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Nutrition and Obesity, Article Writing Example

Pages: 3

Words: 882

Article Writing

Article #1

In his New York Times article, “a Mathematic challenge to Obesity,” Claudia Dreifus assesses the science of obesity with mathematics. Claudia researches all of the in-depth concepts of health an nutrition “Carson C. Chow deploys mathematics to solve the everyday problems of real life. As an investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he tries to figure out why 1 in 3 Americans are obese (Dreifus, 2012).” The author concludes her article by pointing her readers in the direction of nutrition.

Dreifus does not contend with the concept of an obesity epidemic as she notes, “I could see the facts on the epidemic were quite astounding. Between 1975 and 2005, the average weight of Americans had increased by about 20 pounds. Since the 1970s, the national obesity rate had jumped from around 20 percent to over 30 percent (Dreifus, 2010).” Dreifus makes it very clear that she  doesn’t oppose the idea that obesity is genetic, but does identify nutrition as the key.

The study also found that the fatter one gets, the easier it is to gain weight. The author points this fact out by stating that “An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one (Dreifus, 2010).” Dreifus finds that dieters on average lose weight consistently every three years so long as they don’t cheat on their diets (Dreifus, 2010).” Dreifus notes that large rapid changes or variations in one’s daily food intake of food will not cause variations in weight, as long as your average food intake over a year is about the same (Dreifus, 2010).” I found the majority of all this information useful as most dieters are in the dark as to what to eat or not eat, but the information that was most telling is the concept that nutrition can outshine genetics.

Dreifus does eliminate the genetically predisposed limit. She finds that just because someone has the history of obesity in their family, it does not condemn them to a life of being obese, she says, “As for the genetic argument, yes, there are people who are genetically disposed to obesity, but if they live in societies where there isn’t a lot of food, they don’t get obese (Dreifus, 2010).”

In sum this article took the position of being a myth buster, when it comes to obesity. My initial reaction to the information Dreifus presents is one of skepticism as the core message Dreifus is trying to get across is that nutrition is the key deciding factor in weight loss, or weight gain.

Article  #2: Food Labels

In their study, “Food Labeling to advance better education for life,” authors Bonsmann, Celemin and Grunert assess the relationship between food labeling and essentially the human nature that follows in response to that labeling. For this study they looked at nine different set of criteria, specifically, WP1 Labeling incidence, penetration and typology, WP2 Attention & Reading, WP3 Liking & attractiveness, WP4 Understanding & inferences, WP5 In-store use of labels, WP6 Effects of labels on dietary patterns, WP 7 Implications for public policy, retailers and industry, WP8 Dissemination and stake-holder involvement and finally management. After presenting a long drawn out assessment of many different study methods, and research backing the validity of choosing those particular methods, all core findings are put on hold until further evaluations can be assessed. The core thesis of the study is that food labels post a threat to consumers, in real world shopping situations.

The authors note that “Nutrition labels are potentially a major instrument for enabling consumers to make healthier food choices, but current insights into how nutrition labels are used by consumers in real-world shopping situations are limited, making the science-based formulation of new labeling policies and the evaluation of existing ones difficult (Bonsmann, Celemı´n & Grunert, 2010).” The problem is presented, but then the authors take the position that it’s too complex to address. “A wide range of qualitative and quantitative consumer research methods is being used, including physical auditing, label sorting tasks, eye tracking and electro dermal response, structured interviews and analysis of retail scanner data (Bonsmann, Celemı´n & Grunert, 2010).” Here the authors acknowledge the fact that a lot of effort goes into monitoring the food purchasing habits of consumers. My problem with this statement is very similar to my problem with the first line mentioned the authors take a defeatist approach to how they gather their data. The authors actually close by stating that, Once the data from WPs 2 to 6 become available, a holistic analysis of the interaction between consumers, nutrition labels and the environment will be possible, ultimately providing a solid information basis for future research and public policy(Bonsmann, Celemı´n & Grunert, 2010).” These words confirm that this is an incomplete study.

In sum, my problem with taking the position that consumers need a chaperon to buy healthy food, or to explain to them how to read labels, is that it undermines the reader. Likewise, it think in this study too much attention was paid towards methodology and not enough attention was given to actually finding results.

Work Cited

Bonsmann, S., Celemı´n, L., & Grunert, K. (2010). Food labeling to advance better education for life. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Dreifus, C. (2012). A mathematical challenge to obesity.The New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/science/a-mathematical-challenge-to-obesity.html

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