Fast Food and Obesity

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Fast food and Obesity

When one thinks about food, the first thing that might jump to one’s mind would be the delicious home made mother’s special roast, or for many it might be a cultural dish that westerners do not recognise as the perfect meal but still is respectively for those who adore it. However those days have long gone when a perfectly cooked meal was an everyday occurring. With a fast paced life in the western world the invention and development of fast food (industry) has grown like a contagious virus under favourable conditions. The objective of this literature review is to investigate ‘The commercialisation and globalisation of food to fast food and its link to the global obesity crisis upon adults and specially children’. It addresses a collective issue of multinational corporations encouraging unhealthy fast food to be adopted into the western and eastern worlds and the health and cultural affects of this push onto the children of every society of the respective nations affected. With emphasis on obesity and the target market of children who eventually will accept fast food into their lives as normal food as adults. This review however does not cover the affects of the fast food push and obesity over the food and culture of the different societies. Various newspaper articles and journals have been referred to in order to evaluate and criticize the push of fast food into everyday meal solutions and the affect this has on the obesity rate.

The topic of focus will be explored in two sections. Firstly, the evaluation and affects of obesity within the modern society on a global basis with emphasis on the United States of America and Australia will be conducted. Secondly the globalisation and commercialisation of fast/junk food will be addressed. Thirdly, a link will be established between the two through research. The reason this particular topic was selected was due to the fact that this is an issue that is brought up and forgotten too soon due to the short lived media memory (the effect when an issue is only concentrated upon as long as there is media exposure to it and soon forgotten afterwards) and it should be evaluated as a direct link in more detail. Also due to the reasoning that previously a detailed study for the development of a business plan for Hungry Jacks TM revealed that the obesity was a big link to their product and the general industry under which McDonaldsTM, WendysTM, KFCTM and more are included.

Obesity has been evident in the human record for over 20,000 years and affected numerous aspects of human life and society (Bray, 2007a; Bray, 2007b). This statement by Bray is an eye opener to how long this issue of obesity has existed within the human race and how little attention it has received as opposed to its lifespan so far. Whilst obesity may be caused by many reasons ranging from genetics (less common) to overindulgence in low nutritional value and high fat, salt and sugary foods (as a matter of common knowledge due to awareness campaigns by the media in the western countries over the past years), a top-ranking culprit to this disease/condition is ‘Fast Food’ or ‘Junk Food’ Although there is no exact date or to when fast food emerged in society, in October 1885, a fifteen year old boy named Charlie Nagreen came up with the idea to flatten a meatball and place it within two slices of bread to make it convenient for his customers at his local fair to eat and walk around at the same time. From there onwards through decades and decades of development, the ‘hamburger’ as we recognise it today emerged. (Schlosser & Wilson, 2007).

Moving on to current day, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2011) the fifth highest mortality rate factor is obesity and even being overweight. With focus on obesity to begin with, it can be stated that the issue has many a times within the western media and eastern media been addressed to and been recognised on a global scale. Obesity has its...
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