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Food and Health Problems

Junk Food: The New Prescription for America's Health

A. Our focus on junk food as causative of health problems

2. Healthy food types versus portion control

B. Proposition: How much we eat is more important to our health than what we eat

1. Argument against: junk food makes us fat and unhealthy

a. Health benefits of calorie restriction

b. Mechanism of calorie restriction û B. Sears

C. Junk food versus portion control: reason for lack of studies

D. Tool for teaching calorie restriction: The Smart-Carb Guide

E. Argument in favor of portion control education over food policing

Common belief and recommendations by health professionals and the USDA posit that a healthy diet is determined by eating healthy foods; conversely, a diet composed of fast food and other processed foods is perceived as being a major cause of weight gain and disease in the United States. However, missing in this analysis is a "weighing in" of the roll of portion size versus that of food types consumed. This paper presents the argument that amount of calories we consume may in fact be more important than the types of food we eat in determining our weight and health. Support for this view comes from the field of anti-aging science that indicates extreme benefits in health and longevity may be achieved by simply reducing calories. It follows that to reverse obesity and related health problems, Americans should be educated on portion control, regardless of food preference, as a primary tool and on eating healthy types of foods secondarily.

Recently, the case of two teenagers suing hamburger giant McDonald's for causing their weight gain and diabetes was reopened in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Court revivesà, 2005). Whether or not one believes that food industry advertising has a causative effect on America's obesity epidemic, this recent story brings to light a larger question which, though possibly viewed by many as rh...

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