Darian Perez


September 2015

My Childhood Obesity Essay

Child obesity has been proven to have gotten reprehensible over the past decade. People say that the snacks in the school should be banned. Could it be the schools that are promoting it when they sell their sugary treats and is it their responsibility to ban them? No, schools do not have the responsibility to ban the treats because even if they did the kids would bring their own, there would be a financial loss, and a huge budget impact.

Indeed, if junk food was banned from schools the kids would bring their own junk food from their homes. Eventually, the kids would commence to bring candy and drinks to school and sell them to their fellow classmates creating a black market of sugary treats.  Also, if schools were to completely change their entire diet and sell “organic” or “healthier” things it would cost so much more for the seller and the buyer. Last but not least there would be a budget cut from the kids’ extracurricular activities. There would not be enough money to provide nonnecessities for kids that have hobbies or their fun field trips because they would be too worried about the kids’ “diet.”

By the same token, if the sale of junk food was banned the kids would still bring their “junk” from home so the statistics of childhood obesity would be exactly the same. I found proof of this by “Some predict kids will just bring soft drinks and candy from home” (Source B). The candy or soft drinks are bought when students’ parents don’t feel like going to the store, so instead the parent gives money to get it at school. With the junk food ban kids wouldn’t have anything interesting to eat and might end up not eating at all. You can’t force a child to eat something they don’t like it.

Furthermore, healthier foods cost a lot more than the “junk food” being sold. If schools were to go organic there would be a devastating financial loss. Not every school has a lot of money like the private schools in the world. They make their money off of the things the sell and the fundraisers. Stated in the article, “Changes will have a negative financial impact on School Food Service and difficult decisions about funding will need to be addressed in the future” (Source D). Believe it or not schools should not have a financial loss if they keep selling the miscellaneous foods and drinks.

Additionally, the extracurricular activities for students will be cut off the budget. Stated in Source F “With dozens of machines lining their hallways, some schools annually earn $50,000 or more in commissions, then use the money for marching bands, computer centers and field trips that might otherwise fall by the wayside,” gives proof of the budget cut. Extracurricular activities aren’t a must but every kid loves field trips and it’s a break from the hard work in school. Also, if there were budget cuts schools directly point towards the sports because they are the most expensive. It is guaranteed that if there are no sports then schools will lose students.

On the other hand, sometimes schools will send “mixed messages.” But critics say schools send a mixed message by teaching good nutrition and then selling high-fat, high-sugar snacks to students (Source B). Yes students are taught that but that is up to the child and parents to decide about the diet. Teachers are just informing the students about the information and explaining the consequences. The Arizona School Boards Association and the Arizona Association of School Business Officials oppose the bill… “This issue should be left to the local parents, the local school districts… (Source B).

In conclusion, schools do not have the responsibility of banning the junk food because it can do a lot of harm to the schools. A budget loss could occur and serious financial impacts. Students will bring their own junk food from home anyways so what is the point of banning them?


Article 2

Weller, Chris. “Britain’s Childhood Obesity Epidemic Has Officials Seeking Drastic Measures.” Medical Daily. N.p., 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2015.

Britain’s Childhood Obesity Problem Swells: Can 20% Taxes On Soft Drinks And Fast-Food Relocations Save The Youth?

Read more: Obesity Rates Finally Declining Among Low-Income Preschoolers: Is Health Education Working?

The rates have just about evened out: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health England, the rates of childhood obesity in the United States and Britain hover around 18 percent. However, both countries are heading in opposite directions it may seem. Given the growing population of obese children, British lawmakers are seeking approval for 20 percent taxes on soft drinks and zoning codes that prohibit fast-food restaurants from setting up shop near schools, playgrounds, and other areas frequented by kids.

Poor diet and sedentary lifestyles remain the suspected causes of the obesity epidemic, according to a report issued by the British Heart Foundation.

“These figures are a warning that many of our children are in grave danger of developing coronary heart disease,” the foundation’s chief executive, Simon Gillespie, said in an appearance on the ITV network’s morning show Daybreak.

Spearheading the effort is the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC), Britain’s leading doctors’ group, which released a detailed report in February prescribing potential solutions to the epidemic. The report called the UK “the fat man of Europe.”

Outlined in the report — which the AMRC refers to as a “campaign” — are 10 key steps that “must be taken to make real inroads into tackling the obesity crisis in the UK.”

These 10 include education programs for healthcare professionals, weight management services, nutritional standards for hospitals, increasing support for new parents, nutritional standards in schools, decreased fast-food outlets near schools, junk food advertising, sugary drinks tax, food labeling, and an environment conducive to activity.

Unsurprisingly, the food and beverage industries have taken issue with limits on food advertising and taxes on sugary drinks.

Read more: UK’s Childhood Obesity Crisis Quadruples Pediatric Hospital Admissions

“Obesity is a serious and complex problem, but a tax on soft drinks, which contribute just 2 per cent of the total calories in the average diet, will not help address it,” said Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, in a statement. “61 per cent of soft drinks now contain no added sugar and we have seen soft drinks companies lead the way in committing to further, voluntary action as part of the government’s Responsibility Deal Calorie Reduction Pledge.”

The government predicts that childhood obesity rates will reach 25 percent by 2050.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) doesn’t see the justification for further limiting junk food advertisements on television, as the organization believes the restrictions are already tight enough. A 2007 ruling now prevents celebrities, licensed characters, or health claims from being tied to food and drink ads specifically marketed to children under the age of 12. However, the FDF refers to data from Ofcom — the national communications authority in the UK — which reports little change in obesity directly from limiting advertisements.

“Advertising restrictions alone will not solve the complex issue of obesity,” an FDF statement reports. “For instance: Ofcom research shows that advertising has only a ‘modest direct effect’ on children’s food choice of approximately 2%.”

The dangers of childhood obesity have experts scrambling for solutions, however. Complications from obesity can range from diabetes to heart disease to a host of other problems. Treating them early on is advantageous, no matter the source. And many of the foods we consume are purely habit at this point, Gillespie added.

“The sorts of things that people are accepting as normal now,” he told Daybreak, “will actually cause significant problems for our children and teenagers.”

S (speaker): Journalist or writer for the Medical Daily

O (occasion): lawmakers are wanting to put a tax on the soft drinks and prohibiting fast food restaurants from being close to schools

A (audience): parents, local fast food owners, people who are interested in making a change

P (purpose): to inform readers about making a change to unhealthy diets and the obesity in children

S (subject): ending of childhood obesity by putting tax on junk food and banning close by fast food restaurants near schools

TONE: informative

First Article

Cha, Ariana Eunjung. “Coca-Cola Is Funding Obesity Research with a Biased Message, Nutrition Experts Say.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2015.

Coca-Cola is funding obesity research with a biased message, nutrition experts say

August 10

Coca-Cola came under fire Monday for donating millions of dollars to a nonprofit that has been spreading the message in medical journals and through social media that the blame for America’s obesity epidemic is not about diet but a lack of exercise.

The issue, the New York Times reported, is that the view is misleading and meant to deflect attention away from recent studies about sugary drinks and their link to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

“Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, told the Times.

As government funding for scientific research has dwindled over the past few decades, corporate donations have stepped in to make up for the shortfall, resulting in a tangled web of conflicts of interest in nearly every research area with any money-making possibilities. Obesity research has been among the most controversial areas for corporate sponsorships or partnerships because of its impact on hundreds of billions of dollars of food and beverage sales annually.

[Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths a year]

Coca-Cola isn’t the only big sugar company to donate money for nutrition science. Its competitors PepsiCo, Nestle and other brand names are also big players and their assistance has also drawn some criticism.

Yale University officials came under fire in 2010 after they accepted $250,000 from PepsiCo for a post-doc fellowship in obesity studies at the medical school. Yale alumna Michele Simon, a public health attorney, told the Yale Daily News that PepsiCo’s gift was disingenuous: “[T]he profit drivers of their portfolio include Pepsi, Gatorade and a whole litany of unhealthy beverages,” she said. “They own Cheetos, for God’s sake.”

The Nestle Research Center, whose corporate parent makes all manner of sugary products — including chocolate, cookies, ice cream and chocolate cookie ice cream — funded Nature‘s special Obesity supplement in April 2014. The highly respected journal, which published an opinion piece in that issue that was critical of processed foods, prominently emphasized that despite the sponsorship “as always, Nature carries sole responsibility for all editorial content.”

The New York Times reported that Coke gave $1.5 million to the Global Energy Balance Network. One of the nonprofit’s scientists, Steven N. Blair, said in a video: “Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’– blaming fast food, sugary drinks and so on. And there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”

The video ignores recent studies like the one published in the journalCirculation in June linking the consumption of sugary drinks to an estimated 184,000 adult deaths each year, including more than 25,000 Americans.

The biggest challenge for researchers accepting money from corporate sources may not necessarily be research bias but the appearance of research bias.

In a March 2014 editorial in the International Journal of Obesity, Martin Binks, a professor of nutrition science at Texas Tech University, said that the concern over corporate-funded research may be leading us to overlook some relevant, high quality studies the companies fund and overvalue some studies that are not as well done but funded through public or philanthropic channels.

“Discussions about the merit and objectivity of the underlying science frequently take a back seat to ad hominem attacks on researchers or accusations of malicious corporate intent in the absence of any objective scientific appraisal of the research,” Binks wrote.

Binks advocated more transparency in studies, including full disclosure about all potential conflicts of interest, so that the science can be judged rather than where the money is coming from.

“In short,” he argued, “scientist need to practice good science, sponsors must commit to transparency and noninfluence, media needs to practice responsible scientific journalism, and we all need to base our evaluations on scientific data and not on predetermined opinions rooted in our own emotion-laden bias for or against specific funding sources.”

S (speaker): a writer or journalist from the Washington post

O (occasion): coca cola donated money to a nonprofit 

A (audience): local people, people who are interested in the news, people who like coca cola products

P (purpose): to inform readers about the sneaky behavior coca cola is doing by funding a nonprofit to tell biased messages

S (subject): coca cola attempting to change opinions with biased information

TONE: alarming; warning

Facts about Kierkegaard

1. He was a slight handicap; he fell from a tree when he was younger.
2. Kierkegaard’s philosophy and “muse” for his writings was inspired by the love of his life.
3. He went to Berlin to study philosophy.
4. He was made fun “satirized and lampooned.” This affected his writing because he would make furious denunciations and opinions in his journals.
5. Kierkegaard collapsed on the street with a stroke and eventually died. His work was then well known.

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