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The overweight or obese among the U.S. citizens is inclining at a shocking rate. Currently, it stands at 74.1% which is almost ¾ of our country’s population. It is a frightening truth that needs to be acknowledged by the entire society. Obesity seems to be a more prominent issue today than ever before. Due to the existence of the countless fast food chains and misleading labels at the supermarket, obesity almost seems inevitable. Over time, it has been perceived to be adults’ growing problem; however, childhood obesity is also evident across states. For example, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12.7 million children in the United States struggle with obesity. The statistic is saddening because the childhood obese can be controlled and perfectly managed at home by the issuance of a simple guidance. In the Overfed and Undernourished documentary, a story of young Australian native boy, Liam is given. It tends to state that to deal with obesity; one has to live the extremely unhealthy lifestyle. The documentary reveals his story and shows the actions we can take to curb the growing epidemic especially through a proper utilization of logos, ethos, and pathos.
In Overfed and Undernourished, logos are used to directly prove why obesity is such a growing problem in today’s society. The proof is got from the film where multiple facts about the cause, effects to the society and remedies are provided. According to the film, over 70% of food is processed with salt, sugar, and fat which tend to have adverse effects on the body. It is a process which frightens people’s diet hence makes the viewer think about everything they plan to or eat. Of course, salt, sugar, and fat are not easy to avoid, but their consumption should be moderated. In fact, it is moderation which had posited a lot of challenge to Liam. The second challenge unveiled by the film is that after every 7 minutes, a person is diagnosed with diabetes. However, it has been found that if the society takes the initiative to control and change their feeding habits as well as adopting a healthier lifestyle, then the statistic can be changed. The film also points out that on average, people spend about eight hours a day on media like television, video games, and cell phones. Economically, the eight hours can be subjected to productive and healthy activities which can improve the individual and societal welfare. Finally, the film reveals that one in every four children living in Australia is obese. It thus means Liam is just one of the thousands of children living under such conditions.
The film also relies heavily on the use of ethos. Liam meets with Joe Cross, a wellness entrepreneur who went through a very similar experience as that of Liam but still emerged to be the best. Cross gives Liam advice on how to live the healthiest lifestyle by adopting various types of food such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Further, Cross advised that he should take the foods from natural sources as opposed to the processed foods from factories. Natural foods are the healthiest source of nutrition since the processed foods are contaminated with chemicals and other substances which can adversely affect the body. Cross points out that food from the factories is taking those natural ingredients and warping them to unhealthy lengths. which aid him in his recovery process from obese. Liam found this information very important and credible since it could allow him to live or improve his lifestyle. Through this advice, Liam had chosen to ride his bike instead of driving, run up the stairs as opposed to walking, and drink fruit juice or water as opposed to soda. Ethos is woven through the entire documentary because through educated doctors and those who went through similar experiences, Liam has many credible sources to guide him in the right direction.
Lastly, the documentary uses pathos to relay the message across that childhood obesity is a major problem in modern day society. The documentary is aimed at parents and explains how a healthy lifestyle starts with them. The film appeals to parents’ emotions and values by explaining that children mimic what their parents do. In case a child sees their parent drinking soda and consumes fattening foods, that’s what the child will imitate. When a child sees their parent being active and living a healthy lifestyle, a child will be eager to do the same. Apart from this concept, the film also demonstrates the unhealthy lifestyle of a child and the manner in which he struggles with obese. These tend to tap the emotions of the parents hence a change in the consumption patterns. No parent wants to see their children suffer. After watching this film, a concerned parent might be more inclined to guide their children in a manner that they can adopt a healthy feeding habit. Besides from parents, a child living an unhealthy life might watch this film and realize they need to start working towards changing their feeding habits. A child can empathize with Liam and take the advice the film shares. The entire documentary is very emotional and brings one into the life and journey of young Liam.
In summary, Overfed and Undernourished is an Australian documentary reflecting on an obese child and his journey towards a healthy life. Dr. John Demartini, a doctor from the film, says it best; “This is a documentary that just may save your life and the people you care about.” The film uses logos, ethos, and pathos to deliver its message and influence its viewers to adopt a healthy life by changing from unhealthy feeding habits. Obesity is a growing epidemic, and this documentary does an outstanding job at bringing the subject to light. We, as a society, need to take more responsibility for what we consume and how we use our free time to live the healthiest life. Children and parents alike need to stay active and eat what will ensure the acquisition of the highest nutrition and health benefits. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “One should eat to live, not live to eat.”
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