Why so-called junk food isn’t the real problem

fast food

When will people stop slandering that poor defenceless burger over there?

With childhood obesity still a concern for people with nothing better to do, it’s only natural that the moral guardians pick on what they’ve deemed as “junk food” (which they only seem to call junk because it isn’t as healthy as an apple). People are so quick to blame fast food, soft drinks and sweets alone for childhood obesity, but I think that’s just because they’re easy scapegoats.

While I admit that it would be hopelessly myopic to blame all childhood obesity on parents, I hold the belief that many parents don’t seem to like confronting the issue of childhood obesity, because when they do, it’s one of those situations that forces them to take a look at their ability as parents. Many parents don’t like to believe that they’ve failed as parents, and a lot of parents try their best. But not all parents have fine motives, and it’s the bad parents who either:

  • Allow their kids to be morbidly obese.
  • When confronted with childhood obesity, shift the responsibility of raising a healthy child onto fast food and advertising corporations, as if they’re the ones doing all the work.

When people talk about so-called junk food, it’s almost always in a negative context, and nearly all discussion seems to focus on how it’s bad for you. I’m aware of the possible health risks, and I still eat it, and I’m perfectly fine. Have any of the moral guardians who complain about unhealthy foods even tried to eat in moderation? In my opinion, if you got a heart attack from eating to many cheeseburgers it’s your own fault. The same goes if your kids gain a little too weight – it’s their own fault for eating too much junk food, not the parents or stores that supply them.

What I really hate is when people blame fast food restaurants for their own health problems. Are people so afraid of taking responsibility for their own choices that they’ll resort to cheap scapegoating? Is that really the mature way to handle your problems? I say absolutely not. I think some parents just get upset about this because they tend to rely on fast food restaurants like McDonalds to feed their kids so that they don’t have to cook. That’s not why fast food restaurants exist. They exist to satisfy their customers with (hopefully) good food at a usually affordable price with instant service. If every restaurant existed to feed an ever-growing population of children so the parents don’t have to cook, then the food would be dirt cheap, and nobody other than the people who work at the restaurants would know how to cook.

fast food

On the plus side, the fast food and catering industries would be booming.

My point is that if we continue blaming our health problems on fast food, then we’re only continuing to prove to ourselves that we can’t eat responsibly. When will people learn to take responsibility for their health. If they did, we wouldn’t be having this problem in the first place.

Before I finish, I should clear something up. Eating responsibly doesn’t mean staying away from “junk food” altogether. If you like it, you can still have it, but don’t have too much of it. Eating responsibly simply means having a balanced diet, which can include occasional fast food. The way I see it, fast food alone doesn’t kill people. We’re slowly killing ourselves by having too much of it.

As for childhood obesity, I think the real solution is to teach children to eat responsibly. I know that children normally have higher rates of metabolism, but it makes no difference if they consume more calories than they work off. If we teach kids to eat “junk food” in moderation rather than trying to deprive them of it entirely (which is ultimately a self-defeating effort because they’ll always find a way to get it), I think we’ll produce a healthier generation of children, and hopefully turn the tide of the obesity problem without sacrificing the food we love.


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