In 1940, a small, but extremely innovative restaurant opened. This restaurant offered food at an unheard of pace, and a cheap price. Over time, the founder, a man named Ray Croc, would turn this restaurant into the single largest fast food restaurant in the world, and, in turn, gave birth to the entire global fast food industry. All because of a little restaurant, called McDonald’s. Now my entire generation has been subjected to the products of an ad campaign with a yearly price of about $1.2 billion. With our children growing up in such a culture, I don’t believe that this generation can be, or will be brought back to the general sense of normality seen before the boom of the fast food industry. Furthermore, I believe that future generations will be even more grossly affected, with rates of childhood and adult obesity skyrocketing.
Since the early years of television, media intervention in the lives of children has severely altered their desires for certain advertised objects. Seeing the opportunity in this, fast food companies began incorporating colorful and likeable cartoon characters into their ad campaigns. The principle theory of this technique is that a child will grow up watching TV littered with ads for fast food companies, and will identify the characters with their food. So, a child figures out that if he goes to McDonald’s, he will see Ronald McDonald, and the other characters. As the child grows older, it becomes a subconscious comfort food. When saddened, or confronted with a difficult, they revert back to that mentality they had as a child, as a basic form of escapism. “So while the rest of the high street struggles for survival, fast food chains must be licking' their lips as they enj...
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...s. McDonald’s had single handedly created a whole new generation of fast food eating, McDonald’s idolizing, video game addicted children.
With all of this, I honestly see no plausible way for things to ever change for the better. It is not simply people eating fast food. For this generation to become healthy, America itself has to change its sometimes-ridiculous habits of consumerism and excess. The corporations that profit from this tragedy would have to have a change of heart, and suddenly dump all of their profits. The few companies that do see the dangerous nature of the fast food industry’s ways are so small that they are completely dwarfed by the multi-billion dollar advertisements put up by large corporations, and pose absolutely no threat to them. It seems, until America changes its greedy and money-hungry ways, we are truly the unhealthy generation.
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