If you're like me, you probably enjoy the convenience of fast food. You drive up, place your order and presto! You've got a whole meal and you didn't even have to get out of your car. As convenient as it is, fast food is unhealthy for consumers, inhumane to animals, and the employees who process the meat work in hazardous environments. When you take all these factors into consideration - is the availability and popularity of fast food really good for the nation?
Fast food has contributed to the obesity of the American population. Many people consume too much fast food because it is inexpensive and speedy. Most Americans say they simply do not have time to prepare and consume healthier foods. Most fast food offerings have long term negative health effects on people because they are a primary cause of obesity. Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It's a health hazard. Someone who is overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is an average-weight person. This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions including, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory problems such as sleep apnea. This has become a nationwide epidemic. "More than half of all American adults and about one-quarter of all American children are now classified as obese or overweight." Schlosser drives the point home stating that "no other nation in history has gotten so fat so fast."
Furthermore, fast food is inhumane to the animals being processed for our eating convenience and pleasure. In his book Fast Food Nation, Schlosser discusses the day to day operation of slaughterhouses. "About 50,000 head of cattle are slaughtered there every day. Schlosser describes in graphic terms the different jobs involved in turning a steer into packaged meat, of which one of the most graphic are the "sticker" and the "knocker." The sticker severs the carotid artery of a steer every ten seconds. The knocker stuns cattle...
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