Chew on This Discussion Questions

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

In the early 2000s, there were many American books and films created that talked about problems with the American diet. 'Chew on This' is a book written for middle and high school students about the fast food industry in America.

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

After writing the widely popular Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson worked together to write a version that would be more accessible for young children. In the book Chew on This, they take the content of Fast Food Nation and look at it from a variety of angles and viewpoints. This book is a great read for a language arts or health class for middle school students and beyond. Use these discussion questions after you have finished the book.

Discussing Health Topics

  • Although the vast majority of the information in the book is still relevant, it is nearly 15 years old now. Do any of your experiences at fast-food restaurants lead you to believe that positive change has been made over the last 15 years? What changes do you see? Does anything seem to have gotten worse?
  • When the book was published in 2006, childhood obesity accounted for 15.4 percent of the population. In 2016, this figure jumped to 18.5 percent. Why is the high obesity rate a problem? What can we do to help decrease the number of people (especially children) who are obese in the United States?
  • What is the most popular sandwich in America? Why do you think this is? Can you think of a way to make it healthier without changing a classic food too much?
  • One of the major themes of the book is how food and beverage companies try to get young consumers hooked on their products. What examples of this stand out in your personal experience? Do you think these campaigns work? Is it ethical to do this?
  • What did you learn about the ingredients used to make fast food taste the way it does? Did you know this? What did you think when you learned about this?
  • What was the book's message on meat? Were they telling everyone to become a vegetarian? Support your opinion with evidence.
  • What is gastric bypass surgery? What did you learn about the young boy, Sam, who had the surgery at the age of 16? Did you agree with the decision his family made?

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