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Over Consumption In America Essay

1318 words - 6 pages

Over the past 50 years, the standard of living for American families has doubled. Most of these families live in a two-income household in order to acquire the money needed to live up to these standards (Pierce). This change has enabled Americans to own more material possessions and has also caused them to want even more. It is this concept of "wanting" that is leading to the growing problem of over consumption in America. People are contributing to the problem by eating more and buying more and more "non-essentials" such as TVs, computers, and cars.People find themselves wanting more and more material things in order to become happy, when in actuality it may be having the reverse effect ...view middle of the document...

Another issue contributing to the problem of over consumption is cars. For some people, owning a car can be necessary. For others, public transportation is an option. Owning one or more cars can also affect the community by using unnecessary amounts of fuel and by polluting. The car also allows us to live a high-speed life. Americans are constantly traveling or working and are not taking the time to relax as we did in the past. America's fast paced lifestyle is part of the reason we don't spend as much time with our families and friends as in other cultures (Wilson).Americans also contribute to over consumption by the amount of food we eat. Obesity is a growing issue in American society today. Twenty percent of children are overweight. If this problem persists, the next generation could be the first in 200 years to have a shorter life expectancy than the last. The greatest issue of this problem is fast food and the portions of it. Instead of eating healthy, home cooked meals, Americans are replacing them with fat and calorie loaded fast foods and precooked meals. This problem is leading towards more health problems. 30 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls born in the year 2000 are expected to have diabetes at some point in their life. Americans can fight this problem by trying to live more like people in other countries by eating healthier foods, smaller portions, and teaching children how to eat right (Mieszkowski).Part of the reason that Americans have such a large role in this problem might possibly be because of advertising. Because our media is so widely spread and easily accessed, Americans can be more easily persuaded. This issue can also relate back to the problem of watching too much TV. Because the United States has no regulations on advertising, anyone can be affected by any amount of advertising. Children, who are more susceptible, can be manipulated into thinking that they need something that they really don't. This problem could possibly solved by restricting the amount of advertising or where advertising is aloud. We can also resist this problem being more aware of it. By judging each ad to see if it is coercive, deceptive, or manipulative, we can remove the emotional appeal of the commercial and make a more rational decision (Hirschberg 61-68).However some people think that over consumption is not the problem:...(S)quandering money on big screen TVs, McMansions, restaurant meals, oversized cars and luxury vacations... (are not to blame) for insolvency and all those maxed-out credit cards. Instead... (it is)... the high cost of housing and education... (F)ixed expenses that...

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