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Approximately 50 million Americans eat at fast food restaurants in the United States daily, and you may count yourself as one. Hopping into your favorite fast-food restaurant or swinging through the drive-thru tends to happen more often than some would like to admit. Crazy statistics have shown that an estimate of twelve percent of children’s calories are consumed from fast food. The consumption of fast food became quite prevalent among not only millennials but families of different ages. This phenomenon has been a habit embedded in many homes. This is where the dangerous part falls; once something becomes a habit it is no longer in one’s control. The person is victimized from prior choices he once made, because each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit. The increased number of fast food consumption is relatively due to its convenience and cheap price. People are relying on budget friendly foods that save them time and fill their stomachs. Compared to the prices of organic food or the ingredients needed to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal at home; fast food purchase is a big save. With today’s busy world, people are also looking for food that satisfies their taste buds and is quickly served to them. This is a great advantage for those who want to save time preparing a home cooked meal or for those who dislike cooking, in the first place. Although fast food could sometimes be a good option in terms of convenience, time, and budget, it still has profound, hideous effects on our body, which will be discussed in this essay.
Fast food consumption has major health risks on the body including physical effects, mental effects, and social effects. Junk food is essentially defined as food that is high in calories, highly processed, and containing low nutritional value. Fast food on the other hand is defined as food that is quickly prepared and eaten. Although fast food could have healthier options, most fast food is classified as junk food. Enjoying fast food often involves shutting out the knowledge that these foods include a lot of processing, modification and horrible ingredients coming from hideous places. Some of the ingredients used in fast include cheaper ingredients such as refined grains, sodium, added sugar, and high fat meat. A healthier option might instead include nutritious ingredients such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Because fast food is rich in cholesterol, sodium, saturated, and trans-fat, it is not something to be eaten very often. Research shows that even one single fast-food meal can impact a person’s health. That single fast food meal can cause inflammation to the body, increase in blood pressure, and a quick drop in blood sugar. The drop in blood sugar is due to the consumption of added sugars and high in refined carbohydrates which leads to a surge in insulin. That will leave the person cranky, tired, and hungry for more.
If one-time consumption causes all that, how bad will eating over a long time period be on our body? Just a few days of junk food could actually trigger a person’s metabolism. Their muscles lose the ability to convert glucose into energy even though their calorie intake was maintained constant. Over the long term, this change could lead to the resistance of insulin and eventually type 2 diabetes. Another effect is poor digestion. Because junk food lacks fiber, eating too much of it could lead to constipation. Overall, eating junk food on a regular basis is linked to causing higher risks of digestive issues, heart diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and early deaths. It is quite sad and disturbing as approximately half of American adults eat fast food at least once in seven days. People could sometimes be aware of the detrimental effects of fast food on their physical health. Only does a minority know that this low-quality food can also have harmful effects on the brain and mental health of an individual. Studies say that fast food can really cause mental disorders and fuel depression. Other documented impacts from these foods include mood swings, violence and aggression, anxiety, and brain fog. The situation may be even worse for kids.
The answer easing anxiety and depression is as simple as changing diets. An excess of fast food triggers an inflammatory response in the brain. This inflammation is linked to causing anxiety and depression from past research. Lastly, a poor diet of junk food has been proven detrimental to society. It brings too many negative effects on an individual’s life. “Today more than two of three adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese. More than one-third of children ages six to nine are also considered overweight or obese. The growth of fast food in America seems to coincide with the growth of obesity in the United States.
The Obesity Action Coalition OAC reports that the number of fast food restaurants in America has doubled since 1970. The number of obese Americans has also more than doubled.” Obese people are more susceptible to catch diseases and suffer from low-esteem and social tribulations. As for the American culture, fast food plays a role in creating a society that wants everything now and wants it fast and cheap. Kids, as an example, are excellent demanders. They demand things immediately and parents usually try to please them. However, parents are no different since they are always in search for ways to satisfy the hunger and desire of the whole family with what requires less effort: fast food.
To conclude, families tend to consume fast food on a regular basis as they believe it is more convenient, quicker, cheaper, and easier. However, people are blinded to the unhealthy consequences these foods have on people’s physical, mental, and social health. Food is no longer pure and natural; on the contrary, it is fake and manmade. Restaurants are no longer providing a service but are providing some manufactured, genetically modified goods. The industry is willing to reach every American home with careless thought of what consequences it may face. In order to take action, Dr. Fuhrman says, “We need a revolution in information about our food nutrition and health and it starts with you.”
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