Scientific American Writing Assignment
Tara Haelle authors the article Consumption Junction: Childhood Obesity Determined Largely by Environmental Factors, Not Genes or Sloth, which introduces ideas about childhood obesity being a fault of the environment children live in as opposed to the child themselves. Haelle (2013) argues that the environment kids live in has a greater impact than factors such as genetics, and insufficient physical activity. Three studies supported throughout the article proved that obesity is less a consequence of too little physical activity and more a consequence of being over exposed to advertisements, vending machines, and cheap sugary treats. The studies explored factors such as dishware size, linking obesity to television, and linking obesity to sleep.
The findings in the studies performed all came to the conclusion that people tend to make the decision that is easiest, and nowadays that is often the overeating of unhealthy foods available to us at all times. One study explored if the sizes of dishware given to the children affect how much food they will consume, and the outcome was yes. Haelle (2013) explains that if a child has a large plate it will be their nature to fill it, if they have a small plate they will have that same nature but end up consuming less calories. Haelle (2013) shows how easily what a child is presented with affects what they consume. The second study discussed in this article involved the linkage between video games, computer games, and television with obesity. Haelle (2013) focused on the attention the child was devoting to the activities they were involved in. The findings were that television is the most dominant of the technologies and that it is most troublesome when a child is focusing on it primarily, the major concerns were food advertisements making children believe they are hungry, as well as them being hands free and able to eat. Thirdly, a study involving sleep duration and obesity was presented. Haelle (2013) claims that this study basically reinforced the idea that more sleep results in overall better health and less chance of being obese.
I agree with the overall message of this article and believe that the spike in obesity rates over the past three decades is not because of the people, but because of the environment. The article provided liable evidence of this being the case by explaining how advertisements,…