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Lure of Junk Food

In her article “Kids battle the lure of junk food” O’Hagan explains how hard it is for the young people to resist the junk food owing to strong market forces. According to O’Hagan, despite the efforts the kids make, the thought of consuming junk food, brought by junk food firms marketing efforts, is tempting. She notes “Treat yourself today," the sign in the cafeteria commands. Just say no, Nathan tries to tell himself. Let's call this the Temptation Complication” (Lure of junk 10). Moreover, she explains that the government has invested in trying to reduce obesity among the young people. Actually, the idea is to enable the kids to have will power to resist the temptations, but so far, majority of them have faced hard times as they try to control their eating habits. In other words, the kids are in constant battle with the lure of the junk food. Subsequently, questions regarding how to maintain kids’ health arises. Similar, concerns are raised by other authors, and therefore, this paper explores how the kids battle the lure of junk food.

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Maureen O’Hagan has been a writer at The Seattle Times for 11 years now. Inherently, she has written a number of articles concerning kids and healthy eating. Some of the articles she has written include; “Parents stand between kids and junk food,” where she claims that the parents are also to blame for their children overweight since they sometimes seem to close their eyes when their children eat junk food. In addition she has also written the article; “State still seeks winning strategy against childhood obesity,”  asserting that although Washington state has laid out strategies that will assist in promoting healthy eating habits, the number of children who are becoming obese is increasing. Moreover, O’Hagan, has also written an article titled “How to help your kids lose weight healthfully,” to provide some of approaches that are imperative in assisting the kids maintain healthy diet. Another article by O’hagan is “School lunch has so many issues to chew on, it's tough to change” where she describes the efforts by a number of schools to serve Washington-grown foods in their cafeteria, although they have not yet achieved the expected results.

Inherently, O’hagan presents significant challenges faced by many stakeholders in trying to reduce the occurrence of obesity cases among the children. According to the O’hagan, the local agencies have invested great deal of money with an aim of combating obesity. Specifically, she notes that over $53 million has been awarded to several agencies to establish effective approaches of reducing overweight in the children (Lure of junk 9). However, this effort seems not to work since the agencies have not yet achieved positive results. This leaves people wondering whether it will be possible to reduce the overweight and obesity cases among the kids today. However, Dietrich believes that there are other possible approaches that can go a long way in achieving the state expectations of low rates of obesity among the kids (Dietrich 2). Dietrich is also concerned with the current trend of obesity in the young kids and, as a result, he proposes some approaches. He claims that there could be other factors, apart from junk food, that also contribute to overweight in young children such as hanging out and video games. Consequently, programs that will involve children in physical activities will offer a great deal of assistance. Actually, Dietrich advocates for programs that concentrates on the sporting activities that are more inclusive but less competitive (Dietrich 7).

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Like O’Hagan, Ani is also concerned at the way junk food firms are luring young children into consuming the unhealthy product. According to Ani, several major firms in junk food industry are taking advantage of the fact that most of the kids are now using internet to market their products online (Ani 1). This is after advertising association in Britain banned television adverts of the junk food. However, the firms’ relentless efforts are evident as they are now trying to entice the kids to consume the unhealthy products through their online promotions using games, childish language along with free gifts. Actually, Ani notes that it even though there are no regulations for governing online advertisement, as it is on the television ads, it is unethical for the firms to persuade the children into consuming what they do not want (Ani 7). Consequently, this has really made it hard for the young generation to resist such offers. Actually, these challenges faced in Britain are similar to the ones O’hagan highlights. O’Hagan notes that a number of businesses are taking advantage of the young people’s timidity to make them consume the unhealthy products (Lure of junk 7). Moreover, O’hagan and Ani seem to agree on the fact that the advertising of junk foods is one factor that is pushing the kids to consume them even though it is not their will to do so.

Essentially, Ani, and O’hagan seem to also agree on the fact that the kids are not to blame for their obesity. First, O’hagan claims that the parents are also to blame for their children overweight since they sometimes seem to close their eyes when their children eat junk food (Parents stand between kids 3). Moreover, she believes that parents have a responsibility of regulating what their children are eating, and especially, while they are around. Besides, O’Hagan believes that the junk food firms marketing strategy is ruining the efforts the kids make of not consuming junk foods (Lure of junk 7). Similarly, she explains that the government has invested a lot of resources in trying to reduce obesity among the young people with no avail, due to contrary approaches by the companies. Subsequently, this means children should not at all be blamed for the mess they get themselves into of getting overweight. Likewise, Ani shares the same sentiments that firms’ efforts to market their unhealthy products continue to ruin the kids’ health (Ani 7). Actually, he reveals that a number of businesses are taking advantage of the young people’s timidity to make them consume the unhealthy products. Actually, according to Ani, the firms are employing persuasive mechanisms by promoting their products online using games, childish language, along with free gifts. As a result, this has won children’s heart, and has now continued to feed on junk food.

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Generally, O’hagan has presented clear argument concerning the junk food. Actually, she does not only provide solutions to the challenges that the kids are facing, but also she utilizes relevant statistics in the article. O’hagan proposes that changing food environment can greatly assist help the kids to desist from consuming junk food (Lure of junk 42). That is, making healthy foods to be available to the kids everywhere, will as a result, convince them to choose right food. Similarly, Dietrich makes use of statistics too while presenting his solutions to the obesity problem (Dietrich 6). Inherently, use of statistics tends to convince people since it makes the argument to sound more real than a fabricated story and consequently, the articles by O’hagan and Dietrich are quite sensible. Similarly, Ani argument seems to be authentic owing to the sources which he quotes, although if he utilized some statistics, the article would appear more reliable (Ani 6). Therefore, O’hagan has dealt with a very relevant topic concisely and exhaustively.

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