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The Negative Impact of Fast Food on Physical and Mental Health

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Human-Written

Words: 584 |

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3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 584|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Consuming fast food has been linked to negative effects on both physical and psychological health. Fast food is characterized by high glycemic load and energy densities, which can lead to obesity, digestive problems, and depression when consumed in excessive amounts. The rise in obesity and depression rates in countries like the US and UK can be attributed to the increased consumption of fast food (Rosenheck 535).

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Fast food is typically purchased from self-service or take-out restaurants such as MacDonald, KFC, and Pepsi. In the US, the number of fast food outlets has dramatically increased from 30,000 in 1970 to over 233,000 locations in 2004 (Rosenheck 535). It is my belief that fast food has a negative impact on the physical and emotional well-being of consumers. The portion sizes of fast food meals are often much larger than the average calorie intake of homemade food for an adult. This excess consumption of calories can lead to weight gain. Additionally, fast food restaurants typically serve pre-determined portions that are higher in calories than what an average adult should consume. For example, sandwiches in fast food outlets come in two specific sizes – 12 and 6 inches. Research has shown that women consume 31% more energy and men consume 56% more energy when they eat a 6-inch or 12-inch sandwich, respectively (Ledikwe, Ello-Martin, and Rolls 906). Studies on fast food snacks have also revealed that women consume 18% more calories and men consume 37% more calories than their usual energy intake (Ledikwe, Ello-Martin, and Rolls 907). The high energy density of fast food, due to its high fat content, contributes to the increased calorie intake of consumers.

Fast food is also high in unhealthy fats. While fats from natural sources are essential for digestion, absorption, and transportation of vitamins and fat-soluble essentials, the fats found in fast food are mostly saturated fats and trans fats. An adult male should consume no more than 30g of saturated fats and a woman should consume no more than 20g, with less than 5g of trans fat, to maintain good health (Rosenheck 536). However, a single bite of a restaurant burger contains almost 10g of saturated fats, exceeding the recommended intake for men. The high fat, salt, and sugar content in fast food leads to an increase in harmful bacteria, causing indigestion. Fast foods like french fries, fried chicken, and bread are often cooked in hydrogenated oil, which is not good for digestion.

Depression has become a widespread problem, and research has linked certain nutrients found in food, such as vitamin B, omega-3 fatty acids, and olive oil, to a reduction in depression (Robson par. 1). The consumption of trans fats and saturated fats in fast food increases the risk of depression among consumers.

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In conclusion, excessive consumption of fast food can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental well-being. Obesity and digestive issues are common health problems associated with fast food consumption. Furthermore, the lack of essential nutrients in fast food can negatively impact mental health, leading to an increased risk of depression. It is clear that overindulging in fast food can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems.

  1. Ledikwe, Jenny H., Julia A. Ello-Martin, and Barbara J. Rolls. “Portion Sizes and the Obesity Epidemic.” The Journal of Nutrition 135.4 (2005): 905-909. Print.
  2. Robson, David. “Is fast food making us depressed?” 14 August 2014.
  3. Rosenheck, R. “Fast food consumption and increased caloric intake: a systematic review of a trajectory towards weight gain and obesity risk.” Obesity Reviews 9.6 (2008): 535-547. Print.
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The Negative Impact of Fast Food on Physical and Mental Health. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-negative-impact-of-fast-food-on-physical-and-mental-health/
“The Negative Impact of Fast Food on Physical and Mental Health.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-negative-impact-of-fast-food-on-physical-and-mental-health/
The Negative Impact of Fast Food on Physical and Mental Health. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-negative-impact-of-fast-food-on-physical-and-mental-health/> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
The Negative Impact of Fast Food on Physical and Mental Health [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 12 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-negative-impact-of-fast-food-on-physical-and-mental-health/
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