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The Impact of Fast Food on Population

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Write an essay on how the media is responsible for the contrast between America’s eating habits and the way we feel about how we look as a result of our eating habits.

Use the 5 Paragraph Theme format. The essay needs to be a minimum of 1000 words in length.

Proper documentation: MLA

The issue of healthy eating is one of the most important in the modern society. According to Paul Rozin and Andrew B. Geier, “In the modern developed world, our food environment has been turned upside down” ("The Chronicle Review"). The major part of Americans has lunch or dinner at fast food outlets. Fast food outlets deliberately encourage consumers to buy more and eat more. Food menu in such outlets is not balanced and therefore consumption of fast food puts at risk people’s health and contributes to the obesity.

There are some reasons why people have unhealthy diet. The first one is that fast food can be kept for a long time and for some people it tastes better. Unfortunately, such food contains too much refined oil, sugar and a great number of ingredients, whose names people cannot even pronounce. As a result, their diet is lacking substances that accelerate fat burning. Another reason why people have an unhealthy diet is that some American families have low incomes. As a result, they do not have the possibility to buy healthy food (fruit and vegetables) as they cost more money. The article “Don’t Blame the Eater” is a bright example. David Zinczenko says, “I grew up as a typical mid-1980's latchkey kid. My parents were split up, my dad off trying to rebuild his life, my mom working long hours to make the monthly bills. Lunch and dinner, for me, was a daily choice between McDonald's, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hut” (Zinczenko 2002).

Visiting fast food restaurants (McDonald’s, pizzerias and others) contributes to overeating, because the proposed standard portions are already too large, and all sorts of marketing tricks such as “double,” “premium” and other enlarged portions lead to the fact that visitors eat up much more than they want. Obesity is a sickly condition, mainly described as a superfluity of fat in the body. An interesting experiment was carried out in the film Super Size Me. It is a documentary film about a man who each day three times a day during a month eats at fast food restaurants. He has to eat every meal from McDonald’s menu at least once. During 30 days, the main character Morgan does not do any sports. Medical examination is carried out regularly in order to determine what impact such a “diet” has on the body. As a result, Morgan gains 11.1 kg, thus increasing his body weight by 13%. He experiences mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and liver damage. It takes him 14 months to lose this extra weight. This film is a bright example of obesity caused by poor nutrition. Imbalance in the energy consumption is the main reason for the accumulation of fat excess. On the other hand, the relevant role in obesity is played by little energy costs. More than 300.000 people die each year from diseases caused by obesity, which is a little less than the statistics of deaths from the diseases related to smoking tobacco. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are obese and overweight. For the past twenty years, the number of obese children (6-11 years old) is twice as large as in the previous years. The amount of obese teens is three times as large as in the previous years. Thus, nearly one third of American pupils suffer from obesity. Men with waists of more than 1 meter and women with waists over 88 inches are considered obese. Such people often suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, and heart diseases.

Fast food is extremely dangerous for the younger generation whose bodies are still developing. Unbalanced fast food diet causes various disturbances in the endocrine and immune systems, which, in turn, affects the physical and mental development of a child.
Children are not able to give an objective assessment of the large-scale detrimental impact that fast food has on their health. Today’s young visitors who will tomorrow have their own money in their pockets will come back again and again and, more importantly, will bring their children there. If children eat fast food very often, it will make them depressed. Rachel Lewis states, “Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, such as cold-water fish and nuts, leads to positive energy and moods – both of which derive from positive brain function. A diet high in fast food lacks these nutritional benefits, increasing the risk of depression” (Lewis 2003).

Fast food provokes many diseases in children. The number of children who suffer from rickets and scurvy is constantly increasing. The reason for this is unbalanced diet. Semis and fast food, which are very popular among children nowadays, do not provide the growing organism with essential nutrients. Children’s bones become soft because of the lack of calcium and vitamin D, and, as a result, rickets develops. Due to the deficit of vitamin C, children suffer from scurvy. Although the range of food has increased during the last 100 years, the diet of some people is still as poor as before. Fast food leads to the development of asthma and eczema in children. In the case of eating three or more servings of fast food per week, the risk of severe asthma is increasing by 40% in teenagers and by 27% in 6-7-year-olds. Fast food is responsible for the occurrence of eczema and rhinitis as well. However, eating three or more fruits per week reduces these symptoms by 14%. Fast food accelerates puberty in children. The addiction of the younger generation to junk food leads to the fact that doctors presently diagnose the initial stages of obesity in children, and early puberty is sometimes observed at the age of 6 or 7. Modern girls reach sexual maturity when they are 10 years old, which is 18 months earlier than their mothers, and almost two years earlier than their grandparents. A leading cause of early puberty is an increased development of leptin in the adipose tissue. Lowering the age of puberty will lead to a splash in the number of teenage pregnancy. Fast food causes psychological addiction in children. According to Rachel Lewis, “The artificial taste of junk food is thought to be addictive and children used to spicy junk food may have trouble adjusting their palates to relatively blander healthy foods” (Lewis 2003). If a child’s diet consists of burgers, chips, sausages, and cakes, the brain will transform so that the withdrawal pains will begin without the greasy, sugary, and salty foods.

The issue of fast food is subject to numerous debates nowadays. However, it is great that there are the ways to combat it. According to Shannon Brownlee, “Adult are ultimately responsible for what they put in their own mouth” (Brownlee). Thus, they are to have the healthy diet. As a matter of fact, all the health problems mentioned in the paper require adhering to proper nutrition. Such products as sugar, jam, candies, pastry, and fast food should be excluded from the daily diet. It is also necessary to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, which are transformed into fat, especially those of animal origin that are contained in meat and dairy products.

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