Essay On Fast Foods
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Fast food are those types of foods are easy to prepare thus can be served within a short time. The foods are also known as junk food and are so popular among young people as most of them are very tasty and do not cost much. However, the ingredients that are used to make fast foods are not nutritious at all. They comprise of high fat meat, sugars and fats, refined grains among others. Many fast foods have a high concentration of sodium and cholesterol compounds, which are unhealthy to the body thus their intake ought to be regulated. The fast food industry has been observed to be one of the fast growing industries in various economies thus it is crucial to ascertain the reason for the tremendous growth, the health risks and the possible solutions.
Reasons for the regular consumption of fast foods
Busy schedules give persons limited time to prepare healthy foods thus making them opt for fast foods, which they find convenient. They find them convenient as they cook fast. The persons have the notion that whole foods such as cereals and meat take much time to prepare, as they require procedures and involve kitchen equipment to cook properly. As time progresses, the convenience develops in to a habit and any attempt to disrupt that habit is unheard off as the persons have already become accustomed to eating them.
Celebrity advertising also known as food marketing; contributes greatly in enhancing the intake of fast foods especially among the young people. They often want to emulate the persons in the advert with the notion that they will become like the person after using the product. Women and young children are more influenced than men are, as they focus more on outward appearance than men do. Some offers given to motivate people to use the fast foods lure the fainthearted as they usually involve being given a free product or standing a chance to win a prize for continued use of the product (Bryan, 2012).
Continued intake of fast foods leads to the increase in stress and anxiety in the individual making the body to use much energy. The elevated levels trigger hunger in the individual, which is suppressed by the intake of foods rich in calories as they are readily available. In an attempt to calm themselves, stressed persons turn to junk foods, as they tend to provide a pleasant feeling in the individual thus making the reward centre of the brain to choose it as an ideal choice. The person starts eating the fast food to suppress the stress and anxiety in him or her, which is very risky, as the person with such cases ought to seek medical attention (Bryan, 2014).
The young working class people tend to inhibit sleep so that they can be more productive at their places of work by working for more hours. The move makes them prefer junk food to healthy meals as they have a notion that foods do not induce sleep. Staying awake for long hours makes the primal reward center of the brain to become more active and the suppression of the activities of the frontal lobes. The body in this condition tends to crave for foods with high fats and sugars, which are normally present in many fast foods. Continued intake of fast foods makes the persons addicted to their use as they become psychologically dependent on the foods. People who eat junk foods are prone to various health risks, which are disheartening as they are self-driven (Nelia et al, 2011).
Health risks associated with fast foods
Heavy intake of fast foods has been observed to cause different health conditions, which are severe as they might lead to permanent disability or even death in extreme cases. It is worth noting the risks of the diseases. Many health conditions are brought about by consumption of fast foods and they include the following. Obesity is the obvious health condition as it is associated with being overweight. The condition is very risky in an individual as it makes a person prone to heart attacks and high blood pressure as the heart is overworked for it has to supply blood to distant body organs constantly (Schlosser, 2012). Young people who do not become overweight are liable to getting chronic diseases due to the intake of foods rich in calories, fats, sodium and sugar. Deficiencies in foods rich in whole grains, calcium and fiber aggravate the occurrence of chronic infections (Weiss, 2014).
High blood pressure associated with obesity may lead to stroke, which is big blow on the individual as it makes him inactive. Increases in sugar concentration in the body make the pancreas secrete insulin to counter the high sugar concentration in the body. The constant secretions of insulin by the pancreas make the individual suffer from type 2 diabetes. Most fast foods have high dietary fats, which makes an individual poor in overall performance as they will feel tired often and will have trouble concentrating. The elevated content of sodium in junk foods may have a negative impact on kidney of the individual as it undermines the functioning of the renal tubules thus leading to kidney diseases or even kidney failure in extreme cases (Weisburger, 2004). Constant fat deposits on the liver because of the high levels of trans-fatty acids in many fast foods can lead to serious damage of the liver as it the deposits reduce its efficiency. Fast foods usually have low nutritional content, which may trigger the prevalence of cancerous cells in the individuals. Obese persons are prone to getting cancer of the kidney, oesophagus and colon. The dangers associated with eating fast foods can be avoided by the enacting of some policies by the government.
How the government can solve the health risks
The government can play an important role in the elimination of the risks associated with fast foods. The first measure it can take against fast foods is banning their advertising on television as it has a great impact on children and adolescents. The move is least effective although it will reduce the craving created by the advert. It can organize seminars to sensitize the young generation on the dangers of eating the foods and the importance of eating healthy. In the seminars, the persons are made aware of the risks associated with poor dietary habits. The government should control the policies in the work places by banning overtime hours, as the move will ensure that the working class people have ample time to prepare wholesome meals (American Heart Association, 2014).
In conclusion, the most effective measure the government can take curb the prevalence of fast foods is to promote the advertisements of healthy foods like whole grains and meat as they reveal the benefits of eating healthy. The marketing strategy brings about a balance between the unhealthy messages and the healthy messages. Although fast foods are convenient in a busy economy, they are not ideal substitutes for healthy meals as they have their consequences.
American Heart Association, January 15, 2014. Eating Fast Foods: How to do it healthy.
Bryan, D, February 19, 2014. Reasons People Eat Junk Food Instead of Healthy Food.
Nelia P, S, Demetre L. and Johanna H. N, 2011. Factors which influence the consumption of street foods and fast foods in South Africa-a national survey. Nutritional Journal.
Schlosser, E. 2012. Fast food nation : the dark side of the all-American meal. Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Weisburger, J. H, May 2004. Environmental Health Perspectives. Hazards of Fast Food. Volume 112, Issue 6
Weiss, C. T, May 4, 2014. DISABLED WORLD: Associated Health Risks of Eating Fast Foods.