The Fast Food Health Scam

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For decades the Fast-food industry has supplied Americans with tasty, comforting food, quickly and at a low cost. It was not until recently, when the health craze first hit America in the late 1980’s that the corporations developed a new approach to marketing health food products to fit their customer’s wants (Nielsen). The most common fast food chains, such as McDonalds and Subway, started advertising “healthier” food items on their menus to continue appealing to the general public. While fast food restaurants give the impression of offering healthy food, nutritionist studies show healthy alternatives are not as nutritious as advertised and can lead to possible calorie underestimation and overconsumption (Chandon 85). In order to maintain significant market share of the industry, fast food companies must entice people of all ages and advertise alternative menu options, even if the nutrition content does not support the messaging. The advertisement of “healthy” fast foods as nutritious often results in calorie under estimation and overeating by the consumer. The reality is Fast Food companies hoax their costumers into purchasing the advertised healthy products, but do not provide enough nutritional information for them to make healthy decisions.

In “The Indictments Against Advertising” by Courtland L. Bovee and William F. Arens, both authors of business and contemporary advertising textbooks, briefly discuss advertising’s effect on the consumer and shows the implications of businesses, in this case the fast-food industry, persuading people to “want what they don’t need” (Bovee 358). The advertising technique of persuasion leads to false impressions of a product, much like the advertisement claims of selling healthy f...

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...ee , Courtland L. and Arens, William F. “The Indictments Against Advertising” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 10th edition by Laurence Behrens University of California, Santa Barbara, and Leonard J. Rosen. New York, San Francisco, Boston, London, 2008. Pearson Longman pp. 685-691.

Chandon, Pierre, and Wansink, Brian. “Does food marketing need to make us fat? A review and solutions” Nutrition Reviews, 70.10 (2012): 571-593 Academic Search Complete Web 31 October 2014.

Critser, Greg. “Too Much of a Good Thing.” Editorial. Los Angeles Times 22 July 2001.

Supersize Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Perf. Morgan Spurlock. Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Showtime Independent Films, 2004. DVD

Nielsen, S.J. & Popkin, B.M. (2003). Paterns and trends in food portion sizes, 1977­1998. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289 (4), 450­453.

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