Americans are fat. One can regularly see the masses of overweight around town snacking. At the same time, there are countless obese people rolling into emergency rooms and onto surgical tables due to weightrelated health issues. But placing blame squarely on the shoulders of purportedly evil soda companies and fast food corporations is not just political posturing, but ultimately misguided. 

Yes, the unhealthy food and drink that such companies produce is part of the problem, but they are responsible for but a fraction of the problem. The bigger issue is Americans’ attitude towards their own health and consumption and the public’s blatant disregard of personal responsibility. Sure, blame childhood obesity on McDonalds for peddling Happy Meals, but why aren’t we looking at the parents of these children demanding responsibility? If a parent can only afford a Happy Meal for their child, then they should use that money instead to buy fruits, brown rice, and vegetables.

Don’t let the blame rest solely on just companies and parents either. Health is a societal responsibility, not of the government, but of the people. We all have a responsibility as Americans to care for everyone in our communities. That is the true definition of personal responsibility. As American citizens, we have the freedom to make his or her own decisions, but it is also our duty as a community to offer education, support, and encouragement.

Solving the ever growing problem of obesity in the United States will not come at the behest of sweeping regulations by the government. There is no silver bullet, no single man that can hope to change such an entrenched quandary facing our country. The only hope for change is a comprehensive, multi-faceted effort, that begins and ends with Americans’ attitude and responsibility for their own health.

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