I’m studying and need help with a Writing question to help me learn.
First, before reading the debate, note if you are for or against the statement (before reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?). Then note if your position changed or remained the same after you read the debate (after reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?) Give any insights on the debate or debate topic.
PRO- Americans are unhealthy because we are “obsessed by the idea of eating healthily” (3).
Society has force-fed the concept of a healthy life-style down American’s throats, causing them to lead unhealthy lifestyles. From checking out at the supermarket to sitting in our living rooms watching tv, society is brainwashing us to desire the fast, easy weight loss diets. The result of this not only forces one to reflect negatively on one’s self-esteem, but it creates an idea of what a perfect body is supposed to look like. This causes yo-yo dieting ( an unrealistic goal consistent diet habit that causes weight to fluctuate to their original weight or to a heavier weight) which makes people obsessed with unrealistic goals. Being obsessed with eating healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean consistently eating, in some cases, people binge eat by either skipping meals or consuming too much at once. Some of these eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, and obesity all of which are the results of Americans being obsessed with eating healthy.
Another cause of unhealthy obsessed Americans are due to the terms range-fed, cage-free, nonGMO, no trans fat. This lingo has become societies favorite terms on what’s acceptable to eat. But with this new lingo, what are the people eating exactly? The author Michael Pollan describes that people are now confronted “in the supermarket or at the dinner table the dilemmas of omnivorousness” (5). Being in the 21st century, whereas everyone has dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and only consuming organic food has changed the culture around eating. The obsession with eating healthy has made eating restrictive which causes people unsure about what is eating healthy.
This was proven in 1977 when “a Senate committee had issued a set of “dietary goals” warning beef-loving Americans to lay off the red meat”(2). Pollan continues to explain to the reader that the government is incorrectly encouraging citizens to restrict themselves from eating red meat, but studies show otherwise. Dr. Robert C. Atkin views mislead others more so by encouraging them to increase their protein intake and decrease on carbs. With this misinterpreted information, Americans began to lead to unhealthy lifestyles.
Overall; Michael Pollan displays the truth behind why Americans are living unhealthy lifestyles while being obsessed with the idea of eating healthily.
Essentially, there are so many beliefs concerning how the fact that Americans are unhealthy due to the notion of eating healthy. About Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, modern American society has an obsession with healthy eating lifestyles. However, this is not true because healthy eating can be defined within the need to attain a healthier way of life. Most of the time we keep thinking about what we eat instead of why and when we eat. We allow scientists to brainwash us on what to eat and what we should not eat.
On the other hand, the idea that the obsession with eating healthy has made most people restrict themselves from certain eating foods such as fats, and sugars and are not even sure of healthy foods anymore is inconsiderate. As such, I disagree with the statement that withdrawing some foods, such as curbs, sugars, and fats is not eating healthy (Pollan). I believe that some of the cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes are as a result of consuming unhealthy foods such as a lot of sugars. Also, when a lot of fats and carbs are consumed in the body, it results in diseases such as obesity. Therefore, withdrawing such foods can be termed as healthy eating (Patrick 99).
Also, it is stated that another reason for unhealthy obsessed Americans is due to the restriction by the government form in taking red meat. I oppose this statement since red meat cause’s gout and other diseases (Patrick 100). Therefore, when the government warns people from consuming much of the red meat which is a very positive move. Healthy eating is essential to our bodies and minimizing the intake of red meat means that we mind about our health (Matthews).
I believe that Pollan underestimates the phrase healthy eating. I think that Americans are not obsessed with a healthy diet and instead are doing what is best for their health and bodies. Also, through healthy eating, they are to prevent various diseases that are brought about by bad eating habits and lifestyle.
Do you think the American diet is different from other countries? Pollan compares American eating habits with those realized in other cultures, especially the French. The French have a lower percentage of obesity among adults as compared to Americans, even though many argue that their diet is less healthy.
Matthews, Glenna. “Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture.” (2018): 998-999.
Patrick, Colin. “Food Ethics.” Teaching Philosophy 35.1 (2012): 99-101.
Pollan, Michael. The omnivore’s dilemma: the search for a perfect meal in a fast-food world. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009.
- Americans are unhealthy because we are “obsessed by the idea of eating healthily” (3). CON SIDE.
Most Americans today are in a dilemma when it comes to choosing the right type of food to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Michael Pollan, in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, addresses this issue while explaining in depth why human beings are omnivores. According to Pollan, Americans are “obsessed by the idea of eating healthily” judging from the continuously changing eating culture as compared to other countries such as Italy and France. For the most part, the national eating disorder is a challenge even in the modern world, the need to understand the existing dilemma in choosing what to eat.
Arguably, a change in Americans’ eating habits was realized at around 2002 when most families abandoned bread which was considered a staple meal in the past centuries to lose weight. Since then researchers have been carrying out studies to help Americans identify the most suitable diet plan. Yet, it is still a national paradox to eating. As mentioned earlier, countries such as France have a different approach of deciding what they eat; “on the basis of such quaint and unscientific criteria as pleasure and tradition,” (Pollan). Americans consider this a “French Paradox” while disregarding the challenge at home which further supports their obsession with the idea of healthy living.
Typically, people eat everything as realized from the types of foods traced from dinner plates from time to time. It is not easy to decide the most suitable type of food to consume. Pollan successfully identifies that corn is one of the biggest problems contributing to the ‘national eating disorder’. As such, corn is in many products consumed by Americans despite the fact that it supposedly continues to drive human and other plants out of the state of Iowa. The aspects of residing in the state of Iowa and growing corn are not mutually exclusive as the fear is contributed by the bad publicity. Apart from that Pollan further identifies the problem of cattle’s health (66). Specifically, cattle are fed by feedlots that are susceptible to carrying bacteria that can find their way in food (70).
Overall, it is in the interest of every American to have a healthy life, but it is clear that there is an increasing concern in defining healthy food. It is not about the perspective of other countries, but the specific cultures of eating habits of the American population. Pollan questions individuals’ choices of what to eat considering all choices have profound consequences. Being keen on these choices will help reduce the epidemic of diabetes and obesity.
Pollan, Michael. The omnivore’s dilemma: A natural history of four meals. Penguin, 2006.
PEPLY TO CON FROM PRO
As I was reading over your argument, I noticed that there are some commonalities that correspond to my views. The concepts that I agree with is that America has a national eating disorder. The cause of the eating disorder is a set of unrealistic goals that have been brainwashed in America’s society. The unrealistic goals force one to negatively reflect on their self-esteem, leading to the latest fast, easy week-long diet. Another thing that I would come into agreement with you is when you stated that even though Americans continue to research the evolution of their eating habits, it’s still a “national paradox to eating”. Overall, American’s goal is to find what keeps us healthy and alive the longest, so we will continue to research and test those discoveries. Even though I agree with a lot of your concepts throughout your argument, there are some ideas I disagree with.
The dilemma you referred to in the first paragraph is primarily caused by the Government’s influence by providing an infinite amount of options. Those opinions can be overwhelming to some because the Americas begin to want more than they need, which leads to binge eating. In my argument, I explained what binge eating is, its skipping meals or consuming too much at once. Another concept I would disagree with you is that you state that “ people eat everything”. Like I pointed out in the argument, Being in the 21st century, whereas everyone has dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, plant-based and only consuming organic food has changed the culture around eating. The author Michael Pollan describes that people are now confronted “in the supermarket or at the dinner table the dilemmas of omnivorousness” (5). Overall, the concept of eating healthy has caused Americans to pursue negative lifestyles.