America's Love Affair With Convenience Food

Essay by bb9407High School, 11th gradeA, November 2014

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of US adults are obese. On the path to adulthood, this statistic is quite alarming, as it should be. With the rise of the fast food industry America is gaining more and more weight, and scarily enough, people are being set up for obesity before they even exit the womb.

Among mothers there's always been the suspicion that what she eats while pregnant, will turn into a long-term preference for the food in her unborn child. The book Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom details a study done in Britain of precisely this theory. Groups of pregnant and lactating rats were given two different diets, one half a regular rat diet, and the other profuse amounts of junk food. When the baby rats were born, researchers found that the babies whose mothers ate junk food while pregnant were 95 percent more likely to overeat than those whose mothers ate rat chow alone.

Upon reading this I thought to myself, but we're humans! How do we know it will have the same effect? Josephine Todrank, PhD helpfully explains that "'If [a mother] eats healthy food, the child will prefer healthy food'". So if a mother eats McDonald's all throughout her pregnancy her child will inevitably develop an affinity for the fast food. But what if the mother did eat healthily while pregnant and still has an overweight child?

The chances are that she just may be a pushover. It's no secret that children try to argue and negotiate most everything to their favor, and it's becoming more commonplace that food is the key point of fixation for a child. There's a couple different techniques a kid could go for: the "If you buy me this chocolate bar I'll clean...