Fast Food facts
Fast food is a worldwide phenomenon that has a significant foothold in the food and restaurant industry. The U.S contains the most McDonald restaurants (13,918), with the second being Japan (3,755). 11,000 KFC restaurants exist worldwide. Considering the benefits of fast food also means the disadvantages should also be analyzed.
The Advantaged and Disadvantages of Fast food
Fast food has numerous advantages, first and foremost being the speed of service. This, when combined with the fact that an average household meal involves buying groceries, lengthy meal preparation and consummation, makes fast food an obviously easier choice. Normal restaurants also have long waiting times and steeper prices. Price is another factor worth considering, as eating alone is much cheaper when it comes to fast food.
Fast food can negatively affect the health when not consumed in moderation, and can cause obesity and various diseases such as heart disease, joints disease and high blood pressure. Fast food is often related to obesity in children. Research performed in the U.S. concluded that it is not healthy to live in the vicinity of a fast food restaurant, as these people’s chances of having a stroke increase by 13%.
Another disadvantage is the fact that family mealtimes are less frequent due to fast food. Because of the accessibility of fast food, a family meal, which is an opportunity to talk about everyday life and feelings, is ignored in lieu of fast food.
There are several methods to minimize or avoid the harmful effects of fast food while still consuming it, such as eating salads, choosing bread products made from wheat and choosing lean meat. If the choice is given between fried and boiled, it is suggested to choose boiled. Avoiding carbonated drinks is preferable, with fruit juices, low-fat milk and diet soda acting as possible substitutes. Some fast food outlets give the choice of picking the ingredients that the consumer deems unhealthy, and this option is encouraged.
Besides harming general health, frequent family visits can be expensive. As previously mentioned, the quality time families spend is also dented by fast food, as an increasing number of teenagers spend more time away from home and in shopping malls which readily provide fast food services. How fast food relates to child obesity is a viable threat to the health of teenagers.
Eating fast food on a regular basis is not necessarily bad for the health, as prudent food decisions when ordering in combination with a healthy lifestyle is known to counterbalance the damaging effects of frequent fast food consummation.