Typically evaluation of rhetorical effectiveness refers to the analysis of an article and how it influences or persuades its readers. This paper provides rhetorical analysis of childhood obesity by Alicia Wright. The authors main purpose in writing the text, the audience and the textual features used by the author to communicate her ideas are provided.
The author writes the text specifically targeting young children suffering from obesity. She denotes that childhood obesity is an emerging problem and particularly writes to address this issue. The text further indirectly targets the parents on the measures they can undertake to reduce cases of obesity in their children since they are their childrens role models when it comes to dictating the kind of food to be eaten by their children. Furthermore, the article overall targets (audience) the entire society because the cause and measures stated to address the issues of obesity in children can also be embraced by people both old and young to control the issue of obesity. For example, it is essential to schools administrators providing meals to children to ensure they provide healthy meals to the children. Moreover, the text can also be essential to the government in the formulation of legislations to control the nature of foods prepared in food outlets that are provided to children. Foods provided to children must be healthy and does not induce obesity.
Wright primarily wrote the text to expand on the emerging issue of childhood obesity. With the changing trends in the economy, with the availability of cheap and fast foods on the rise, most young children and youth are now diverging to fast foods as the way out. She further ascertains that price tags are a non-issue. The author writes the text with a purpose of educating the young on the subject matter since healthy eating is essential specifically to the young ages. In her text, she seeks to address the primary causes of childhood obesity and the possible ways of addressing childhood obesity.
Based on the text, the author states that in the past, cases of obesity were uncommon, unlike the current situation where it is now too common. The author writes the text after finding out the health problem risks that the young obese adolescents and children are likely to face. Challenges such as cardiovascular diseases including high cholesterol and high blood pressure are some of the health risks associated with obesity. Based on the health risks associated with obesity the author wanted to address the issue of child obesity. The reason she focused on the young children and adolescents was because obese adolescents and children are more likely to grow or become obese when they become adults, therefore, addressing the issue for young children will help prevent instances of adult obesity. Besides addressing child obesity will reduce and eventually eliminate the menace of obesity.
The author uses persuasive strategies to communicate her ideas to the intended readership of the text. To increase the validity and best comprehension of the article the author used the following strategies to put across her information;
Use of big names: While explaining some of the measures implemented to address the rising and overwhelming obesity situation in children, the author quotes Michelle Obama as a celebrity who has seen the rising issue. She mentions Michelle Obama to support her argument and bring more value. From the text, she quoted Michelle on the ABC news when she announced the very ambitious program to put to an end the American plague of young children and adolescents and obesity in a single generation. Furthermore, the author uses celebrity shows such as the Oprah Winfrey show, the Tyra show and Dr. Oz show as having greatly contributed in addressing childhood obesity (Wright 3). It is evident that the author successfully used big names to persuade and convince the readers on the issue of childhood obesity.
Research: the author included several studies and research to affirm her information. The author widely used this persuasive strategy to add validity of her information. Some of the research studies she quoted in her text include;
In an attempt to ascertain that obesity is a serious health concern for adolescents and children, she quotes data from the National Nutrition and health examination surveys conducted between 1976 and 1980 and also between 2003 and 2006 that showed that the severity of obesity in young children was on the increase. She even narrowed down to the statistics stating children between ages 2 and 5 had the severity had increased from 5 to more than 10% and those between ages 6 and 11 had also increased from 6% to 17% (Wright 2). The research stated that was rare in the past and was now becoming something common.
Furthermore, the author to affirm that obese children are likely to become obese whey they grow to become adults, she quoted a study that found out that more than 80% that were obese at the ages 10-15 years became obese while adults at the age of 25 years.
The author defined obesity based on the definition provided by the dictionary.com as to being corpulent, very fat or overweight (Wright 2). She added some of the adjectives incorporated in the definition being feeling helpless, unhappy and uncomfortable.
The author to affirm that obesity is a genetic disorder she uses the prayer-will syndrome. She adds that people from families that have genetics that have weight issues that are passed down through generations. A young child can, therefore, unfortunately be obese or naturally overweight. For genetic susceptibility to prevail it must exist together with the prevailing behavioral and environmental factors such as minimal physical activity and high-calorie food supply.
The author in explaining the causes of obesity she quoted a study that reported a drop in the physical education among adolescents by 15% for the past ten years from 45% in 1991 to 25% in 2003. Less than 28% of high students engage in physical activities thereby are the cause of obesity. Also sedentary behaviors such as watching of TVs, playing video games and movies is on the increase. More than four hours are spent by children on media. Studies have proved a positive correlation between the time used for viewing movies and television and increase in obesity in children (Alicia 9).
In conclusion, the author successfully managed to persuade the readers to embrace her ideas through the use of extensive research and incorporating celebrity ideas greatly added value to the validity of her text. The issue of childhood obesity has also been well discussed involving the most important aspects of obesity.
Wright, Alicia. "Childhood Obesity." Ped. Biochem 3 (2011): 5-12
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