Fast Food Consumption

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Fast food consumption is a culture that is gaining traction among the young generation. The availability of the junk food joints and the marketing strategies adopted by the restaurants makes them a preferred option due to the efficiency as there no waiting time in the food joints. The habit of fast food consumption today in the world is worrying as people are not concerned anymore about the health effects of the food products they use. The lifestyle has changed and the great influences of urbanization and globalization have made people to fancy high-calorie content food products (Bahadoran et al, 2013). This essay paper will focus on the impact of consuming fast foods and how people can adopt better eating habits.

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Consuming fast foods exposes the user to greater health risk in the long-run (Fraser et al, 2010). These food products cause obesity as unnecessary body fats are deposited in the body. Junk foods have high-calorie content and sugar content that are responsible for weight gain. A fast food eating habit is addictive and in most cases, these individuals do not consume other healthy foods such as fruits, hence the risk of becoming obese. Moreover, fast foods have a high level of the saturated fats which leads to increased level of the blood cholesterol which causes heart diseases such as stroke and coronary thrombosis. Another common heath risk susceptible to continuous consumption of fast foods is diabetes. This is because of the high concentration of simple carbohydrates and sugar.

The concentration of additives and chemicals used to make fast foods attractive and delicious are dangerous because in the long-term they lead to life-threatening diseases such as cancer (Lytle, 2009). High contents of minerals such as sodium in this food product may be a contributor to the rise in high blood pressure cases and kidney diseases due to the formation of the kidney stones. Constipation is also very common for the consumers, as these foods do not have the much necessary fiber.

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Major Causes of the problem

Fast foods in a rather larger extent are a westernized diet and are fast-prepared meals with a very high energy density and have been linked directly to the rising cases lifestyle diseases in the western world. The food products have become a major problem because they are socially acceptable and convenient in terms of saving time. The flavor and taste are major factors that drive the consumption rates of these food products. The restaurants serving these food products provide a proper environment for socialization which the consumers can identify with, hence developing an addictive behavior.

The major contributor to the problem of fast foods is ease of preparation of these delicacies as people have unending schedules that make it hard for individuals to prepare healthy meals. The changing nature of the work environment has forced people to multitask and eating is done simultaneously as the day’s activities go by. People from different cultures around the world have changed eating mannerisms due to globalization. The culture that encompasses food preparation and food eating behaviors has contributed significantly to the food choices that contemporary people make. Further to this, fast foods are very attractive and addictive at the same time making the younger generation the major victims in terms of the consumption levels.

Highly rated adverts by multinationals in the fast food industry such as McDonald’s have been very influential in increasing the levels of likability of fast foods as people have allocated more time to entertainment at homes rather than cooking, hence getting a glimpse of adverts related to fast-food. Adverts on fast foods such as burgers and pizzas are very deceiving as they present aesthetically appealing looks that entice prospective consumers to buy the products continuously (Daniel et al, 2010). The fast food menace is a result of a development of a social norm where it is seen as a form of modernism, especially in the third world. People like the junk food joints because they are conforming to habits that have been ingrained in their immediate societies.

Junk foods have gained popularity around the world and many people can associate with these products as they have become part of the social life. Additionally, most networks of friend and families consume these food products thereby creating a system of social habits that are learned and transferred at the same time. Similarly, family factors have been a major cause of the high rates of consumption of fast food products around the world. Considerations on the cost of the junk food and the interest to try a diverse range of foods have led to the likability of fast foods, coupled with difficulties involved in transferring traditional food products in other cultures around the world.

Solutions to the fast food problem

The society at large should inhibit the continued habit of consuming fast foods around the world by inducing a change in behavior among the youth to adopt better feeding of a balanced diet (Robert, 2008). The health risks posed by the junk food are very impactful to the larger society in terms of economic development impacting heavily on health budgets. The issue can be dealt with from an individual level, family and the society at large which includes the government. Socially, promotion of traditional cuisines through the holding of cultural festivals will be very crucial in informing the public of the health benefits of appreciating their cultures by adopting better eating habits. Advocacy by pressing for eating as a family to be a norm will enhance increased socialization among the family members is crucial at this juncture. Food poisoning cases are usually rare because the home-made food is readily prepared with a lot of attention hence safe for consumption for the family members. Parents should also take interest in the feeding habits of their children through close monitoring and take remedial actions by informing them of the health hazards of the fast foods (Powell e et al, 2009).

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The government will play a very pivotal role in controlling the sale of fast foods around the world by prohibiting the sale of some of the products that have questionable health standards. It has been exemplified by the banning of the sale of some of the fast foods sold by the multinationals such as McDonald’s. Civic education on the health effects of the junk food done by government institutions will enlighten the public on the need to change their eating lifestyles for their own good. The level of awareness in the world about the negative effects of fast food can be attributed to the spread of junk eating culture around the world. People should be encouraged to eat foods which are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Furthermore, consumption of high fiber foods, vegetables and the moderation use of salt and sugar will be helpful in avoiding food-related health risks. Foods taken should be rich in minerals such as calcium and iron. Health institutions as a part of the government agency against the consumption of fast foods should create awareness among the patients visiting the institutions to pay keen attention to fitness by adopting better diets.

Fast food companies have expanded their reach to the third world, where the food products have been received with a lot of excitement, with a blunt understanding of the health dangers they pose to the populations. The convenience associated with these food products is short-term as the health impacts will bring economic upheavals in the long-term as the government spends on an ailing population. Conclusively, fast foods restaurants and joints around the world should be monitored to ensure that consumers are protected from possible food poisoning or controlling the ingredients used to prepare the food.

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  1. Lytle, Leslie A. “Measuring the food environment: state of the science.” American journal of preventive medicine 36.4 (2009): S134-S144.
  2. Fraser, Lorna K., and Kimberley L. Edwards. “The association between the geography of fast food outlets and childhood obesity rates in Leeds, UK.” Health & place 16.6 (2010): 1124-1128.
  3. Daniel, Mark, et al. “Association of fast-food restaurant and fruit and vegetable store densities with cardiovascular mortality in a metropolitan population.” European journal of epidemiology 25.10 (2010): 711-719.
  4. Powell, Lisa M., and Yanjun Bao. “Food prices, access to food outlets and child weight.” Economics & Human Biology 7.1 (2009): 64-72.
  5. Food Inc.,A Robert Kenner Film.
  6. Bahadoran, Zahra, Parvin Mirmiran, and Fereidoun Azizi. “Dietary polyphenols as potential nutraceuticals in management of diabetes: a review.” Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 12.1 (2013): 43.
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