Across America, people become occupied with their busy lives as shown in the extremely common decision of “since there is no time for dinner, how about fast food? ” Thoughts shuffle in the mind, has America become the “queen bee” of fast food? Does society consider nutrition an important factor for everyday health? Does fast food boost calories, fat intake, and present itself as a hazard to the body? How as a culture do Americans continue to forgo the healthy alternative and turn to the dangers of fast food obesity?
Elimination of these chains becomes a scarce possibility as they spread throughout the nation while the evidence of fast food poison remains buried due to the negligence of people. Remember, choose wisely while leaning toward fast food as the choice of health versus an early death lies with the consumer. As a nation, we seem to have an everlasting bond with fast food as the demands outweigh the risks. Eric Schlosser, a man dedicated to revealing the dark side of this trend, puts it, “Hundreds of millions of people buy fast food without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle ramifications of their purchase” (Schlosser 10).
In addition, “This year, Americans will spend more money on fast food than on higher education” (Schlosser 1). The fast food industry has an obvious extreme hold on America. Fast food breaks off from its primary problem and causes many other dilemmas in America as it reveals itself as a source for issues such as laziness as childhood obesity has become so prevalent that it is viewed as the norm. What is put into our mouths has a direct relationship with how our bodies function; garbage in, garbage out.
According to Jeffrey Zurlinden, “Every day, about one-quarter of American adults eat at fast-food restaurants. Cheap, tasty, and convenient, fast food is loaded with saturated fat and calories, and it’s low in fiber and nutrients. Thanks in large part to fast food, half of America’s adults and one-quarter of its children are obese”(http://www. fa- ir. org/ai/fastfood_hidden. htm). Not only can fast food be a cause of malnutrition, it can also go above and beyond and be a benefactor in over nutrition. Malnutrition is any condition resulting from an energy or nutrient either above or below that which is optimal. . . Over nutrition is poor nutritional status resulting from an energy or nutrient intake in excess of that which is optimal for health” (Smolin & Grosvenor 11).
Fast food goes beyond the normal limits of natural items, and it develops into an extreme reversal of what nutritionists consider healthy. Eating healthy provides better nutrition as the key to long life remains simply in the home as nutrition continues as the most important part of our daily habits. Do we really know what is in the meals sold for a dollar at the local chain restaurant? Countless accounts of foul play in these billion dollar companies have been reported but some more gruesome than others. In the disgusting facts of the food industry called Fast Food nation, Schlosser states, “Upton Sinclair described a litany of horrors: severe back and shoulder injuries, lacerations, amputations, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and memorably, a workplace accident in which a man fell into a vat and got turned into lard.
The plant kept running, and the lard was sold to unsuspecting consumers” (152). If the fact that people were eating remains of a factory employee while enjoying their KFC chicken leg alone is not reason enough to keep customers at bay, then this country truly has become callous to the morbid and revolting truths of the business. Every company has skeletons in the closet, but who knows where the skeletons are at the rate of 10 cans of lard for every town. 2 Calories multiply abundantly in each serving of food, even in the seemingly nutrition conscious restaurants:
Burger King does not want you to know that a BK Big Fish Sandwich and fries have a whopping 1,000 calories – nearly half your daily caloric intake. . . Pizza Hut does not want you to know that a standard pizza in Italy contains 500 to 800 calories, but the same meal at Pizza Hut can top 2,100 calories. . . A plate of Chicken Marsala at Olive Garden has 1,315 calories and 86 grams of fat” (Zinczenko & Goulding ix). Fast food “restaurants” (if that term is indeed applicable in this case) contain multitudes of calories that produce obese and unhealthy customers. What we need more than anything is to be able to put something on the table that is nutritious, good- tasting and fast” (Alexander ix). The name given for fast food reflects food that is a convenience to those unable or unwilling to cook, yet most fast food restaurants focus more on the fast aspect than the food aspect. Has cleanliness lost its value? Behind the closed doors with “Employees Only” in bold visibly printed lies horrific displays of negligence and acts of lewdness to unknowing consumers.
Try preparing a home cooked meal instead of having everyday fast food, it will not disappoint and it leads to an overall better life. Following this further, the doubt can disappear as proven records show that obesity can lead to death and fast food highly contributes to this sometimes fatal result. “Since the mid-seventies, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply for both adults and children. . . Survey shows that among adults aged 20- 70 years the prevalence of obesity is from 15. 0% (in the 1976-1980 survey) to 32. % (in the 2003-2007 survey)” (http://www. cdc. gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/index. htm). Americans have abundantly eaten fast food throughout the years with convenience at the highest possible point as more stores are opening each day, hours increasing to tempt at all hours of the night, and prices decreasing to grab hold of every demographic. “Snacking is common among adolescents and although linked with obesity, is an important dietary behavior during adolescence when energy and nutrient requirements are greatly increased” (MacFarlane 2).
Hunger does not end after a quick meal at the local fast food shop, it stretches the stomach and the hunger grows until non-stop snacking between meals adds to the need for more. Continue to keep in mind, watching cravings proves essential in any weight lose plan. Of course, choose wisely if no other eating possibility presents itself and eating out becomes a necessity. What food item closely resembles home cooked meals in terms of nutrition? “Save more than 200 calories and nearly 20 grams of fat… Thousands of simple food swaps [could] save you ten, twenty, thirty pounds or more” (Zinczenko & Goulding 1).
When ordering fast food, ask for a nutritional menu and scour it for the best possible choice to keep it healthier and safer. There is no better time to dissolve the hold of this danger and gain control of the health of our slowly dying nation. In America, nutrition, calories, lack of cooking, and unwise choices lead to fast food. Fast food has taken over many fellow Americans because of an unhealthy life that remains unannounced and that needs exposure. Thousands of lives per year are lost to obesity but does it appear on news after the story of the local car crash?
No, America turns its back on the dangers to increase their profits and keep the hungry citizens happy for just a little while longer. Busy lives for business people and tired mothers means fewer people preparing home cooked meals in society today. Laziness has corrupted America leading to fast food galore. Do not abuse the body with toxins and fats; instead, think about having home cooked meals a few times a week or more. The body will stay healthier and lives in less risk. After all, “We are what we eat” (Gabaccia 1).