The Dark Side of Fast Food

The Dark Side of Fast Food

Length: 2090 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Do we really know what were putting into our bodies, when we eat fast food. What I intend to find out through research is the truth about fast food. What is fast food really made of? What potential health risks do we face when we eat fast food? Fast food is simply bad for your health and something needs to be done, in order to make it healthy for those who enjoy fast food, because fast food is known to cause health problems. Due to the fact that fast food isn’t natural, has a lot of added ingredients, and it is far from fresh. An article from the very well known Readers Digest states that even a healthy meal from Mc Donald’s isn’t even healthy like their crispy chicken salad has about the same calories as a Big Mac. The effects of eating fast food on a regular basis is bound to catch up to you, and some of those effects are diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and nevertheless obesity. One way to simply avoid these effects is to not eat fast food or to eat it in moderation.
According to the website Partner’s For Your Health which is a site run by the North Ohio Heart Center, “Americans spend more than $100 billion on fast food every year. This … is enough to stop world hunger for many years” (Kidd). The most popular fast food place has to be without a doubt Mc Donald’s its everywhere its also the least healthiest of all the fast food places. The site also states that Mc Donald’s only has seven things on their menu that doesn’t contain sugar also if you want a Big Mac meal you better plan on walking non-stop for six hours to burn off the calories you have gained. Another statistic but this time from the website Live Strong which is a U.S. nonprofit organization that provides support for people with cancer states that in,
“January 2004 study commissioned by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute followed young adults who ate fast food over a period of 15 years. The participants who ate fast food over two times each week gained 10 more pounds and had higher insulin resistance than those who ate fast food less than one time per week… insulin resistance can lead to diabetes, which can also cause heart disease” (Therien).
Statistics don’t lie, all they do is tell the truth.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Dark Side of Fast Food." 05 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The dark side of fast food Essay

- Today’s furious pace of life does not provide people with an opportunity of leisurely eating. The replacing of traditional food to convenience food is the result of the general intensification of work. At present people are usually under time pressure. Therefore, fast food seems to suit to the rhythm of modern life. However, it is argued by nutritionists that fast food is not beneficial to health, and causes health problems such as diabetes, heart diseases and obesity issues. The number of American overweight adults, whose mass is defined as 120 percent, has increased from 25 to 35 percent over the period of time from 1960 to 1991, while the percentage among adolescents has grown from 10 pe...   [tags: Health, Diseases, Obesity]

Research Papers
2516 words (7.2 pages)

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Scholosser

- The food industry has become a large part of the American lives by providing cheap, affordable, and fulfilling food. Now fast food has expanded globally creating a global phenomenon. In Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Scholosser, the books looks at the history of fast food and how it became a multi-billion dollar industry. Scholosser is an investigative journalist that seeks to uncover the truth about the fast food industry by researching its roots and exploring every aspect of the industry....   [tags: school, teenagers, food workers]

Research Papers
848 words (2.4 pages)

Will Fast Food be the Death of Us? Essay

- The American food industry has evolved in ways that may not be distinguishable to the human palate, but hopefully remain distinguishable to the human conscience. With all the options now available to company executives, citizens must be sure to keep them from abusing their powers and continuing to harm employees, mistreat animals, and kill consumers. The best ways are to promote public discourse and to make the most of the power of the consumer by thoughtfully deciding where to spend their hard-earned dollars....   [tags: The Dark Side of Fast Food, McDonalds]

Research Papers
4358 words (12.5 pages)

Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

-       In the book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser writes about the fast food industry. However, his book is not merely an expose of the fast food industry but is even more a consideration of how the fast food industry has shaped and defined American society in America and for other nations as America exports its fast food culture to others. Schlosser describes a great deal of American culture to the fast food mentality, and he finds that globalization is taking the fast food culture around the world at a rapid rate....   [tags: Fast Food Eric Schlosser Essays]

Research Papers
849 words (2.4 pages)

Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

- In the book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser talks about the working conditions of fast food meat slaughterhouses. In the chapter “The Most Dangerous Job,” one of the workers, who despised his job, gave Schlosser an opportunity to walk through a slaughterhouse. As the author was progressed backwards through the slaughterhouse, he noticed how all the workers were sitting very close to each other with steel protective vests and knives. The workers were mainly young Latina women, who worked swiftly, accurately, while trying not to fall behind....   [tags: Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation Essays]

Research Papers
1379 words (3.9 pages)

Fast Food is Unhealthy Food Essay

- “The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”  ― Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal According to Morgan Spurlock's documentary Super Size Me, one in every four Americans visits a fast food restaurant each day....   [tags: Essays on Fast Food 2014]

Research Papers
1700 words (4.9 pages)

Mcdonalds Is The Leading Fast Food Chain Essay

- McDonalds Imagine working out of town, driving down a highway, bright yellow arches on the horizon, hungry but need to hurry home. One goes into the store than in and out eating in the car. Fifteen minutes later the quarter pounder and fries with soda are all gone. McDonalds is famous for its American style burger and fries. Again imagine it, only most people don’t need to because McDonalds gets thousands of customers like this everyday. McDonalds is using many different factors to pull Americans into their stores and as a result, encourage unhealthy eating habits....   [tags: Hamburger, McDonald's, Fast food, French fries]

Research Papers
1191 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Mcdonalds Is The Leading Fast Food Chain

- Imagine working out of town, Driving through town hungry and in a hurry. Going into a restaurant, waiting for your food can be a hassle. Lazy, but busy Americans just go to McDonalds. Fifteen minutes later the quarter pounder and fries with soda are all gone. McDonalds is famous for its American style burger and fries. Most people do not need to imagine this because McDonalds gets thousands of customers like this everyday. McDonalds is using many different factors to pull Americans in their restaurants and as a result, encourage unhealthy eating habits....   [tags: Hamburger, French fries, McDonald's, Fast food]

Research Papers
1285 words (3.7 pages)

Fast Foods And Fast Food Essay

- Fast Food Fast food is the term given to food that is prepared and served very quickly which was first popularized in the 1950s. At least one quarter of American adults eat fast food everyday. And one out of every eight adults has worked at some time during his or her lives. This year Americans will spend about one hundred and ten billion dollars on fast food. The first fast food restaurant was McDonald’s and started the first drive in in the 1930s. They then wanted to make food faster and cheaper by starting the factory system....   [tags: McDonald's, Nutrition, Food, Fast food]

Research Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Burger King And The Fast Food Industry Essay

- Brand Audit According to Strategic Brand Management, “ a brand audit is a comprehensive examination of a brand to assess its health, uncover its source of equity, and suggest ways to improve and leverage that equity,” (Keller, 2008). Burger King will benefit from a brand audit because it provide new insights into brand strengths and weaknesses, growth opportunities and develop a strong competitive advantage in the fast-food industry. The Industry Burger King and McDonald’s are both in the fast-food industry specifically focusing in burgers, fries and chicken....   [tags: Fast food, Fast food restaurant, Subway]

Research Papers
1677 words (4.8 pages)

In an article, from the website She Knows which talks about all the ingredients in fast food. States that most of the ingredients in fast food we’ve never even heard of but we still eat it anyways. Like one of the ingredients in some fast food place’s chicken nuggets is a chemical preservative called Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone which is derived from petroleum, which is used in cars. Also most employees don’t get training on proper food safety so therefore they possibly could be preparing your meal without washing their hands. And fast food is filled with trans fat and sometimes the companies wont label that on the list of ingredients. She Knows has been one of the top ten most visited sites for women and provides current information on topics relevant to women's lives.
An article written by the Dr. Oz website, talks about the many secrets of fast food. Like how many fast food companies use antifreeze chemicals which help keeps food frozen, adds flavor, and adds moisture the chemical is mainly used in ice cream to keep it from melting and lettuce to help keep it crispy. Fast food places also clean with concentrated chemicals that can stay on the equipment overnight which can cause contamination in the first batches of food being made the next morning. Fast food is filled with preservatives so it can stay fresh for hours which means you’ll likely get something that wasn’t freshly made. If you order a grilled anything its most likely that the grill marks were sprayed on the meat at the factories. Also many fast food places fill their milkshakes with beef additives and disguise it as “natural flavorings” or “extract”. And nozzles on drink dispensers are the ideal home of mold because they are rarely cleaned and are filled with sugary sticky syrup. The Dr. Oz website is run by Dr. OZ who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and television personality.
Another article I found, but this time from the site Probiotic Smart talks about the fast food problem and the easy solution. According to them kids are eating fast food more often now and one of the reasons why, is simply because of how fast food is aiming at them with their ads of toys in the kids meal. And the kids meal is far from healthy its basically the same thing as a regular adult meal but slightly smaller. The solution is simply don’t eat fast food in front of your kids or encourage them to eat healthier things that you’ve prepared. Or limit the amount of TV they watch because every other commercial is probably going to be a fast food commercial. Probiotic Smart is a website were people can ask questions regarding health topics and get answers from experts who also share the latest health articles and solutions to health problems the article was written by Emily Bill who is a SEM specialist.
The website New Scientist talks about why fast food is bad even in moderation in their article called "Why Fast Foods Are Bad". In the article it says, “Eating a diet consisting largely of fast food could cause your waistline to bulge more than eating the same amount of fat from healthier sources” (Gosline). It also talks about how most fast food items contain trans fat which can cause an increase risk of heart disease compared to saturated fats. And studies have shown that most of the weight gained from fast food mainly effects your stomach area. New Scientist is a magazine that’s been around since 1956 and reaches nearly one million readers every week it provides information on science and technology.
An article by The New York Times, which talks about fast food from every corner. States that the reason why fast food is so popular is because its inexpensive and widely available. Making something less healthy is almost impossible because we have no control over how the food is cooked therefore if the fast food place wants to cook the food in plenty of butter they have that right. And since fast food is filled with fat, sodium, and sugar people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease have to be extra careful when it comes to eating fast food. Some solutions for healthier eating is to eat at fast food places that offer vegetables, or make better decisions when ordering like ordering something with fewer calories. The New York Times is a newspaper that has been published ever since 1851 and has won 112 Pulitzer prizes, which is more than any other news organization.
The main reasons why now more than ever fast food is becoming a health issue has to do with more people eating it. According to the book Fast Food Nation, “A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants--mainly at fast food restaurants” (Schlosser 4). And that has to do with the way its marketed, availability, and price. You can’t watch TV without seeing some sort of fast food commercial which advertises their latest cool invention or drive and not see a fast food billboard. And one of the main targets of fast food, is children who can convince their parents to take them to get fast food because of what the happy meal comes with, or because they want to play in the playground. “Unfortunately many kids are introduced to fast food at a young age and continue to consume it as they grow up” (Bill). Because kids are introduced to fast food at such a young age they face the risk of becoming obese, due to the fact that the kids meals are far from healthy since they are basically just a smaller
version of an unhealthy combo meal.
Availability, fast food is everywhere from the U.S. to Asia to the Middle East. Because of how available fast food has become more people are able to consume it, therefore more people are being effected by the unhealthy food. Also due to the availability people have the choice of not cooking, because why cook when you can drive a few minutes and get something delicious to eat. “These days, parents have very busy lives and may decide to pick their children up a happy meal instead of cooking a meal at home” (Bill). Its true and understandable, people do have busy lives therefore they choose to get something at a fast food place because of how easy it is when compared to cooking. But wouldn’t you rather cook something healthy for your family at least that way your aware of the ingredients?
Price is probably the main factor that makes fast food so popular. Most fast food places offer a value menu were most things are a dollar. So you can basically get a meal without breaking the bank if your on a budget. And that is understandable, because yes obviously you cant buy ingredients for a meal and pay less than a dollar. But your health isn’t worth a dollar. If you want to be healthy and live longer, then your only real choice is to eat healthier if that means spending a few extra bucks for healthy food then that’s what you have to do. In a quote by Eric Schlosser he says, “Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu” (Schlosser). He’s basically saying that we the consumers of fast food are so blinded by fast food that we can’t even see it for what it is and the health risks we face when we eat it.
The solution I propose is simply healthier food. If companies have to fill their food with sugar or butter to make it taste good or create fake grill marks on the burgers to convince people it was freshly grilled then they should be out of business. If companies want to serve unhealthy food then they should state all the ingredients and let people know the health risks, because we the people have the right to know. We should find a way to make the popular items on the menus less bad for us and more good for us. We should also have the food freshly made at the places instead of in factories that are then shipped to the fast food places. There should be healthier options on the menu because healthier food doesn’t necessarily mean disgusting food. For example, instead of the regular meat patties we can demand vegetable patties which are very good or instead of fries we can order fresh veggies that have a dash of flavoring to them. Or if that doesn’t work simply take the time out of your day to prepare something for you and your family that way you can assure that its healthy and fresh. But no matter what there is something that can be done to fix this problem its just up to us.
I am aware that many people many not necessarily agree with my solution. Some may say changing the fast food menu to healthier options wont help the fast food companies, because most of the people that eat fast food don’t like healthy food, therefore those people wouldn’t invest their money in lets say a veggie burger. But if those people became aware of the benefits of veggie burgers, I believe their attitude towards the burgers would change. In an article by Fit Day which talks about why you should choose to eat veggie burgers over the regular fatty burgers states that veggie burgers are less in fat and low in calories, have less or no preservatives, rich in fiber, and help prevent disease. The article also talks about how veggie patties are rich in fiber and how that’s good for your colon and heart. “Veggie burgers can also help you prevent serious diseases such as colon cancer. This fiber is not only good for the colon but also beneficial to your heart. Red meat such as beef may be linked to colon cancer” (Reasons).
Another argument people might make is that healthy food items at fast food places that serve healthy choices are expensive when compared to a one dollar burger, therefore why should they order it. And that’s one of the reasons why people don’t order the healthy choices at the fast food places. “But if you're looking for a sizable salad or a hearty burger with all the fixings that might resemble something you'd get in a sit-down restaurant, you can expect to pay up” (Meal). I personally think its wrong that the fast food companies charge more for healthier food items, but then again your health isn’t worth a dollar.
The main argument that many people probably would make is that cooking food for their family is more expensive then driving thru the drive thru and getting a meal for their family. But that’s not actually always the case, which is proven in Mark Bittman’s study.
“Mark Bittman, a writer for The New York Times, compared a meal for a family of four at McDonald's to a home-cooked meal of roast chicken, potatoes and a salad. Based on prices in a Brooklyn grocery store, the McDonald's meals were $14 more than the home-cooked meal. In addition to cost savings, the home- cooked meal is much healthier. He then compared the same meal to an even cheaper dinner of rice and beans with bacon, peppers and onions for an even greater savings of $18 clearly, you can save a lot by not eating fast food” (Fisher).
As seen in Bittman’s study making fresh meals for your family doesn’t necessarily mean your going to go bankrupt, your not only saving money but your also helping your family’s health.
I am aware that some may not agree with me and even say, “I eat fast food every day and look I‘m as healthy as can be.” Yes that may be the case or it can also be that your health is secretly being affected. The effects of eating fast food on a regular basis is bound to catch up to you, and some of those effects are diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and nevertheless obesity. One way to simply avoid these effects is to not eat fast food or to eat it in moderation. I truly believe that we have the power to be in control when it comes to our health. It may not be easy, but we were all born with self control. “The executives who run the fast food industry are not bad men. They are businessmen. They will sell free-range, organic, grass-fed hamburgers if you demand it. They will sell whatever sells at a profit” (Schlosser). Just like Schlosser said, nothing is impossible if we demand it and fight for this cause, will be making a huge change for our health which will only lead us to the road of good health, and good health comes with many advantages. Wouldn’t you want to live a healthy long life? The time to make a change is now, before it’s too late.

Works Cited

Bill, Emily. "Children and Fast Food." Probiotic Smart. Probiotic Smart, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Dugdale, David C., and David Zieve. "Fast Foods." New York Times. N.p., 3 May 2009. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
"Eric Schlosser Quotes." Eric Schlosser Quotes (Author of Fast Food Nation). Goodreads, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013
Fisher, Danielle. "How Much Can You save by Not Eating Fast Food?" Web log post. TLC. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Gallam, Claire. "If Obesity & Slime Weren't Enough." She Knows. She Knows, 1 June 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Gosline, Anna. "Why Fast Foods Are Bad." New Scientist. New Scientist, 12 June 2006. Web. 31 Oct. 2013.
Kidd, Deanna. "Shocking Fast Food Statistics You Should Know." Partners For Your Health. N.p., 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.
Meal, Daily. "America’s Most Expensive Fast-Food Menu Items." Yahoo Shine. Yahoo, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Oz, Dr. "Fast-Food Secrets Revealed." The Dr. Oz Show. The Dr. Oz Show, 19 Jan.
"Reasons to Choose a Veggie Burger." Fit Day (n.d.): 1. / Nutrition / Healthy Eating. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.
Schlosser, Eric. BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Print
Therien, Sharon. "Statistics of Health Risks From Eating Fast Food." LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2013

Return to