Is bigger really better?

Essay by jennypenny224College, UndergraduateA+, November 2003

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Is Bigger Really Better?

Growing up, humans are trained to think of food as a reward. Every time children do well in a class room, the teacher may reward them with a lollipop. Therefore, children conclude that they will be rewarded with food for good behavior every time. Even as children grow up to become independent adults, they are conditioned to think of food as a reward. After a long day at school or at work, some people may go through the drive-thru window of McDonald's to reward themselves for a hard day's work. This is one of the reasons why Americans are becoming increasingly fat--we reward ourselves with food! The fast food businesses realize this and offer larger proportions for a better value, therefore causing Americans to become obese and unhealthy.

In her essay, Jean Leedom Wilkensen argues that Americans are obsessed with bigger sizes and larger quantities, and that we would rather have too much of something than too little of something.

She believes that bigger proportions have caused Americans to become obese (over 30% larger than their ideal body weight) and unhealthy. Her theory is that "extravagance has become a norm". Our cars have evolved from "compact and efficient" to huge SUVs, with large masses of steel. She further explains the increase in the size of houses and entertainment systems as well. Although the size of a typical family has decreased, the need for larger houses has become greater. The average American home has tripled from 1,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet since the 1970's. When televisions were first introduced into the household, they took the form of small boxes that would be set in the middle of a living room. Now, televisions may be as big as 60 inches, fully equipped with surround sound stereo...