The Personal Responsibility Of Eating Right In Don’t Blame The Eater

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Whatever happened to personal responsibility?” America is facing a growing fast food problem, citizens are becoming obese at alarming rates, but whose to blame? The obvious argument is to throw the blame on the eater, after all, if they didn’t choose to eat fast food, they can’t be fat. Although this is true, it is clear that fast food corporations are also largely at fault. David Zinczenko makes an argument in his article, “Don’t Blame the Eater,” that the corporations are truly the one at fault. Although it’s clear that personal responsibility is a large component as to the growing fast food problem in the United States, Zinczenko argues that the corporations are the one to blame through logical appeals using statistics, descriptive personal anecdotes, and constant questions.

Zinczenko uses startling statistics to show how corporations are to blame. Zinczenko mainly attacks the corporations through their “sneaky” hiding of nutritional values. In his article, he claims, “For example, one company’s Web site lists its chicken salad as containing 150 calories; the almonds and noodles that come with it (an additional 190 calories) are listed separately. Add a serving of the 280-calorie dressing, and you’ve got a healthy lunch alternative that comes in at 620 calories.” By stating this, he is able to show that although fast food companies follow regulations, they clearly hide the important health values of their products, especially given the fact that these fast food corporations have earned the trust of the people, and that the consumer doesn’t feel the responsibility to investigate further than “lies” the corporations have sold to them. By using these statistics, Zinczenko shows that the corporations are at fault for the majority, rather than the consumer. Zinczenko further strengthens his arguments through his personal anecdotes.

In his article, Zinczenko uses descriptive personal anecdotes to show how the average American isn’t at fault for the fast food problem. Zinczenko describes his once teenage years and his monstrous appetite and his choices between the array of fast food chains for meals, he further states that he was also once a rather over weight teenager that falls into the victims of this issue. Most importantly, he states, “Lunch and dinner, for me, was a daily choice between McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut. Then as now, these were the only available options for an American kid to get an affordable meal.” By stating his past experiences with fast food, he is able to effectively establish his credibility, as he was once the same as those fallen in this problem now. This established credibility, his ethos, allows him to connect with the American public. Furthermore, Zinczenko uses rhetorical questions in his article.

Throughout the article, Zinczenko uses many rhetorical questions in order to challenge the corporations. Zinczenko first asks, “Isn’t that like middle-aged men suing Porsche for making them get speeding tickets?” to ridicule this current situation, as the this implies that irresponsible middle age men, who violate the local speed limit and sue car companies, to kids getting obese. He then proposes, “But where, exactly, are consumers – particularly teenagers – supposed to find alternatives?” to point out the abundance of fast food restaurants in the United States. With more fast food restaurants around than anything, does the consumer really have a choice?

Personal responsibility, ultimately, plays a key part in this issue. It is undoubtedly a fact that people must make the right decisions for themselves, and they know what’s best for them. But when it comes to eating, can most people really conquer the craves that fast foods give them? David Zinczenko argues otherwise, it isn’t the eater’s fault, but rather the corporation, Zinczenko argues by using startling statistics, personal anecdotes, and rhetorical questions. It can be said that either are to blame, as there isn’t only one side to this issue. 

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