products to try to promote healthy eating and exercise. Large corporations in Americas spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns to get viewers and consumers to become addicted to their products. The fast food, soda, and cereal companies combined spent over three billion dollars on advertisement, with the majority of this advertisement being seen by young children who Sommer page 2 are easily impressionable. It is estimated in today’s world that 10 to 15 billion dollars is being spent on advertisement geared towards children, almost all of which is promoting unhealthy foods. These advertisements show children eating more and more calories while they fail to burn them of because they are no longer interested in the great outdoors but hooked on video games instead. Some people would choose to argue that there are other healthier choices, but children are often only shown one side of the story. In looking at healthy companies’ advertising to children, one of the largest is the “got milk” campaign, which spent an excessive 67 million dollars on advertisements, and another, Utrition, whose goal is to improve children’s eating and physical activity habits has an annual budget of 10 million dollars. Large corporations are mind washing children with their advertising, teaching them bad eating habits and causing an extremely lazy society. [1] In defense of large corporations, some do provide healthier options for people. Video game companies are currently spending millions of dollars towards “active games”. This trend has become the new craze in video games with interactive video game consoles, such as the WII and Xbox kinect. In taking a look at soda companies, they also sell bottled water and juices in their vending machine. Lastly, fast food corporations have changed their kids’ meals to include milk, apples, and other healthy options to help
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[2]encourage healthier eating. Currently, a large percentage of food restaurants have play centers built inside their facilities, allowing children to run around and be active in a safe environment. In addition, these large corporations such as McDonalds, Pepsi, and Coke a Cola spend millions of dollars supporting sporting events and outdoor activities.[3]

Addiction to their products is the key for large corporations; the reason large companies target young children is not because these children will go out and buy their products. Large corporations know that once they get the children addicted to what their businesses are offering, children will beg their parents to no end to take them to a fast food restaurant to buy a big burger or to Wal-Mart to buy the newest video game. Many large food corporations have people addicted to their products due to the ease and convenience of…