Your Own Weight

The essay is an in-depth examination of an article written by Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle titled, "Are you responsible for your own weight? Con" published in Jun. 07, 2004.  The article argues for and against involvement of government in the fight against obesity. It is held by Balko that "the government has no business in interfering with what you eat". The efforts by government to see to it that menu are labeled for instance making it known that the food amount of sodium, fats and calories are made public is nothing but the wrong way to fight the menace. On the other hand, Kelly and Marion acknowledge that despite the fact that fast food industry opt to develop they end up promoting food deemed unhealthy. These firms spent billions of shillings as compared to government in promoting their business. Thus government opts to intervene and help create avenues for healthy eating as well as supporting parents brings up children that are healthy (Brownell & Nestle par. 5).

The author has managed to clearly bring out issues his views regarding government support for a healthy nation. This is done in a logic manner. Sentences flow and the English used is simple and easy to understand. The authors did a good job proving their opinion valid.

Summery of the article

The authors content that just like any other industry, food industry engages in promoting unhealthy food in order to stay in business. This is shown by thousands of adverts on mass media such as televisions. This has resulted to youths consuming twice the amount of soda compared to milk. The industry spends billions of money in promotion as compared to a smaller proportion by government in promoting healthy eating. Personal responsibility which entails three major concepts; being overweight is an individual fault, responding to demands of customers is what the industry does and the call not to promote their product is an infringement of freedom (Levy-Navarro 231).

As suggested by the authors, the personal responsibility argument is absolutely wrong for a number of reasons. This is based on the increased cases of obesity year in year out, the whole idea negates biology, other approach such as eating better food as well as engaging in exercise has not worked for the population and finally it is a trap to aimed at keeping at bay government interventions in curbing the menace. Lastly, Kelly and Nestle are of the view that the government has joined hands with food industry in creating the problem and it is up to it to rise to the occasion and save the public by intervening through whatever possible means.

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A thorough analysis of the article reveals to the reader that the argument brought forth in trying to hold individual responsible for their health does not hold water. Similarly, it is the duty of the government not to collude with food industries to promote poor diets and gaining enormous profits but to engage in processes that will see to it that the general public is saved from health related problems as a result of poor dietary. 

Analysis of the article

After a thorough examination of the language used by the authors, it is apparent they tried their best in making their views profession and formal by avoiding colloquial writing. It is apparent that they have a clear comprehension of what constitute formal and informal English. For instance, they used children instead of kids. However, in paragraph one; they used the word kid which degrades their effort of being formal. This ultimately brings out a form of good impression. Additionally, the article has utilized punctuation marks in the most appropriate way. There is no where in the article that the authors used '&' instead they wrote the and in joining sentences. On the same note the use of colon and semi-colon was perfect. Generally speaking the article has limited parentheses, no ampersands, limited dashes as well as no exclamation marks. This leaves the work to look more professional hence persuasive.

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Similarly, Kelly and Nestle managed to avoid use of colloquial words as well as expressions. They had nice choice of words that did not leave readers baffled in trying to comprehend what they (authors) were meaning. For instance instead of saying that myriad of children watch ads of food they give a rough estimate, more than 10,000.  It is worth mentioning that in the article the use of first or second person is not evident. The authors managed to be professional and wrote the article in passive format. This has helped readers to make their own judgment not to be guided by personal feeling of the authors regarding the topic. It is no doubt that the authors developed a mixture of compound and complex sentences. This has worked well in adding variety to the writing and has proved effective coupled with the short sentences as it and grasp readers attention.


More importantly, the article utilized a language free of clichés. This coupled by use of simple English free of jargons have worked well in making sure readers can easily comprehend what the authors intended to pass across. Lastly the authors worked hard in ensuring that their article is free of vague words which are less formal. For instance, they used specific amount of million dollars utilized by government and food industry in their campaigns, $2 million and $500 million respectively rather than using a few or enough (Brownell & Nestle par. 5).

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As suggested by KnowItSome & Nicole, par 7 there is no literary or persuasive essay or article that will be effective without having supporting statements or figure. Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that although such evidence opt to be provided, the source of such information must be reliable, authentic and up to date. Although the authors have tried in furnishing the readers with several evidences especially with regards to amount of money used in campaign for and against food industry as well as the number of children watching ads concerning food, the readers are not told the source of such information. This can easily work against the wishes of the authors because the information they bring forth can be easily disputed as mere lies or allegations with no base (Stender & Astrup 883). Nonetheless, the figures they provided in their article work in their interest as they are eye catching and may interest the reader hence capable of influencing his/her thoughts on the topic.

Logic refers to reasoning usually stemming from critical thinking. It goes without saying that logics are a plus to arriving at convincing or victorious arguments. A closer examination of the statements brought forth by the authors seems to show that they had analyzed their audiences. This is because they used soft tone that will leave readers with a choice of buying their idea without being prejudiced. The authors while bringing forth their argument clearly depict consistency on their view, at no time is did they seem to contradict their view points this makes readers to be fully aware of the authors stand (Boyd par. 4). Additionally, the article has utilized reasoned arguments as the authors successfully managed to make their points without getting emotional, no use of fallacies and name calling. Lastly and more importantly, the article does not give a false generalization about the whole issue of food industry and government intervention. All these works well in ensuring that they convince the readers to hold point of view they (authors) desired.  

Response to the article

In terms of logic and flow, the authors gave an introduction which was brief concerning food industry, their quest to remain in business as well as government involvement without hinting to the readers their stand on the issue. The technique of making their stand known in the last paragraph of the article seems to be having played a major role in keeping readers glued to the article.  The manner with which the article provided readers with statistics is a great literary work but lack of reliable source of information may make one to take a stand contrary to the writers' expectations (Kathleen 54). Concerning the amount of money utilized by both the government and food industries in trying to campaign against and promote the industry respectively, the great disparities amounts to the existing gap in the problem. However, the claim that the government has colluded with these industries in making citizen consume diet that that will negatively impact on their health. This is because the authors did go straight to the point and used simple English which is easily understood. On the same note, Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle makes the readers understand that obesity is a problem that is experienced worldwide, they use no jargons, vague words or colloquial English in putting that across.

Additionally, the authors' arguments against personal responsibility with regards to diet are clearly brought forth. However, some of them for instance "Imploring people to eat better and exercise more has been the default approach to obesity for years" (Brownell & Nestle par. 3). this statement neglects instances where the approach, eating healthy and exercise has worked. This thus is a poor generalization. Similarly, the assertion that the concept of personal responsibility is a trap to ensure that government lessens their stand with regards to fat foods or unhealthy food is partially true. It might be possible that government is giving the industry room to try to conform to the existing legislation before taking further actions with regards to unhealthy foods.

Having in mind that the government is bestowed with the responsibility of not only governing its subject, he authors recognize that it is the same government that also needs to shield and protect their subjects from unhealthy foods. The authors do not mince their word in putting this across (Levy-Navarro 231).

From the analysis of the article by Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle, it is apparent that they managed to clearly bring out issues his views regarding government support for a healthy nation. This is done in a logic manner. Sentences flow and the English used is simple and easy to understand. The authors did a good job proving their opinion valid. This was attained by avoiding use of colloquial language, using simple English, correct use of punctuation, employing evidence where applicable and avoiding use of vague as well as clichés. On the same note, the logic utilized in the work helped them achieve what they wanted. The authors used the kind of language that is easily understood hence working towards convincing the readers to buy their point of view with regards to unhealthy food. The assertion that the government needs to intervene and save the general public through whatever means from food industry promotion of their product seems to be the best way in curbing the problem. 

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From my point of view, the topic is no doubt a burning issue at present in the entire globe. Several measures have been brought forth in curbing the problem but the results have not been impressing. The efforts of trying to blame individuals are in part a plot to exonerate the real culprit from paying for their 'mistakes'. The author did a good job proving their opinion valid.

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