Should the government have a say in Americans diets? One of the fastest growing problems in the United States today is obesity. Throughout the last ten years, more and more people have become overweight or obese. Obesity has caused a lot of damage because it has increased healthcare costs and ruined many people’s lives because they can contract diseases like diabetes. If the government had a say in American citizen’s diets, they will be violating people’s privacy. In contrast, many people may not follow the governments operated diet system.
The government should have a say in Americans diets because it help many people in many ways. While a government mandatory diet is the best option to lowering the obesity rate, people are capable of making their own decisions, especially when it comes to food. If the government is allowed to put a person on a diet, it will not allow people to make decisions for themselves. As a citizen of the United States, people are free to do as they want with their lives, even if that means over eating.
Another issue in the government having a say in Americans diets is that the diet program may not be suitable for everyone’s lifestyle. Some people may eat a lot of food and become overweight, while others don’t eat a lot of food and are still overweight or obese. Each person would have to have a different diet plan for their body type. This will cost the government a lot of money in order to create these diets.
Money that everyone knows the government doesn’t have or could be put to better use. Another big factor is the food that people will have to buy in order to stay on their diet.
Most diet foods are very high priced and some Americans may not be able to afford their diet. The worst part about the government having a say on peoples diets is that it will impede on their privacy. Most people who are either overweight or obese may not like a government controlled diet because people may judge them by the diet they are on. On the other hand the United States needs to help the growing number of overweight and obese people. Since the year 2000 there has been a huge increase in the number of overweight and obese Americans.
This is because the American diet has increased in “consumption of processed food and outside the home, as well as soft drinks and portion sizes” (217). America is now eating more fast food than ever. Everywhere people look today there is a fast food restaurants or a gas station loaded with high sugar, salt, and fat. People also eat more food than one needs to in a day. Poor diet habits have directly affected in increasing the number of obese and overweight Americans. Along with poor diet people have become lazier than ever.
More active people have a lot less chance of becoming overweight, and less active people have a higher chance. Children play a huge factor in the obesity percentage too. “It’s estimated that worldwide over 22 million children under the age of five are obese” (599). This statistic is only concerns the children under the age of five. If there are 22 million obese children under the age of five, how many obese and overweight Americans are there in total? People who become overweight or obese have an “increased risk of morbidity and mortality as well as reducing life expectancy” (598).
By being morbidly obese, people are putting themselves on the fast track towards diabetes and heart attacks. “Every year there is 2. 6 million deaths caused by the effects of obesity” (598). People with obesity have created higher health risks for themselves due to their poor eating and lifestyle habits. Because obesity is starting to cause serious health concerns (diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart attacks) in the United States, the government should initiate a diet program that they can control and monitor.
The government should be allowed at to tell an overweight person to go on a diet so that a person can live a longer healthier life. “Policymakers and public health practitioners need to know the best practices and have the competencies to use laws and legal authorities to reverse the obesity epidemic” (215). Statements like this show the governments concern for the well being of their people. It would be best for the government to have a say in American diets because it will greatly increase the health of our country.
Obesity has also caused a “dramatic increase in health care costs” (598). Another huge reason the government should have a say in American diets is because it will greatly decrease the cost of health care. If the government has a say, their focus will be “to bring down the rate of weight gain, followed by a period of weight maintenance, and finally weight reduction”(602). Through these three steps, Americans will improve their overall health because the diet program “aims at weight maintenance or weight loss without compromising appropriate calorie intake and normal nutrition” (602).
While receiving proper nutrition is very important, it is not the only step towards weight loss. A person must also increase their physical activity. “Moderate intensity regular activity is essential for the prevention of overweight and obesity as well as for treatment” (603). Most Americans are in need of a government controlled diet plan because it is in a person’s best interest to have the government regulate food and promote daily healthy exercise. “Unless this epidemic is contained at a war footing, the implications of this global phenomenon on future generations will be serious” (605).
Unless there is a dramatic change, people will continue to become obese and everyone will be used to having health problems and shorter lives due to their health problems. A government controlled diet may affect overweight people by not being able to be in control of their food choices, they will have a lack of privacy, and the diet may not accommodate everyone. However the pros of the government controlled diet greatly out way the cons. Over all, obesity has become one of the fastest growing and most deadly epidemics in the United States.
People may not like the fact that the government should have a say in what they can or cannot eat, but it will help the country in many different positive ways. One of the greatest outcomes with a government controlled diet is the decreased cost of health care. The government would be fair in the way that they approach a person’s diet by providing the right types of food for a person’s lifestyle. If people are learning that it is acceptable to be obese, then the growth of this issue will never decline, leaving everyone overweight. It is in the people’s best interest for the government to have a say in American diets.
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