Causes and Effects of Fast Food Restaurants Essay | 1525 Words

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Causes and Effects of Fast Food Restaurants Essay

Over the course, fast food restaurants have rapidly increased. According to Supersize Me, “McDonald’s alone operates more than 30,000 joints in over 100 countries on six continents and feeds more than 46 million people worldwide every day” (Carmichael). It’s estimated that the number of McDonald’s outlets increased by 20 percent in the past decade. Because of this, experts worry about the impact of increased fast food consumption on health (Living).

Due to the increase in the fast-food industry, research has shown that eating highly processed foods like those served in fast-food restaurants has been linked to several adverse health issues, including obesity, heart disease, and early death (Welch).

According to, fast food accounted for about 11 percent of daily intake in the United States between 2007 and 2010, and about 37 percents of U.S. adults consume fast food on a given day (Law). With the increased percentage of adults eating fast food from the early 1990 to the mid-1990s, the number of obese people increased (Fryar).

In the film “Supersize Me,” nearly 100 million Americans are today either overweight or obese. More than 60 percent of all United States adults (Carmichael). Another issue with fast food is nutrition. Both Border and Mandal said fast foods are typically high in calories, high in fat, high in sugar, high in refined carbohydrates, and high in sodium (salt).

Because it is nutritionally unhealthy, has been linked to heart disease, and causes obesity and death, people should stop eating fast food. People should stop eating fast food because they are nutritionally unhealthy. According to and a personal interview with Border, fast food is typically high in trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories. And it also tends to be low in nutrients and lacking in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.

The food is calorically dense and served in large portions. Typically the meat has highly refined carbohydrates and poor dietary fatty acids (Odegaard). In addition, studies have shown that greater portion size leads to greater intake and extra calories (SQ online). For example, researchers found that, on average, the calorie content of entrees went up by thirty calories a decade. In comparison, the calorie content of desserts went up by sixty-two calories a decade.

The study said the menu items also have a significant increase in sodium content, about a 4.6 percent daily value increase per decade of entrees (Law). Another example is a Big Mac which is high in sodium, has high calories, and has low nutritional value (SQ online).

According to Fryar, studies have reported that “more frequent fast-food consumption is associated with higher energy and fat intake and a lower intake of healthful nutrients.” The energy density of the entire menu at fast food outlets is typical “B1100 KJ/100g,” more than twice the energy density of recommended healthy diets “B525KJ/100g” (Stender). Finally, the “report indicates that for 2007-2010, on average, adults consumed just over one-tenth of their percentage of calories from fast food, which decreased from 2003-2006 when approximately 13% of calories were consumed from fast food” (Fryar).

Even though the percentage has decreased, it is still a high percentage of adults who consume fast food. This is why people should stop eating fast food because it is unhealthy. In addition to being nutritionally harmful, fast food has been linked to heart disease. In the film Supersize Me, the experiment was that he had to eat everything on the menu at least once for the next 30 days and have three squares for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

During the end of the experiment, the person stated, “I nearly doubled risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure (Carmichael). This shows that overeating fast food can lead to health problems. ScienceDaily and Odegaard both state that research found that people who consume fast food even once a week increase their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent in comparison to people who avoid fast food.

People eating fast food two-three times each week increase their risk by 50 percent, and 80 percent risk for people who consume fast food items four or more times each week. Also, the research found that “individuals within roughly a half-mile from a fast food restaurant were significantly more likely to develop heart disease than those living further away” (Living). This is because most people who live near fast-food restaurants are likely to consume fast food regularly.

Both Border and Stender state, “daily intake of 5 grams trans fast, corresponding to 2 energy percent, is associated with an approximately 30 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease.” The trans fat in fast food is unhealthy fast. According to, “A 2015 study from Tufts University looked at five countries around the world and found that consumption of sugary drinks may have led to approximately 45,000 death from heart disease (Welch).

Also, in a study of the intake of Western-style fast food items in Singapore, the result was “1397 death from coronary heart disease” (Odegaard). This shows the danger of fast food being linked to heart disease and death. Because of this, people should stop eating fast food. The final reason to stop consuming fast food causes obesity and death because it is unhealthy.

As Bahadoran state, “Frequent consumption of fast foods is one of the main reasons for rising trends of overweight and obesity.” Also, Al-Saad, agrees that one of the severe diseases of fast food is obesity. Obesity is now second only to smoking as a significant cause of preventable death in America, with more than “400,000 death per year associated with illness” (Carmichael).

For example, “obesity indicates the increase in a body’s weight over the recommended once by 30 percent due to the high rate of fats and sugar in the body” (Al-saad). This shows that fast food is nutritionally unhealthy, linked to obesity. In the film Supersize Me, an experiment was done to see whether fast food is the cause of obesity in America.

As a result, “only 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald’s he gained 24 and a half pounds. His body fat percentage went from 11 to 18 percent” (Carmichael). This shows that consuming fast food regularly is unhealthy, and fast food does cause obesity, so people should stop eating fast food. Eating large portions of energy-dense foods contributes to the obesity epidemic (SQ online).

According to Obesity Crisis, many Americans are obese because of fast food consumed “with 64.5 percent of American adults overweight or obese, 30.5 percent obese and 127 million American adults were overweight in 1999-2000, 60 million obese and 9 million severely obese.” Due to a large population of Americans being obese, fast food consumers should stop eating them. Studies have shown that this rise in obesity among the world population could be attributed to increased calorie intake (Mandal).

With the cause of obesity, fast food also leads to many deaths “it is estimated that 300,000 deaths annually are overweight and obesity-related. The risk of death from all causes is 50 to 60 percent greater for those who are obese compared to those with a healthy weight” ( Obesity Crisis). Fast food consumption is highly an issue in today’s society, causing obesity and leading to many deaths. People should stop eating fast food.

Some may argue that there are many healthy food options when eating at a fast-food restaurant, such as “apple slice, sandwich, Oatmeal, and some low-fat yogurt” (Border). According to Ayres, “some salads offered by Wendy’s are under 400 calories.” Ayres argues s “modern fast food isn’t just about burgers and fries.

Some healthy fast food meals can be found in the various chains worldwide.” However, it takes someone knowledgeable to choose healthy food options at a fast food restaurant state Border. When asking Border, does everyone who eats at fast food restaurants know about their nutrition menus? Border said no. Researchers have found that even if they see the numbers on the menus, they do not know what it means. They don’t understand that 200 calories for a sandwich are many calories. Also, consuming foods at fast food restaurants reduces the amount of eating healthy food options (SQ online).

Because many fast food salads are a diet minefield, smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings (HelpGuide), sometimes healthy stuff at fast food is worse than the items that seem like they’d the most damage. For example, “McDonald’s fruit and Maple Oatmeal, another dish with a massive health halo, packs a whopping 32 grams of sugar, and there are chemicals that help keep lettuce leaves crisp (Dana-Leigh-Smith). This shows that consuming fast food is not a healthy option because most people have no idea how many calories they eat, and healthy foods are not regularly promoted to the same extent a burger is promoted (Ayres). Because of this, people should stop eating fast food.

In conclusion, because it is nutritionally unhealthy, has been linked to heart disease, and causes obesity and death, people should stop eating fast food. There are many adverse health risks related to consuming unhealthy fast food. Also, the higher availability of fast food services is associated with higher mortality rates for coronary heart disease and a higher risk of overweight and obesity. In short, people should stop eating them because of it unhealthy and linked to many adverse health effects.

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