SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Dunn, Mohr, Wilson and Wittert (2007) argued that the definition of fast food is inconsistent even within a simple sample. This has allowed participants to define fast food from list of different food items. The common menu
items at fast food restaurants include fish and chips, sandwiches, hamburgers, fried chicken, French fries, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream (Ayse, Lale & Metin, 2007). Moreover there are studies done at Berkeley University in 2009, the closer people live to a fast food restaurant, the higher their risk of becoming obese (Davis, 2011). Although, people indicated a very broad definition of fast food when asked what style of foods classified as fast food(including burgers, fish and chips, meat pies and pasties and brought (sand-wiches), when discussing fast food, they gave example which focused only on traditional fast food items such as burgers and chips from large franchises. Fast food according to the Oxford Dictionary of Contemporary English- is hot food that is served very quickly in special restaurant and often taken away to be eaten in the streets. Equally, fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served with low preparation time. The food is sold in a restaurant or store with preheated cooking ingredients and served to the customers in a package form for take-out or take away. The term “Fast Food” was recognized by Merriam-Webster in 1951. In as much as the importance of fast food in contemporary society cannot be overemphasized, it is pertinent to tilt focus to the emergence of fast food, and how it became pivotal in feeding and satiating the society to a remarkable extent. The historical background of fast food can be traced to urban development. The development was deeply rooted in sociological inevitability. Furthermore, in the Middle Ages, large towns and major urban areas such as London and Paris supported vendors that sold dishes such as pies, pastries, pancakes, wafers and cooked meats. In Roman cities during the antiquity, 1
many of these establishments catered for those who had no means to cook on their own. Travelers, as well such as pilgrims en route to a holy site were among the customers. The United Kingdom and United States also had notable developments in the fast food sphere, following the advent of the World War I. Equally, as fast food outlets became popular and more affordable, drive – in restaurants were introduced, alongside franchising in 1921 by A & W Root Beer which franchised distinctive syrup. In the traditional African society, Fast Food as an institution is equally evident. There have been hawkers of fast food items in these societies since time immemorial, and these have evolved into restaurants and fast food outlets. Fast food outlets existed in the traditional Nigeria society. The corner seller of Suya, Akara (fried bean cake), roasted plantain, Fried yam, roasted corn has been an age old feature of many Nigeria towns serving snacks for those on the go for everyone from little children to working adults. While traditional fast food delicacies still remain as well as mobile market fast food vendors, what has contributed significantly to the growth of fast food outlets in Nigeria has been increased urbanization and changing work roles. Since the 1960s, (U.S Library of congress), Nigeria has had one of the fastest population growth rate in the world. In 2010, almost half of all the population lives in the cities. As more people choose to settle in Nigeria crowded cities, the time to prepare meals has become more demanding. With more women joining the work force, their traditional roles have changed. This can further be explained by individualization thesis by Beck- Gernshein, (1998). Fast food can also be found in every nook and cranny of Nigeria, Tertiary...
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