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Do High Prices of Healthy Food Contribute to the Rate of Obesity in Our Society: Argumentative Essay

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Obesity is a global issue that many countries are having difficulty addressing. There is no simple solution and no country has yet been successful in significantly reducing obesity.

The World Health Organization, also referred to as WHO, states that obesity is a chronic disease defined as a condition of abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.’ [footnoteRef:1] [1:]

In 2014 and 15, over one in four Australian adults were obese. This represents five million Australians aged 18 and over, more than two million men were obese, and close to 2.5 million women were obese. In comparison to 1995, the number of obese Australians calculated in 2015 has increased by over 49%. In 2017 and 2018 surveys gathered information displaying that two-thirds of Australian adults were overweight or obese a total of 12.5 million people. Australia is ranked fifth for obesity above countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland[footnoteRef:2]. People who are obese, in comparison to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at risk for many serious diseases and health conditions including, a higher risk of death, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and breathing problems along with body pain, difficulty with functioning and mental illnesses. [2:]

Obesity results from a combination of causes and contributing factors such as behavior and genetics. Behavior can include dietary patterns and inactivity. In addition, the food marketing and promotion of reduced prices of unhealthy food in our society largely contribute to obesity rates.

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Argument 1: Healthy food costs more than unhealthy food.

Over time the cost of healthy food has increased more than unhealthy items which affect the food selection made by society. The more we spend on food, the healthier our diet is. In places such as supermarkets, the prices of junk food are rapidly reducing more frequently than those of healthy food. Research conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health showed the daily cost of consuming a healthy 2,000-calorie diet is approximately $1.50 more per person compared to a 2,000-calorie unhealthy diet[footnoteRef:3]. This results in an estimate of $550 extra per person each year and for many low-income earners, it is a noticeably large amount. Overall, diets that include a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish are significantly more expensive than unhealthy diets with heavily processed foods, refined grains, and meats. [3:]

Argument 2: The availability of unhealthy food.

The type of food which is easily accessible and available plays an important role in our health. As time has progressed the popularity of unhealthy foods has increased the availability. The demand for more range of food by customers has encouraged manufacturers of big loveable companies such as Mcdonald’s and Hungry Jacks to expand their business. Many fast food restaurants are found all together in a big cluster or no more than ten minutes from each other. This has become an extremely convenient situation for many in our society. As humans, we have become progressively lazier and more dependent on those around us. Who would want to spend half an hour cooking a healthy meal and then go five minutes from their house and buy cheap unhealthy foods which taste irresistibly good?

Argument 3: The advertising and marketing used to promote them.

Consumers are highly encouraged through marketing and promotions. Many highly processed foods sold at fast food restaurants are commonly advertised and marketed as healthy. Manufacturers use techniques in order to draw attention by using terms such as ‘light’ or ‘100 percent natural’ and create advertisements glamorizing the consumption of the food and the low prices. The constant exposure to images of unhealthy foods normalizes those choices in our everyday lives. We all know that they are foods we should eat on occasion, but that is hard to remember when we are constantly exposed to ads emotionally promoting cheap unhealthy food on trains, buses, television, media, roadside billboards even hospitals and health care facilities. These advertisements trick our minds into craving and later buying. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an estimated 50 percent of ads we are exposed to are food related. Those 50 percent of ads exclude any fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices[footnoteRef:4]. [4:]


In conclusion, although the core problem of the rising obesity rates in our society is the cheap prices of unhealthy foods, marketing, and availability play a big part in affecting society in a negative way. An increased range of cheap unhealthy foods, which have become more accessible and convenient, along with well-planned and persuasive food marketing is contributing to society’s problem of obesity. In my opinion, the society we live in has become lazy and impatient, and we have found a quicker and cheaper way to obtain food. The lower the prices become the more attention it gains from the public. We tend to avoid the reality of eating unhealthy food and the negative impact it has both physically and mentally on us.

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Do High Prices of Healthy Food Contribute to the Rate of Obesity in Our Society: Argumentative Essay. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
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