To fulfill my goals for a successful career and to continue my education, I have determined that I must dust off some of my old tools and put them to use. I had forgotten three of the most important learning tools that I possess: the act of critical thinking, the ability to use active reading and the art of effective writing. It is important that I use them often and in all aspects of my life.
If everyone were to use the three important tools in the toolbox for success, we could increase our effectiveness and efficiency exponentially.
We could avoid miscommunication, reduce errors from misinterpretation and eliminate wasted time from repetitive work. Critical thinking, active reading, and effective writing will help me to make important decisions every day creating success in both my career and education.
Cancer has long been a dreaded diagnosis; the term alone striking fear, and connoting a long, enduring battle which often leaves its victims frail and ill, if they are able to battle it through.
However in recent years, researchers have seen a steady increase in cancer rates, and it has reached a point where nearly every individual knows someone who currently has cancer, or has survived it. Our text tells us that cancer is a disease that occurs when a cell makes copies of itself, or replicates, when it should not. Unregulated cell division leads to a pileup of cells that form a lump or tumor” (Courliss, (2016)).
Many products are known to put individuals at a higher risk of contracting cancer, such as smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Additionally, cancer remains a terrifying diagnosis because there is still no known treatment to cure the disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, “in a population of 10,000 people, approximately 44 individuals will be diagnosed with cancer every year. Of those 44 diagnoses, an average of 16 patients will not survive. The National Cancer Society has deduced that on average, 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with the disease at some point during their lives.
“In 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease” (National Cancer Institute, 2018). While there were 15.5 million survival cases reported in 2016, that number is expected to climb to 20.3 million by 2026” (NCI, (2018)). Although the rate of cancer diagnosis has increased over years past, the rate of cancer survival has increased as well. It is my opinion that this decrease in cancer mortality rates can be partially attributed to the growing knowledge behind the way that our daily diet and nutrition regimen impacts not only our susceptibility to contracting the disease, but also our ability to fight it off. I strongly believe that by educating the general population on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and the risks of ingesting fast foods such as “McDonalds” and “Burger King”, combined with providing easier access to healthy alternatives, we could see a rapid decline in the prevalence of this terribly tragic disease.
In recent years, many studies have been conducted depicting the correlation between GMO’s, processed foods, preservatives, and other food additives, and cancer. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, many people are turning to fast food alternatives which contain many of these chemicals known to cause cancer, or at least heighten the risk of the onset. In addition, healthy alternatives are made to be extremely expensive and therefore less accessible for the average individual or family, whereas fast food options save both time and money. It is important for people to understand the possible health concerns associated with ingesting each “Big Mac” and “Fish Sandwich”, so that they are able to make better, health-conscious choices for their diets.
At many highly trafficked fast food places such as McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s, three alarming ingredients are nearly always found. The first of these is MSG, a substance often linked to depression, migraines, mental confusion, dizziness, anxiety or panic attacks, stiffness, joint pain, loss of balance, slurred speech, diarrhea, blurred vision and ADHD. The next chemical commonly found is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Commonly contaminated with mercury, this substance causes the body to suppress the feeling of becoming full so that the consumer will buy more. The final of these alarming ingredients is Dimethylpolysiloxane. This chemical is an anti-foaming agent commonly used in caulks, sealants, and Silly Putty. In fact, in an article published by Natural News, “many popular fast food burger joints were found to contain as little as two percent real meat in the burger, and contain a variety of harmful bacteria and ammonia” (Benson, (2013)). Although new laws have been put in place that require fast food places to disclose any and all nutritional information related to their menu items, a large majority of these corporations have found loopholes in the system to avoid informing the public of the real dangers of consuming their products.
“In October of 2006, a lawsuit arose on this specific subject. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine sued multiple national food giants as a result of previous testing of their products” (Kage, (2006)). While it is well known that some food chains, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Chik Fil A, are less healthy than others, this lawsuit also extended to some chains that may surprise you, such as Applebee’s, Chili’s, TGI Fridays, and Outback Steakhouse. The committee had previously lab tested grilled chicken products from all of the aforementioned chains, and found them to be laced with a carcinogenic compound. As defined by the Meriam-Webster Dictionary, a carcinogen is “a substance or agent causing cancer”. In conclusion to these results, it is important to note that even the “upscale” chains that have a connotation or reputation for being “safe” or “healthier” alternatives, should not be treated as such.
While fast food has become popular partially due to the demands of today’s busy society, it has also grown in part because of the inaccessibility of healthier alternatives. At local grocery stores, many organic and all-natural products are in short supply. At larger health food chains such as Whole Foods, the prices for quality ingredients are so astronomical that the average family cannot justify the cost over less healthy alternatives. Until healthy alternatives to the quick and easy solution of fast food are made to be accessible for all, this rise in cancer diagnoses will only continue.
While striving to eat a healthy more balanced diet many people find it hard to give up their “pop”. A 12 oz. can of soda contains between 130-190 calories. Consuming these additional calories can lead to excess body fat. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, “it is excess body fat that increases risk of many common cancers” (AICR, 2018). The additional sugar intake may not actually increase your risk of cancer but as you add the additional body fat to your body, your chances begin to increase. By drinking sparkling water, fruit infused water, or unsweetened tea you are drastically reducing you calorie intake and reducing your chances of carrying this increased body fat.
In concluding this report, I have made the personal choice to completely remove fast food from my diet. While it is true that the world today puts pressures on each and every one of us for time and attention, the risks far outweigh the rewards. To see that even the legislation put in place that is supposed to protect the public from these harmful substances, is so easily shrugged off and avoided by nearly every chain restaurant makes me question what I am truly feeding my body. To me, the higher cost of organic food is entirely worth the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what you are eating.
To implement this research with clients, the best way would be through complete and thorough education of the subject. I believe a large part of the reasoning behind this epidemic is because there is not enough prevalent information for the public to access to be truly aware of the dangers of fast food. In understanding not only which foods and chemicals have been linked to the onset of cancer, but also how prevalent these ingredients are found in the market, I believe clients would be much more easily swayed to choose healthier options.
In conclusion, the grossly alarming rise of cancer diagnoses can be partially, however directly tied to the overconsumption of over-processed, chemically and toxically enhanced food that is distributed by many popular fast food chains throughout the world today. While a variety of steps need to be taken in the process of completely curing cancer, one thing is abundantly clear – Fast food consumption should be drastically reduced by the population as a whole in an effort to reduce the ravaging of this terrible disease.