AreFast Food restaurants to be blamed for the increase of people`shealth complications?
Contextualizinghealth problems within the fast-food industry might be a somewhatdifficult endeavor. However, to understand the issues underdiscussion, one must begin by understanding the concepts beingreviewed. Health complications include conditions that cause ailmentssuch as viral infections, heart problems, and organ complications.Various factors work together to cause health issues. Some healthproblems can be linked to diseases, mental stress, and hereditaryfactors while other health concerns stem from eating foods that donot provide the body with sufficient minerals. Studies have madeknown that the lack of a proper diet can cause health problems.Hence, to develop an inclusive study on whether fast foods arehealthy alternatives or not is critical. This paper reveals why fastfood cafeterias are to be blamed for the increase in people`s healthcomplications.
Todevelop an in-depth discussion of the effect of fast-foods on thedevelopment of health complications, one should begin by revealingwhat constitutes a proper diet. A proper meal is usually linked tonutrition (Ashley 125). Definitions of healthy meals draw on a broadrange of discourses that primarily center on whether a meal offersits consumer the "proper" nutrients. However, the conceptof a decent meal also extends beyond issues concerning nutrition toparticular models of social associations. Thus, a good meal shouldencompass not only nutritional nourishment but also spiritual andemotional health. This perception asserts that eating in the companyof the people that one likes or in a space where one can expresshimself must also be considered a priority when discussing theconstituents of a proper meal.
Individualsusually strive to minimize the probabilities of developing healthproblems. Nobody would intentionally consume substances that areharmful to his health. Owners of fast-food restaurants also adhere toset policies and health regulations. Therefore, some forces influencepeople to make certain "unhealthy" decisions and feedingpatterns. Contemplating who these people are, the individuals whoconsume fast foods more, why these categories of diet have becomepopular over time, and why restaurants prefer preparing these kindsof meals is important. Also, it is necessary to determine whyindividuals would intentionally put themselves in harm`s way.
Fastfoods are ordinarily produced abundantly. The preparation and servingof these foods is done very quickly. However, Nutrition-wise, thesesorts of meals are less valuable compared to other meals. Not allfoods that are prepared in a short time can be regarded as fastfoods. The term usually denotes food that is sold at restaurants andis preheated and packaged as take-out or take away. Reports from theNational Institute of Health reveal that these forms of food offerideal alternatives to home-cooked meals (Carling 28).
Thedissimilarity between these two categories of meals (fast-food andhome-cooked meals) is the sum of calories involved. The US Departmentof Agriculture recommends an intake of approximately 2800kilocaloriesand 93grams of fat for an average adult. A typical meal from a fastfood outlet delivers all of these nutrients in one serving. A case inpoint is the findings revealed by a study conducted in 2003, whereAmericans spent approximately $115 billion on fast foods compared tohigher education, cars or computers. Nonetheless, people shouldalways take the front seat when issues concerning their health arise(Suter 4).
Adultsare aware of what is beneficial or harmful to their bodies. Hence,when a person chooses to eat unhealthy meals continually, that is upto him. Concerns about the increasing number of weighty or obesepeople in America has been highlighted profoundly by health experts.Obesity is among the conditions that have been allied to an unhealthylifestyle. The US Healthcare has disbursed billions of dollars in abid to try to diagnose, care and prevent obesity. Health institutionsrank obesity as the second principal origin of death (Suter 4).
Shockingfigures regarding obesity were reported in the US. In 1991, 1 inevery eight adults was obese, and, in 1999, out of every fiveAmerican adults, one was obese. In 1991, four nations had obesityprevalence levels of 15 to 19%. Conversely, in 2004, seven statesreported prevalence degrees of 20 to 24% the same report revealsthat nine states reported rates that were greater than 25%. The U.S.Surgeon General confirmed that roughly 61% of Americans weresignificantly overweight compared to fourteen years ago when only 55%of the population was overweight. Additionally, around 46% of thepopulation was considerably overweight in the 1970`s (Suter 4).
Researchconducted in 2004 revealed that individuals that consumed more thantwo meals in a fast food café were predisposed to gaining weightsignificantly. Fast foods also increase a person`s resistance toinsulin thus, pre-disposing this person to ailments such as type 2diabetes. Fast-foods were also linked with illnesses such as heartdiseases, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension and respiratoryproblems. A study conducted in 2003 was done to reveal whetherfast-food is addictive. Surprisingly, the outcomes were affirmative(Lee 3). Experts explained that consuming foods that are high in fatsand sugar prompts the body to desire these type of food more. Infact, studies have revealed that premature exposure to fast foodsextends addiction to adulthood. The rate of consumption of fast foodalso rises with age. Sarah Leibowitz, a neurobiologist, says,"Hormonal changes from devouring fat and sugar results in brainalterations usually associated with addiction pills such as heroin"(Carling 30).
Fast-foodcompanies, in response to the allegations forwarded by food experts,have resorted to diversifying their products to healthy alternatives.For example, Pepsi and Coke have expanded their soft drinks toinclude fruit juices and water beverages. Similarly, McDonalds hasbegun remodeling its restaurants to make the ambiance of thecafeteria more welcoming and inviting to families. Modifications tothese restaurants include the installation of amenities such as playsectors for the youngsters and Play stations in the Bluffton. Otherrestaurants also have kids` areas such as Lego areas and play places.Some healthy alternatives have also been included in the menus ofthese restaurants (Carling 30).
Consideringthe above, McDonald`s is, currently, providing a wide array of Walnutand Fruit salads. Salads such as the Side Salad and Caesar Salad andgrilled chicken sandwiches are on offer. McDonald`s also makes HappyMeals more nutritional for young children by adding apples in themeal as opposed to just serving French fries. Wendy`s has also beenvery innovative in its alternative program. The restaurant ensuresthat its customers get fries together with a value meal. The notionhere is to make certain that the client receives a healthieralternative in addition to the standard chips. Clients have choicesthat they can choose from at Wendy`s, for instance, a Chicken CaesarSalad, Chili, and Mandarin with oranges, side salad and yogurt withgranola.
Nonetheless,"unhealthy fast-food" is still being consumed. Researchshows that lots of these restaurants, which serve fast-food withoutincorporating healthy alternatives, are in low-income areas. Asstated earlier, fast foods are usually cheap and, therefore, moreaffordable. In essence, fresh fruits, vegetables, along with wholegrains have nutritional value. However, these options are lessaccessible to the low-income groups. This premise further asserts therationale behind the consumption of these varieties of meals(Brinkmann 131).
Moreover,almost all schools and colleges have a vending machine that is filledwith pop and snacks. These meals contain high concentrations of fatand sugar. About 13 percent of schools in America have a fast foodfranchise. They directly sell their product to students or supplytheir processed foods. Since the management receives money, in termsof scholarships and upgrades, no action is instituted against theseventures (McKenzie 95). Hospitals have also not been left behind. Acase in point is the UCLA Medical Center, which offers its personneland patients a full sushi and salad bar.
Studiesshow that regions with more fast food eateries have a higherprobability of having more cases of people with coronary problems.Also, individuals in these areas are at a higher risk of experiencingall-cause mortality. Since 1980, obese adults are twice or triple innumber compared to adolescents. Advertising plays a central role forfast food companies among children. To begin with, advertisementsshow meals of bigger food portions that are cheaper. Secondly, theprimary target of these adverts is children. Research confirms that,on average, a child sees about 10,000 TV ads per year about fast foodrestaurants. This figure explains why over 90% of children eat fastfood at least once a month. Thus, children begin practicing unhealthyeating routines during the early stages of their lives (Suter 5).
Ina recap of the above discussion, contextualizing health problemswithin the fast-food industry might be a somewhat difficult endeavor.Various factors work together to cause health issues. Some healthproblems can be linked to diseases, mental stress, and hereditaryfactors while other health concerns stem from eating foods that donot provide the body with sufficient minerals. Studies have madeknown that the lack of a proper diet can cause health problems.Hence, to develop an inclusive study on whether fast foods arehealthy alternatives or not is critical. The above discussion revealswhy fast food eateries are to be blamed for the increase in people`shealth complications.
Ashley,Bob. Foodand Cultural Studies.London: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Brinkmann,Robert. Introductionto Sustainability.Wiley, 2016. Print.
Carlin,Martha and Joel Thomas Rosenthal. Foodand Eating In Medieval Europe.London: Hambledon Press, 1998. Print.
Lee,Matthew. "Statistics of Health Risks from Eating FastFood". Healthyeating.sfgate.com.N.p., 2016. Web. 11 July 2016
McKenzie,Richard B. Heavy!Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2012. Print.
Suter,Pete. TheImpact of Fast Food on Local Community.1st ed. springer, 2006. Web. 11 July 2016.