Fast Food Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Agriculture Type: Essay Paper: #23444461 Related Topics: Food Industry, In N Out Burger, Healthy Food, Food
Excerpt from Essay :

Fast Food Industry

In recent times, the fast food industry has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, one can confidently say that the industry, whose background is relatively modest, has in a big way affected the way of life in America. In this text, I concern myself with the impact the fast food industry has had on both the health of the American society and the environment. I also give a personal opinion on whether it is ethical for the fast food industry to rake in profits given the adverse effects of fast foods on consumer health.

Apart from the well documented impact on the health of consumers, the fast food industry has also had far reaching implications on the nation from the cultural and social perspective. Some of the well-known pertinent issues in relation to fast food restaurants include workplace injuries, advent of food-borne infections and obesity (from a cardiovascular point-of-view). However, of the issues I state above, what remains relatively well documented is the effect fast foods have had on the health of consumers. Today, obesity has become a major epidemic in the U.S. with a quarter of those affected comprising of children. It can be noted that although this trend cannot be entirely attributed to fast foods, the role the same has played in the raising rates of obesity cannot be overstated. Indeed, studies have shown that obesity seems to be informed by a wide range of environmental factors including but not in any way limited to the consumption of foods with high levels of calories and avoidance of physical exercise. If this is the case,...

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For instance, at McDonalds, a large Coke contains 310 calories. Further, according to DeMaria, an individual ingests approximately 73g of fat for every Double Western Bacon Burger consumed (1227-1228). Hence with the growing popularity of fast foods across the nation, it is relatively easy to map the significant contribution the industry has made towards raising obesity rates.

It can be noted that with increasing rates of obesity, the health of the nation at large has been compromised. Health experts have in the past linked obesity to quite a number of diseases including arthritis, heart complications, diabetes and even hypertension (Shalala and Satcher 29). Research has also shown that obese individuals are more prone to premature deaths than their counterparts who maintain the ideal body weight. This effectively means that the fast food industry also has a hand in the raising mortality rates.

However, it is equally important to note that in the past, several attempts have been made by various players in the fast food industry to sell meals that are healthier and hygienic. However, these efforts have not always borne fruit. For instance, we have had instances where fast food joints have marketed low fat and calorie chicken dishes. The popularity of such moves however remains low in the marketplace mainly due to tastes individuals have cultivated from an early age. Though I will discuss this issue later-on in the paper, such cultivated tastes are largely as a result of aggressive marketing campaigns fast food joints adapt especially to the younger generation thus effectively introducing youngsters to the fast food mentality at a relatively young age. Perhaps this is the reason fast food advertisements targeting youngsters have become an issue of ethical concern.

In passing, it is also prudent to mention that the growing popularity of fast foods could in the long run have far reaching implications for the nation's food supply. Indeed, it was Jim Hightower, a farm activist, who in the 1970s first warned that America's food economy was under threat from big…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

DeMaria, A.N. "Of Fast Food and Franchises. "Journal of the American College of Cardiology" 2003; 41:1227-1228.

Shalala, Donna E. And David Satcher. Healthy People, 2010: Conference Edition. DIANE Publishing, 2010. Print.


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