Fast Food

652 words | 3 page(s)

Fast food is almost an integral part of American culture, thus, it is not surprising that Americans spent $142 billion on fast food in 2006 alone or about $460 per capita . The fast food culture sees no signs of slowing dawn as the total spending had risen to $160 billion by 2013 . If we look around the room, a significant proportion among us has been part of the food culture if we are not now and that includes me. I only found the courage to leave fast food culture through the power of knowledge as health costs became clearer to me. We all should follow the same path. Fast food may be convenient but it is also harmful to us.

In order to better understand America’s fast food culture, it is important to look at the factors that have led to its growth. One major factor is the sophisticated marketing campaigns run by fast food companies that use a combination of alluring messages to draw crowds to their locations. The marketers emphasize the convenience and taste aspects of their products and pay special attention to visuals. It is not uncommon for many of us to be tempted by the print and video ads, only to find at the fast food outlets that the advertised products rarely look like the actual products. In addition, marketers also tempt us through continuous exposure. Once one is bombarded by the same messages and visuals again and again, the temptation only gets stronger each time. Another major factor for the popularity of fast food culture is economics. Fast food is often cheaper than healthier alternatives including organic food. The popularity of fast food is also due to time savings and convenience because fast food outlets are almost everywhere not only in America but other countries, too.

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Now that the factors behind the popularity of fast food have been discussed, the next step is to focus on the costs of fast food consumption. The greatest costs of fast food lifestyle are health-related. Fast food items tend to be high in calories as well as high salt or sugar content and sometimes both. This increases the risk of obesity as well as other serious health risks such as diabetes and heart issues . In addition to health costs, there are also financial consequences. First of all, expenditures on fast food items add up over time and moreover, health-related financial costs can be even greater in amount.

Since we have discussed some of the costs imposed by fast food lifestyle, it is time to discuss prevention strategies as well as alternatives. One strategy is to focus on the incentives which can be quite significant. First of all, avoiding fast food allows us to be in better physical shape which also boosts our self-confidence. We also benefit financially because we avoid huge health-related costs that can sometimes even threaten one’s financial safety net. We may even inspire others such as our friends and family members to leave fast food culture and, thus, the benefits only multiply.

The growth of fast food industry has been, in great part, driven by aggressive marketing strategies on both print and electronic media including internet. Fast food could also be considered an addiction because some people replace their regular meals with fast food culture and either don’t realize or severely underestimate the damage they do to their bodies. Health is a precious thing, thus, people should carefully weigh the costs of easting fast food against the potential benefits. They especially need to know that alternatives are not healthier but in many cases equally delicious. They just have to do their research and be creative. Moreover, there is no shortage of information resources on the internet including recipes for healthy but tasteful meals.

  • Clarke, Nancy. Negative Effects of Fast Foods. 27 October 2013. 1 October 2014 .
  • Sena, Matt. Fast Food Industry Analysis 2014 – Cost & Trends. 1 October 2014 .
  • Smart Healthy Eating. Fast Food Statistics. 1 October 2014 .

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