The Reality of Fast Food Consumption

Topics: Nutrition, Fast food, Fast food restaurant Pages: 8 (3072 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Nicholas Leung
May 2012
The Reality of Fast Food Consumption

When was the last time you had fast food just because it was so easy, filling, convenient and inexpensive? Fast foods restaurants provide foods that are quick, cheap, and easy alternatives to home cooked meals, that do not provide table service, and tend to be high in saturated fat, salt, calories while containing little nutrients (Gaskell). Sometimes we eat food from restaurant chains such as McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Dunkin Donuts because it’s quick and may taste amazing when we’re really hungry. People primarily choose fast food because they find it quick, easily accessible, and good tasting (Hitti). While most Americans are aware that there are some negative health consequences for eating fast foods, a quarter of the population still chooses to consume it every day (Schlosser). Fast food restaurant advertisements help create a demand for fast food and its accessibility makes it an easy choice for consumers. Unfortunately, it is increasingly evident that regular fast food consumption is not only unhealthy but also increases the risk of obesity.

Misleading Advertisement
The main purpose of advertisements is to provide information and create demand for a product or service. Advertisements for fast food establishments such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell etc. are abundant whether on television, print media or the radio and always portrays their products as tasty and desirable. When we look at a McDonalds billboard, it always shows a juicy burger with leafy fresh greens, and real cheese on a bun perfectly aligned. In reality, what is usually served is a semi-squished burger, tilted to a side and has a mush of highly processed cheese and lettuce, which looks like it has been sitting out for a while. The “beef” used contains more additives then the amount of meat itself. Taco Bell’s “beef” is only about 35 percent meat. The other 65 percent of their “beef” are additives, preservatives, extenders, binders and other unnatural substances (Caulfield). Many of the substances and preservatives added have been proven to lead to cancer (The Effects of Fast Food Additives and Preservatives). The misleading information that we are provided with is damaging our health without our knowledge. What about healthier additions to the menu? It’s not only the Big Mac or the chicken nuggets that gives us too much fat and calories; it’s also the salads. We think of salads as something that is healthy for us, but when it’s sold in a fast food chain, it's a totally different story. For example, “Quizno’s Mediterranean Chicken Salad has 770 calories, and 19 grams of saturated fat… Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Caesar salad, serves up 770 calories, 49 grams of fat (17 of them artery-clogging saturated fat) and 1,810 milligrams of sodium”(Beck). That's double the calories of a regular burger. Clearly, most fast food salads are not much lighter in calories and fat, then the burger you get. Most foods sold at fast food chains are not beneficial to us, and we cannot trust these companies. Subway Sandwiches is a healthier fast food alternative provided that you make nutritious choices when you custom make your sandwich. If you make the right choices and put lean meats like turkey or chicken, fresh green leaves, as well as a nice light dressing, your meal will be healthy. However, if you choose an unhealthy Subway sandwich such as the foot-long Meatball Pepperoni Melt, the results may be just as heavy and fat as a Big Mac because this foot-long sandwich contains 1200 calories, and 3120 mg of sodium (Nutrition Information), which is way over the daily sodium recommendation. To mislead you into thinking their food is healthier then it actually is, Subway has a section called Meal Builder on their website. They take McDonald’s Big Mac meal, Burger King’s Whooper meal, and compare it to their “Fresh Fit” meal. Out of all their...

Cited: "Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 9 May 2012.
Caulfield, Philp. "Taco Bell Is Using False Advertising When It Calls Its Food 'beef, ' According to Lawsuit." New York Daily News. N.p., 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 May 2012.
"The Effects of Food Additives and Preservatives." Health : N.p., 20 Aug. 2008. Web. 9 May 2012.
"Fast Food Linked To Child Obesity." CBSNews
"Fat and Calorie Content of Fast Food Versus a Home-Cooked Meal Read More: Fat & Calorie Content of Fast Food versus a Home-Cooked Meal” — Infoplease. N.p., 2007. Web. 13 May 2012.
Fonseca-Alaniz, Miriam H., Luciana C. Brito, Cristina N. Borges-Silva, and Julie Takada. "High Dietary Sodium Intake Increases White Adipose Tissue Mass and Plasma Leptin In Rats." Nature Publishing Group, Feb. 2007. Web. 14 May 2012.
Gaskell, Karen Jean. "Definition of Fast Foods." LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 13 May 2012.
Gavin, Mary L. "When Being Overweight Is a Health Problem." TeensHealth. N.p., Oct. 2010. Web. 13 May 2012.
"Health Effects of Fast Food." Corporate Accountability International. N.p., 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 May 2012.
Hendrick, Bill. "Percentage of Overweight, Obese Americans Swells." WebMD. WebMD, 10 Feb. 2010. Web. 13 May 2012.
Hitti, Miranda. "Top 11 Reasons For Fast Food 's Popularity." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 03 Dec. 2008. Web. 13 May 2012.
Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Sodium: How to Tame Your Salt Habit Now." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 5 May 2012.
Parker-pope, Tara. "The Fat Trap." The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 May 2012.
Pulaski, Alex, and Andy Dworkin. "Cattle Drive: What 's in That Burger You 're Eating?" Cattle Drive: What 's in That Burger You 're Eating? Newshouse New Service, 22 Feb. 2004. Web. 7 May 2012.
Ruiz, Rebecca
Schlosser, Eric. "Americans Are Obsessed with Fast Food: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 11 Feb. 2009. Web. 13 May 2012.
Taylor, Paul, Cary Funk, and Peyton Craighill. "Eating More; Enjoying Less." - Pew Research Center. N.p., 19 Apr. 2006. Web. 13
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Fast Food Consumption
  • Essay on Fast Food
  • Impact of Fast Food Consumption Essay
  • Fast Food Essay
  • Fast Food Essay
  • Fast Food Essay
  • fast food Essay
  • Fast Food Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free