― 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. America is considered the fattest nation in the world as 60 percent - or 100 billion Americans - are either overweight or obese. With the amount of obese people regularly eating unhealthy fast food meals, it is clear that fast food is linked to obesity. Fast-food companies, such as McDonald's, contribute to the global trend of obesity since they serve unhealthy food and lure customers through effective, yet deceitful, advertising.
Almost all fast-food chains contribute to the obesity epidemic. Even though McDonald's refuses to admit that fast food is directly linked to obesity, it does acknowledge that “any processing our foods undergo make them more dangerous than unprocessed foods” (Spurlock). According to the National Institutes of Health (2004), the large amounts of fat, sugar, salt, and artificial additives in processed food can have negative effects on long-term health. People who regularly consume fast food overload their bodies with unhealthy additives since a single meal from a fast food restaurant often contains enough calories to satisfy one person's daily caloric requirement. A study from the Academy of Pediatrics (2007) also shows that people tend to consume less milk, fiber, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables after eating fast food. Due to the high consumption of fats and salts, in combination with a low intake of fiber and vitamins, people are more likely to gain weight and damage their health by eating fast food on a regular basis.
Despite the health risks, most fast-food companies refuse to reduce the amount of fattening ingredients in their products. Burger King, Britain's second largest fast-food chain, recently rejected the government's suggestion to reduce levels of salt, fat, and sugar in their recipes. Instead, it will concentrate on making its meals "tastier," regardless of the negative health effects (Leake). Like Burger King, K...
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“Europe's Children Getting Fatter.” Hc2d.co.uk: Virtually Comprehensive Healthcare News. 24 Apr. 2007.30 Apr. 2007
“Fast Food Linked to Child Obesity.” CBSnews.com. 5 Jan. 2003.17 Apr. 2007
“Fast Food and Obesity-Is There a Connection?” February, 2004. Health and Health Care in Schools. 4 (12). 17 Apr. 2007
“House Passes Cheeseburger Bill.” FoxNews.com. 11 Mar. 2004. 24 Apr. 2007.
“KFC Blasted Over Use of Unhealthy Trans Fat to Fry Chicken.” 20 June 2006. Daily News Central. 30 Apr. 2007
McDonald's. Food, Nutrition & Fitness. 2006. 17 Apr. 2007.
Leake, Jonathan. “Burger King opts out of health food drive.” Times Online (U.K.). 9 Oct. 2005.30 Apr. 2007
Simon, Michele. “McDonald's Labeling Scheme: Not Lovin' it.” Nov. 2005. 24 Apr. 2007.
Super Size Me, dir. Morgan Spurlock. The Con, 2004.
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