Rhetorical Analysis

Obesity rates are soaring throughout the United States. “Today, two thirds of American adults are obese or overweight”(Brink and Querna 620). This quote is explaining how obesity has become a concern for many people in our culture. The obesity rate among Americans has gotten worse over the years. The topic of weight is very prevalent among people in today’s society. Everywhere you look you see people of different weights and appearances. Obesity affects Americans of all ages, sexes, and racial/ethnic groups. This essay is targeting all Americans but talks mostly about the children and teenagers. Obesity can cause serious medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Of the four essays in the “What (and How) should we eat” this essay’s argument has all three rhetorical appeals and pathos being the strongest in my opinion.

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The Essay establishes credibility by explaining some examples of relevance to the issue under debate. Like when Brinks and Querna say, “It’s everywhere”. Tank up your car, and you walk past soft pretzels with cheese sauce”. “Grab a cup of coffee, and you see doughnuts, danishes, and cookies the size of hubcaps”. Stop at Staples for an ink cartridge, and you confront candy bars at the register”. Stroll past the receptionist’s desk at the office, and find somebody’s leftover Christmas cookies, Valentine’s Day candy, Easter Peeps, birthday cake, or vacation saltwater taffy”(620). This is a very true statement because everywhere you look; there is an increase in high calorie sweets on the counters of any store. Americans believe that Obesity is becoming a serious issue here in the United States because a lot of his arguments are very true. This goes back to Americans believing that something should change or else there is going to be big health risk in their life. The essay uses pathos because it is incorporating fear into the target audience when it says “What’s worse, they project that the rise in obesity rates among children and teens could knock off as many as five years from today’s average of 77 years as overweight people in that generation grow up and die prematurely. Diseases associated with obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and some cancers…”(Brinks and Querna 620). This will cause the target audience to think twice about eating a high calorie meal because dying young scares a lot of people. This is a good strategy to know about obesity because fear is one of the strongest emotions for every human being. Eliciting fear into Americans will make them think twice about eating unhealthy. The essay also establishes logos because it has an abundant of statistics everywhere. One Example of this is “the early 1980s, food production came to an average of 3,300 calories a day available to every person. Then farm policy changed, and farmers no longer plowed food under or slaughtered animals to be entitled to subsidies. Today, America produces enough food to allow every man, woman, and child 3,900 calories a day”( Brinks and Querna 621). This quote is explaining how we have the opportunity to eat a lot more than we used to and is one of the reasons why people are turning obese. These Statistics are precise because there has been an increase in the amount of food we can eat. The essay also establishes authority because it quotes some high status professors. One example is “ ‘Food is never just the physical product itself, it’s invested with national meanings, associated with comfort and nostalgia. There are class associations. Food can be elegant or cultured’ ” (Stephanie Hartman 621). She is a professor who teaches a course at the University of America in Washington D.C. called “Food and Media”.

There are many other quotes that the authors use in his essay. Since they are of high status, the target audience feels that they must trust what they are saying since they teach in those fields. It does have some bias though because evidently you can ignore the food and choose not to eat it. But the authors talk about how hard it is to say no to food when it says, “Riddled with anxiety, we take our meals with equal parts pleasure and guilt. We might say an internal no a dozen times a day, then give in to the Krispy Kreme near the bus
stop on the way home”( Brinks and Querna 622). Bringing awareness to the issue is the first step in creating a solution to the problem. This essay effectively employs Aristotle’s three main rhetorical strategies to gain the assurance of Americans that obesity is becoming a serious issue here in the United States. He specifically uses a strong use of logos to convince the target audience about this growing issue. Susan Brinks and Elizabeth Quernas expertise of ethos, logos, and pathos have successfully informed Americans about Obesity.

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