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Cookies for Breakfast

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            The article where I found this image concerns the United States’ obesity epidemic and the exacerbation of it by the food industry. In American culture, obesity has become an important public health issue.  Known for consumerism, America is all about “more”: more money, more material possessions, and more food. In turn, “nearly one-third of American children and adolescents are labeled as overweight or obese, and they are expected to be the first generation who won’t live as long as their parents due to high cholesterol, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases” (Human Rights). The fast-food industry only perpetuates these problems—Pizza Hut recently created the cheeseburger-stuffed pizza, Taco Bell the Dorito-shelled taco, and KFC the bacon and cheese sandwich with fried chicken as a substitute for bread. The image that I found reveals the troubling nature of and reasons for this epidemic. In the image, a variety of sugary foods are piled on a plate. Beside it are a jug of syrup and a soda pop. The image blurs out the face of the person about to eat these foods. This makes the image more generalized—it isn’t just one person about to eat all of these foods (the figure eating is indistinct), but the whole culture. The fists of the person are planted firmly on the table with silverware pointing in the air, showing determination to “attack” this mound of food. This image depicts a particular opinion of Americans: consumers with an obesity problem. The person in the image almost appears to have her eyes closed—this suggests to me that she is on “autopilot,” mindlessly eating food until she finishes. This could suggest the traditional “finish all the food in front of you” stance of many Americans.  I found it interesting that she is using silverware to eat this food. Generally, all of these foods are by hand, as desserts. The silverware suggests that this food is the main course; the type of food you sit down and eat for a main course. This might suggest an implication about our everyday main courses—they are as unhealthy and dangerous as eating a plateful of straight sugar. I also find it interesting that this person is eating alone. It seems more acceptable to munch on some goodies at a get-together or girls night. This person has piled a plateful of goodies to eat by herself. This image seems to be suggesting that these eating habits are a daily part of life and not just an occasional splurge. It also could suggest that eating is less of a social activity for Americans than for those in other cultures. Europeans make a big display of their meals, often including several courses and hours of preparation and consumption. Americans, on the other hand, eat fast and consume large amounts in one portion.  Also, the colors of the image greatly highlight the plate of food. The person eating is blurred and the placemat, walls, and table are all shades of brown (making them indistinct from one another). Since this image is supposed to depict an aspect of American culture, it is clear that the author finds food as the American centerpiece. This image of food depicts reasoning for the obesity problem in America.

Citation: 

Moodie-Mills, Danielle. “How the Food Industry is Enabling the United States.” Human Rights. Nation of Change, 12 Jan 2013. Web. 3 Feb 2013.

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One thought on “Cookies for Breakfast

  1. I also wrote a post on obesity in the United States and I agree that it’s shocking to see just how much fast food has become a part of American culture, to the point where it’s impacting the health of American citizens all across the country. There’s some sad truth behind the image you used. Many Americans remain uneducated about health food, and as a result, they turn to fast food because it’s convenient and easy to get. I liked how you compared the U.S. to Europe in terms of food. It’s a sad comparison but obesity is a huge issue in the United States that we have to start facing right away.

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