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The fast food restaurants business should be blamed for the global scale of obesity, especially the young obese children. Some may argue that adult individual persons should be hold responsible for their own reckless attitudes towards their food choice. However, according to Brownell and Nestle (2009), Human biology is omitted in this kind of argument: “Humans are hardwired, as a survival strategy, to like foods high in sugar, fat and calories.” Although the consumers should be responsible for their choices to some extent, but in many cases, the fast food restaurants are the root causes. Buying food products in modern society can be very complicated, and the notions of the calories and nutrition are confusing to some of us consumers. This complexity has placed the consumers in a vulnerable and disadvantageous position because of the lack of certain information or technical expertise. Consumers’ rights of knowing what’s in their food, the autonomy to choose different food, fair t...
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The fast food restaurants business should be blamed for the global scale of obesity, especially the young obese children. Some may argue that adult individual persons should be hold responsible for their own reckless attitudes towards their food choice. However, according to Brownell and Nestle (2009), Human biology is omitted in this kind of argument: “Humans are hardwired, as a survival strategy, to like foods high in sugar, fat and calories.” Although the consumers should be responsible for their choices to some extent, but in many cases, the fast food restaurants are the root causes. Buying food products in modern society can be very complicated, and the notions of the calories and nutrition are confusing to some of us consumers. This complexity has placed the consumers in a vulnerable and disadvantageous position because of the lack of certain information or technical expertise. Consumers’ rights of knowing what’s in their food, the autonomy to choose different food, fair trade, could be harmed. The inequality embedded in the fact that the marketers of the fast food usually have a comprehensive technical knowledge about the product, the market, the consumer psychology, and marketing strategies. On the other hand, the consumers usually don’t have sufficient information about the food they are going to purchase to make a healthy choice. Naturally at the receive end of the information, the consumption information is usually subjective even biased.
Besides, the authority of the society should hold fast food companies responsible for the growing obesity epidemic. Due to the inequality of the power dynamic between the consumer and the manufacturer, laws and regulations pertaining to consumer protections are necessary. There are laws and Acts concerning smoking and tobacco Control, a statute about fast food should also be passed to regulate controversial products like empty calories food, which are disastrous to heart health and so on. Those regulations should make sure the public get the fair and truthful information to protect the public health and control the children obesity.
The ethical responsibilities of the fast food companies are to campaign about their food fairly and objectively. They should not only depict the delicious, joyful side of their food, but also the ugly sides, such as the heart disease and diabetes that might be caused by those high calories food. Brownell and Nestle showed us with the number that “In the same year that the government spent $2 million on its main nutrition education program, McDonald’s spent $500 million on its We Love to See You Simile campaign. With this drastic different amount of input to people from the two perspectives, there is no wonder how consumers are deeply brainwashed into certain unhealthy lifestyle that maximum the profits of the fast food companies. People should be made aware of what they are eating, and what would it cause in a long term. The government should stand aside with the public health instead of the big corporation profits.
They are not living up the responsibilities sufficiently. They prioritized their profits over the public health. I think the critics claiming that the fast food companies are no more ethical than drug dealers do have some merit. Fast food has been scientifically proved to be related to multiple kinds of health issues. Some of them are very dangerous, and others are even fatal. They make use of the weakness of the human being, and profit from it at the expense of the public health. To make the matters worse, the whole process usually happens in a long term. People don’t become overweight overnight, and people don’t develop diabetes immediately after a delicious sundae. People are hardwired to prefer those kinds of food and also tend to ignore the risks when it’s not an immediate danger.
 
Work Cited
Brownell, Kelly. & Nestle, Marion. “Not If Blaming the Victim Is Just an Excuse to Let Industry Off the Hook.” Element of Argument. Ed. Annette T. Rottenberg, Donna Haisty Winchell. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2009. 319-320. print.
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