Sunday, April 25, 2010

Essay on Fast Food

Essay on Fast Food

Fast food chains have taken over America, but this is not a good thing. Obesity has become one of the biggest problems the United States of America. Anywhere from 25 – 30% of children, and 50% of adults are obese. Where does this obesity come from? Fast food chains with processed foods, “mystery meats”, and “sugar shocked” pops are major contributors to this widespread problem of obesity. What about this food is so bad for us? It is the trans fats that are in tasty products straight from our favorite fast food chains. This world has a rising amount of the popular fast food restaurants, which contain foods packed with trans fats, and do not contain enough essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The rising popularity of fast food chains, and percentage of obese people needs to be stopped.

The Fast food industry has had a tremendous outbreak of popularity since they first came into existence. In the course of two years 25,000 fast food restaurants were built. That is an amazing number. McDonalds itself spends over half a BILLION dollars a year promoting their “culture” of eating. No company could have that much advertising money unless it was extremely popular. That is where our problem starts. The popularity of fast food has come from being a small problem to being a worldwide problem. No matter what continent you are on chances are you will find at least 1 fast food restaurant because of the never fading popularity of fast food.

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Many studies have been performed having to do with McDonalds because of how popular it is. Most people would probably guess that almost everyone knows what Christianity is. However, McDonalds is more widely known. In a study done with children, the researchers found that the Golden Arch, found on McDonalds signs, was more recognized then the Christian cross. McDonalds has also created a mascot. His name is Ronald McDonald. I would be very surprised if I walked into a room of 20 American children and found that none of them know whom Ronald McDonald is or what the Golden Arch symbolizes. 96% of children know who Ronald McDonald is. That SECONDS him to Santa Clause whether they believe in him or not. McDonalds is known to most every American child.

Kids today eat too much as it is, and a lot of what they eat isn’t healthy. The large amount of advertisement from McDonalds contributes to this. If children know so much about McDonalds, you would guess that they would have eaten there. Surveys that have been taken say that most people eat McDonalds at least once a month. A study that was performed said that immigrant children coming to America, even with all their poverty and lack of good health care, are healthier then the everyday American child. Instead of eating processed foods, they eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains. Of course over time, every immigrant child will be sucked up into the contagious American way, and develop our unhealthy eating habits. The amount of obese children has increased by 50% in the last 20 years.

Almost everyone knows that fast food is bad for you. With the media highlighting every bad thing in the world it is hard to not know that. Most of us do not realize that it is not only bad for our health, but a threat to it as well. Some may know about the calories in it, which in just one meal can be enough for the day. Some obesity. Very few may even know about the bad meat. So they think I wont eat the hamburger, I’ll have French fries instead. I know I used to think that, but the French fries are worse, because of the “partially hydrogenated” oils they are cooked in. Amazing isn’t it? There is virtually no way to make fast food good for you.

Ok, now I would guess your wondering what in the food is bad for you, so I will tell you that it is the trans fats. To most of you that word probably means nothing. It didn’t mean anything to me before I found out what it is. There are two types of fats: Trans fats and the essential fatty acids. The essential part of “essential fatty acids” implies that you need them. Trans fats are the bad fats. A lot of this information has been centered on McDonalds because McDonalds is the largest source of these fatal fats. Now, I know you can tell me well they changed their fries to being “cholesterol free”, but in the reality of that, in terms of your health, that means nothing. The cholesterol rating has nothing to do with whether or not they are good for you. It is all about what they are cooked in: the oils. Oils are “partially hydrogenated”. This tells us that they contain these potent Fatty acids. Most of us don’t know what “partially hydrogenated” means. That’s why we allow this to pass when we are reading labels. Trans fats are in many things whether we know that they are there or not.

What are trans fats? Trans fats were made in 1911 when Procter and Gamble made Crisco. Saying that something is “partially hydrogenated” means that hydrogen was added to a polyunsaturated fat. Manufacturers did this to increase the shelf life of their products. When you do this the fat becomes more solidified allowing it to keep longer. However, it also keeps longer in our bodies. This causes blockages in our arteries. These blockages can eventually lead to heart attacks and various other things. Trans fats are really bad, solid fats that can seriously harm us.

Most children do not get enough EFA’s, essential fatty acids. These acids help us in so many ways. They are the fat that we need to live on. They are necessary for hemoglobin production, circulation, cell membrane, immune function, and brain development. Lacking them can cause heart, mental, skin, and other disorders. This shows that it is “essential” to have essential fatty acids. EFA’s are important to us because they keep us living and if children are lacking them it will lead to big problems.

Trans fats are in almost everything you can buy at fast food restaurants making them highly dangerous. We all need to do something to help this. This world has a rising amount of the popular fast food restaurants, which contain foods packed with trans fats, and do not contain enough essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The popularity of fast food restaurants many never change. Therefore we should attempt to make our fast food restaurants healthier. That doesn’t mean make the French fries cholesterol free! That means change how things are cooked and what they are cooked in. By changing what they are cooked in we can get rid of many of the trans fats, and possibly add some EFA’s. In that way we would make the food healthier decreasing obesity levels, and hopefully change the amounts of trans fats in most foods. Trans fats are virtually taking over not only the fast food restaurants, but also the world.

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