Fast Food Culture

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I) Emergence
The fast food culture emerged as early as the 19th century. During the Industrial Revolution, a large workforce was required to work for 10 to 12 hours a day. With so much work to be done, fast food was the idea of a quick and easy lunch. In India, fast food culture emerged in the decades after independence, starting from the 1950’s. Eating at home used to be a significant aspect of Indian culture, so the change was gradual. Over a period of time, with a growth in the number of nuclear families, economic growth and increasing per capita income as well as globalization, fast food culture gained prominence. Women were shifting from their conventional roles of managing the household and taking care of the children. With growth in literacy, they started joining the workforce in large numbers. Fast food became a time-saving alternative to cooking for them. Similarly, children resorted to fast food to fill their stomachs in school and college. Their exposure to global urban culture and Western cuisine accelerated their want for cheap and delicious fast food. Moreover, fast food costs less than traditional long meals commencing with appetizer and concluding with dessert. Nirula’s and Pizza Corner – India’s most popular domestic fast food chains – gained rapid popularity during this period. Though the fast food culture originated abroad, these domestic food chains could create a perfect blend of international food with Indian ingredients. Paneer pizzas and aloo tikki burgers were indeed able to satisfy Indian taste buds. With the liberalization of the economy in 1992, new multinational fast food giants started dotting India with their outlets. Burger King, Wimpy’s, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, and KFC outlets can be seen today in nearly every shopping mall and other public areas. In fact, these multinationals have given their domestic counterparts a run for their money. They are growing at a much faster pace than the Indian chains. I) Impact

The emergence of the fast food industry has, to an extent, transformed urban food culture in India. The global fast food culture has not just seeped into Indian gastronomical imagination but has also emerged as an urban way of life. With the advent of globalisation and resurgence of corporate workforce, the Indian urban socio-economic scenario has undergone drastic changes at multitude of levels. From sedentary lifestyles to busy schedules, joint-family systems to nuclear families, independent houses to apartments, and home-made food to fast food, average Indians have finally come of age and initiated into the global standardisation of a modern lifestyle. -------------------------------------------------

Nowadays people don't have enough time as they have really tight schedules. Consumers who have restricted funds and time restraints would like to expend their money on something that is fast and appetizing, which is what has given augmentation to the fast food culture in India. Health Issue:

It is common knowledge that too much fast food is bad for health and may lead to obesity. An essential component of most fast food is fat – the kind of fat that in excess can lead to artery clogging. In large quantities, fast food may lead to obesity as well as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart diseases. Even certain types of cancers have been observed to spread due to lack of safety standards in some sectors of the fast food industry. Tran’s fat which is commonly used in fast food have been shown in many tests to have a negative health effect on the body. The fast food consumption has been shown to increase calorie intake, promote weight gain, and elevate risk for diabetes. The Centres for Disease Control and prevention ranked obesity as the number one health threat for Americans in 2004. It is the second cause of preventable death in the US and results in 4,00,000 deaths each year. On the other hand, because fast food concept relies on speed, uniformity and...
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