Can someone please help me write a summary using this Article Topic: "Fast Food the New Tobacco?" and choose a claim I can use for this summary? My claims are below: 1) Childhood obesity is a...

Can someone please help me write a summary using this Article Topic: "Fast Food the New Tobacco?" and choose a claim I can use for this summary? My claims are below:

1) Childhood obesity is a problem, but government has no legitimate role dictating to the public what they should eat.

2) Childhood obesity is a major problem, and the government must take the lead in addressing it through legislation that forces compliance in the food industry.

3) Obesity is a health problem, but any woman should have the right to gain excess weight if they choose to, regardless of what society thinks.

Asked on by lurik

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kipling2448 | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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If required to choose among the three options provided for the purpose of preparing a summary, the second of the three would seem the most viable.  With dramatically-increased attention being paid to medical costs and with the First Lady of the United States having made addressing the problem of childhood obesity her primary agenda, it logically follows that a legitimate role for the federal government exists.  Increasingly, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the entire population is interconnected with regard to public health issues.  To the extent that the American public shares the burden of providing for the nation’s health care, then medical problems associated with a particular type of activity, such as consumption of “fast food,” warrant attention at the highest levels of representative government. 

Tobacco, consumption of which is being used as a model for the broader societal burdens associated with endemic obesity, presented a bigger problem than simply the elevated instances of respiratory illnesses associated with its use.  We all pay for the wide-scale abuse of addictive and innately harmful substances.  Those with really good health insurance plans help pay the bills for those with poorer health care who suffer from illnesses associated with addictions like that to tobacco.  That has been an underlying issue within the health care industry for decades.  Overbilling of good policies to compensate for financial losses associated with care for the un- or underinsured has been a difficult but very real problem for public policy advocates to address.  The same can be said of fast food consumption.  Medical problems associated with the combination of poor dietary practices and a lack of exercise invariably cost the entire nation in health care costs and lost productivity.  If, then, fast food consumption is linked to childhood (and adult) obesity, and if the costs associated with treating illness associated with diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol (such as diabetes, heart disease, colon and breast cancer, liver and gall bladder disease, among others) are ultimately passed along to the public, then the public interest demands government redress. [See, for the medical problems associated with obesity, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/obesity.htm

Just as tobacco consumption costs the nation in medical expenses and lost productivity, fast food consumption costs the public in the same way.  Addressing the problem through legislative measures is, then, warranted.

[Note: This is a suggested summary, per the student’s request, and does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of this educator]

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