Americans need to break the fast-food habit

By Amy Balagna Posted February 18, 2009

There is no doubt that obesity among Americans is on the rise. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now considered overweight according to CBS News. We have shifted our eating habits from homemade meals with our family to rushed fast-food drive-throughs and it is clearly taking a toll. Is the fast-food industry the reason for the spike in obesity rates?

My health, mind and body, are near the top of my priority list. Fast food rarely touches my lips and I exercise daily. It’s the way I was raised. As a child, I was involved in various athletics and was exposed to a vast array of vegetables and fruits. An early education and healthy habits instilled in children is the key to preventing an obesity problem in the future. However, many Americans now put this early education in the hands of strangers, day-care centers, and schools. The purpose of a school is not to be a parent; it’s to give systematic instructions on various fields, in my opinion, not including the importance of eating your veggies.

Sole responsibility cannot be placed on parents for parents are being influenced by the world. Some of the most wealthy and successful corporations serve us food. The fast-food industry may have been built with the thought of customers in mind but that was somehow lost along their journey to the top of our economy. They lost the integrity and the foundation they were built on by being consumed with the prospect of wealth. They advertise a false image that fools consumers. The healthy person running through a meadow while eating a hamburger is not a reality. The fast-food industry has single-handedly altered the image of the traditional American dinner. Instead of sitting down to a home-cooked meal, the majority of Americans unwrap and eat their over-processed, nutrient stripped hamburger in a hurry.

Something has to be done. With American life expectancy decreasing due to weight-related illnesses, our children must be taught the importance of exercising and eating right. The fast-food industry had gotten into the minds of Americans, influencing our once healthy eating habits.

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