Health Effects of Fast Food in Our Current World

Topics: Fast food, Fast food restaurant, Nutrition Pages: 7 (2619 words) Published: December 2, 2008
Running Head: Health Effects of Fast Food

Health Effects of Fast Food in our Current World

The prevalence of fast food in today’s society may be affecting more than just people's eating choices; it can also affect the economy. In this paper I will discuss and give some insight on the history of fast food, its growth, positive and negative issues related to fast food, and also health related issues that seem to be directly correlated with eating fast food. In my paper I also choose to use McDonalds as my main source of comparison with fast food due to its large popularity and resources available. My main mission of this paper is to inform people of the harmful side effects of fast food and how to prevent/fix this newly raging epidemic of obesity that is spreading worldwide.

Health Effects of Fast Food in our Current World
Restaurants have been around in some form or another for most of human civilization. As far back as ancient Greece and Rome, inns and taverns generally served food to people. Although taverns and coffee houses were popular places to gather and share beverages in the 17th century, the idea of eating out for fun didn't take off in Western society until the late 18th century. The earliest records of fast food ideas or similarities to fast food was believed to be tied to a German butler, Charles Feltman, in 1867 who opened up a Coney Island hotdog stand in New York City. Later following Mr. Feltman was Walter Scott who came up with the idea of a horse-drawn lunch wagon. This creation was done with local workers in mind, giving them the opportunity to have a hot meal during the cold winter days. The most similar ideas to our current fast food chains today were Horn and Hardarts’ New York City cafeteria. This cafeteria is given credit as the first “take-out” restaurant. They would prepare the food behind glass windows and payments would be taken through coin slot in the walls. This idea would later inspire White Castle's founders, Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson. Although White Castle was the first fast food hamburger joint of its time, it is credited as being the second fast food restaurant created. After the invention of the automobile, White Castle decided to change the public's perception of fast food by creating faster methods of cooking the food and the use of a “drive-in”. following White Castle’s creation was a name and company that everyone in the world will never forget. McDonalds, the largest hamburger fast food chain in the world. McDonalds was actually started as a barbecue place by Dick and Mac McDonald. When they realized that the main menu items being sold were hamburgers and fries they re-thought their business plan and closed down for three months. The McDonald brothers re-opened their newly renovated restaurant in 1948, The idea was to create a strictly hamburger, fries, milkshake, coffee and coca-cola restaurant that used disposable products to serve your meal in. This idea would allow McDonalds to cook the food ahead of time giving it a speedier delivery time, clean up time, and also creating larger scale sales opportunities. Several fast-food chains that exist today opened shortly after the McDonald brothers; like Burger King in the 1950’s and Wendy's in 1969. With McDonalds’ growing number of restaurants, McDonald's is becoming more and more recognized. They are the most widely recognized brand and spend the most money on advertising. They own more playgrounds and give out more toys than any other company. With 30,000 restaurants worldwide, the McDonald's Corporation owns the most retail property in the world (Schlosser 4). McDonald's has about 17,000 restaurants outside the United States in more than 120 foreign countries (Schlosser 229). They open about five new restaurants every day, and typically four of them are overseas (Schlosser 229). They also have a popular clothing line. In a recent survey of school children...

References: BBC News. "Fast Food as Addictive as Heroin." 30 Jan 2003. BBC News. 4 Mar. 2004
BBC News
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York:
Harper Colins, 2001.
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