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Write an in/formal, 2 pages essay explaining the (surprising?) causes or consequences of your chosen phenomenon.
Directions: The purpose of this assignment is to increase our sensitivity to cause and effect relationships both when reading critically and engaging the world around us in everyday life, as well as help us gain proficiency in using causal arguments. We will often be called upon to use cause-and-effect analysis in our other courses, and occasionally we will even have to write essays using such analysis for those courses. To begin the prewriting process for the Causal Argument Essay, I ask that you to do the following:
Step 1: Make a list of unusual likes and dislikes, things that others like or dislike that you find odd. For example, you might not understand why people like sports. Or dislike sports. Or why people watch reality television… or why they wouldn't.
Step 2: Make a list of puzzling trends, things you just don't understand why they happened or are happening. Try to think of onetime event (like 9/11), a recurring event (like failure to practice safe sex) and a trend (the recent popularity of zombies, vampires, etc.)
Step 3: Make a list of proposed/recent actions, like something MACC is considering (moving to a new email service) or that the government has decided to do (like national health care). These ideas could lead to an essay in which you predict future consequences.
Step 4 Organizing Your Ideas: With your lists in hand, choose one topic and create a causal chain or a causal web. See the example of a causal chain and the examples of causal webs for speculation about possible causes and predictions of consequences in our textbook. We also had some hands-on practice with this with the 'For Class Discussion' exercises throughout the chapter.
Step 5. Organizing and Developing Your Essay: Your causal chain or causal web will give you the skeleton you need for your thesis and supporting reasons/topic sentences. You then can develop each corresponding body paragraph with evidence that meets the STAR criteria. Use the thesis, supporting reasons and evidence that you have developed to begin your essay.
Remember: For this essay you want to consider possible objections and alternative points-of-view and respond accordingly. Consider, for example, if you audience might contend that you're guilty of one of the common fallacies we discussed with regards to causal arguments (pp. 263-5) or if you have sufficiently developed your argument to consider enough immediate and remote causes, precipitating and contributing causes, necessary and sufficient causes, and constraints (p. 265-6).
Step 6: Writing the Essay: With your brainstorming results in hand, write an in/formal, 2-3 page essay explaining the (surprising?) causes or consequences of your chosen phenomenon. The first draft is due Thursday April 13th and we will exchange them via email.
Obesity is more common among all age groups. A western lifestyle, lack of physical activity and the choice of food are significant contributors. The ease and convenience associated with fast food fit with the new-age lifestyle and the link between consumption and obesity are hard to ignore. Fast foods are defined as “easily prepared processed foods served in snack bars and restaurants as a quick meal or to be taken away” (Bahadoran, Mirmiran and Azizi). Sooner than later, the Body mass index, the ratio of weight in kg to height in centimetres squared, approaches or exceeds 30 and a person graduates from a healthy weight to obesity (Cizza and Rother). Since the fat, sugar and salt content of fast foods is high, portion sizes are large, and nutrition density is high, consumption leads to obesity.
Often, long working hours and a long commute to work make fast food an attractive choice when compared to the rigours of grocery shopping and cooking a meal at home. A study on residents of Michigan found a direct correlation between the number of times a week the subjects frequented a fast food joint. 33% of those who consumed fast food more than thrice a week were obese compared to 24% of those who went weekly (Anderson, Rafferty and Lyon-Callo). Another study has reported that the more people consume fast food the less likely they are to consume fresh fruit and vegetables, thus losing out on important part of the diet, fibre and this leads to obesity (Kruger, Greenberg and Murphy). The stress of modern living, attractively packaged and advertised fast foods are factors that weaken people’s resolve to choose healthy food.
Easier access to a fast food restaurant is also associated with people making poorer food choices (Sturm and An). People who tend to eat fast food are more inclined to drink sugar-sweetened beverages, and this adds to the calorie intake. Coupled with high-calorie meals is a sedentary lifestyle that makes people more likely to become obese. Obesity heightens the risk of a string of diseases: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and triglycerides, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The negative impact that frequent consumption of fast food can have on health and wellbeing is not restricted health. The consequences of an obese body affect an individual socioeconomically as well. An obese person is likely to face discrimination in employment opportunities, promotions and could become a victim of ridicule.
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