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Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Advertising is the most important cause of unhealthy eating habits.
In this age of information explosion, people are constantly overwhelmed by advertisements in mass media, most of which usually exaggerate the real effects of a product. Recently, some people stand on the ground that advertising is mainly attributable to people’s unhealthy eating habits. From my point of view, though advertising partly account for people’s unhealthy eating habits, it is by no means the major one, neither the only one.
Admittedly, advertising has exerted a negative influence on peoples’ food choice by enticing customers to buy products they do not need. Fans of a famous actor may choose to buy the same kind of food the spokesman has recommended in an advertisement, which in reality, the food is lack of nutrition and may even lead to obesity. However, advertising is only a medium to promote a product, or just a way of public promotion, therefore it is presumptions to blamed advertisements for achieving a commercial goal it should serve to meet.
Advertisements only present the choices of food to the public, and those who cannot resist the temptation or develop an unhealthy eating habits do so mainly out of the following two root causes.
Firstly, increasingly fast living tempo of modern society should be responsible for unhealthy eating habits. Employees, especially the elite ones in a global top company, have to bear an extreme heavy work load and they are required to meet strict standards within a limited time. As a result, few of them would take time to enjoy meals leisurely, or tend to maintain a healthy diet or take in sufficient nutrition everyday. My cousin, a HR manager in P&G Company, rashly finishes her breakfast on the way to work and finishes her lunch at her desk by eating a hamburger. Her high working pressures leave her little time to eat regularly, let alone healthily.
Another critical factor is that modern people seldom have the awareness of healthy diet. Most of them place all their attention to work, study or business, while only a few numbers of people really take care of their health or acquire some basic knowledge of how to maintain a healthy diet. Only when they suffer from serious healthy problems will they regret and start over to learn more knowledge of healthy eating. Lacking healthy awareness is another major reason that leads to an unhealthy eating habit.
In sum, with the rapid development of mass media and communication technology, the waves of advertising and commercialization will keep pounding over the public. It is unfair to totally blame advertisement for misshaping people’s eating habits. Before criticizing the external effects, it is more rational for us to re-schedule our life, to slow down the fast working pace and to equip ourselves with more healthy diet knowledge in order to live long and healthy life.
TOEFL listening lectures: A university lecture by a professor in the College of Fine Arts