Editorial: Fat: Not all our fault

AmericanDietThere is little question that obesity is one of the greatest epidemics in America thus far in the 21st century. In response, health officials from across the country have advocated for increased exercise and eating more nutritious foods as ways to lose weight and be healthier.

But it seems that no matter what, obesity seems to just become a bigger and bigger problem for Americans with little hope of resolution. It even seems as though the federal government has little power to curb this growing epidemic. This problem, however, comes – not from the individual – but instead primarily from corporations that produce food in conjunction with the U.S. sugar industry.

However, a recent documentary removes the blame on the individual, but attributes the irresponsibility of large corporations and bureaucratic government for the creation and perpetuation of this national epidemic.

The documentary, titled “Fed Up,” claims that the root cause of obesity comes from the U.S. sugar industry.

Like its predecessors, such as “Food, Inc.,” it appears that “Fed Up” aims to be a catalyst for change and increased government regulation and a rally call for justice against big business that appears to have an iron grip on the average American.

The documentary even compares the fast food and sugar industries to the U.S. tobacco industry, which was shunned in the eyes of the public after a series of circuit court cases and congressional hearings where representatives of these businesses became known for their well-crafted responses to even the simplest of questions.

Though some may feel inclined to do the same for the sugar industry, simply criminalizing an industry or group of industries for the products they sell doesn’t actually solve the problem. In fact, pointing fingers at other big industries just perpetuates the problem and makes them less inclined to take strides in reducing the impact of these problems.

It may be a little far-fetched to claim that the sugar industry is just as culpable as the tobacco industry during the 1980s and 1990s, but it is nearly impossible to deny that the industry plays a huge role in what goes into the unhealthy foods we buy every day.

In fact, it is ridiculous to say that the sugar industry is completely to blame for the obesity epidemic in America. However, there is something to be said about large corporate industries having at least some amount of accountability in what kind of product they sell to its consumers. If Americans really wanted to fix the obesity epidemic, they would put pressure on their representatives to provide more oversight and accountability to this industry.

  There would most likely need to be much more accountability by government entities than currently exists if the sugar and fast food industries are going to help Americans lead healthier lives.

If Americans really want to stop the obesity crisis in this country, then they need to fight a war on two fronts – call out large and irresponsible corporations as well as choose themselves to eat better, healthier meals. Only that way will Americans be able to start seeing positive changes in national health.