Personal essay: Limitations on unhealthy products
Ethics involve making choices between modes of action or inaction regarding a topic. Behaving ethically is engaging in actions that are fair, equitable, and honesty. Ethics is defined in some quarters as the ‘philosophy of morals’. By this definition ethics is the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices made by a person. In the foregoing therefore, ethics is the barometer by which moral behavior is tested against.
Knowing what is right or wrong is part of ethics, but that is only the halfway point. To be discerned as an ethical individual, one must strive to do what is right and proper.
Society is a cocktail of various personalities and individuals with different views on what is ethical or not. Our activity does not happen in isolation but in the midst of other individuals. The actions we engage in affect not only us but also the people who live in proximity to us. Is what we do affecting them? Are they comfortable with us? Am I doing the right thing? Am I inconveniencing anyone? These are some of the answers regarding our behavior tackled by considering ethics and ethical behavior. Ethical behavior not only applies to our external actions, but to actions to the individual as well. We have a responsibility to take care of our bodies. In the renewing character of nature, it is upon the individual to see to it that they take care of themselves in order to avoid harm because of either self-neglect, or use of products injurious to ourselves.
The dilemma with seeking to understand ethics concerning actions affecting the individual in isolation is the lack of external motivation to desist from the action other than self-reproach, which is hardly strong enough to influence any meaningful change in behavior. In my consideration on how to limit intake of unhealthy products such as soda, cigarettes and junk food, various considerations came into play. My actions even though affected no one else in a direct manner, had far-reaching effects to those near me both in the short run and in the long haul too. Cigarette smoking is particularly harmful to people close to the smoker as that lingers in the air is inhaled by the other party. This habit is not only irritating to others but also poses a health hazard to both the consumer and those around him. Soda and fast food likewise are other common features on the list of unhealthy products in many people’s list. They may not pose a direct impact on other people around you, but the decision on whether consuming the junk food with the inherent health risks involved by their consumption. Involvement in activities that affect your health directly, and with the knowledge of the risks involved, is unethical. The medical expenses incurred annually because of engagement in unethical behavior are tremendous. It is therefore not ethical to engage in consumption of these unhealthy products as the medical bill resulting from their consumption weighs down on the health sector engaging resources that would handle serious ailments such as cancer.
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