Friday, December 7, 2012

Overall Effect

If the numbers are not a good enough indicator of how much fast food has increased many aspects of our society, I am not so sure what will. Whether it is from how healthy fast food is or to the advertisements that are aimed towards children/teenagers, the fast food industry has done a very good job with getting their name and products out there. Fast food is an inescapable factor of our society at this point. If you need a cheap dinner, a place to take your child to let off steam, or just enjoy something that isn’t good for you and taste pretty good, then there is always a different fast food restaurant to choose from around the corner, and most of the time this is a literal statement. Since fast food has become such an easy answer to a lot of problems, most people do not stop and think about what they are actually eating and the long-term effects it will have on them. People are spending their lives ruining their bodies just because of convenience and tasty food. Children are also being raised to follow these same practices. When all of what the kids see growing up is constantly stopping at fast food restaurants, it is more than likely not going to change as they get older. The only thing is to hope that within the next few years and more, society can hopefully make a change and use better alternatives than fast food restaurants. Fast food does not need to stop getting eaten, but more thought and precaution should be taken when choosing to eat out at these fast food restaurants, because all it has done so far is have negative impacts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Amount of Advertising & on Children

The average American knows what the sign for most fast food restaurants look like.  This is not a coincidence, this is done on purpose by fast food restaurants.  They make their signs and billboards well known by most Americans so they can get more business. The amount of advertising done by fast food restaurants have only increased from the years in the past.  This is a major factor for the exponential rate of growth for the fast food industry. Companies like McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's are well known for the amount of  commercials and billboard signs they have all over.  Over the last decade or so, the amount of advertising has become too much too quickly, especially with how many ads there are for children.  The amount of ads that children see and how many are aimed directly towards children are increasing with time and making children want fast food even more. “On average, a preschooler sees three fast food advertisements a day while the average teenager sees about five a day".  This number for some kids is much higher, while also lower for some.  The amount of television being watched by children has also increased, so with television increasing, the ads for fast food are only going to be seen more. "Sonic, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, and Domino’s reached out to teenagers with their desserts and snacks promotions, while Burger King targeted teens with their teen promotions”.   With these restaurants aiming their promotions at teenagers, they know these promotions will work since teenagers are always looking for a time to eat junk and fast food is an easy answer.  Not only have the signs and commercials increased tremendously over the years, but the amount of toys, promotions and contests being given, has as well increased to get more people to come in and buy their food.  McDonald's attracts many people with their Monopoly game they have sometimes throughout the year. This game can give a lot of free items away such as free cookies, drinks, and fries and much more.  By McDonald's having this game, they know they will attract many more customers by just giving away free items, because in order for the customer to use the coupon, they have to come back in the restaurant and most times, people are going to end up buying more products than just the product on the coupon. The Monopoly game may not be as appealing to children since they may not understand it, but by giving toys in happy meals, it makes the children want to go back every time to get another toy. Children are one of the main targets in most fast food industries since children now a days are getting what they want more and more each day, and it is only getting worse for their health with all of the fast food they consume.  Between the toys, give-a-ways, and playgrounds within each fast food restaurant, it is what may seem like the perfect child’s paradise, which means the parents bring and pay for them, which is exactly what the restaurants want out of consumers.  For the restaurants, the amount of money spent to advertise for each restaurant doesn't even compare to how much money comes in for them, so they are not going to stop advertising how much they do now if we as a society do not stop going to fast food restaurants as much as we do. Our health now and in the future is only going to keep declining from here. 

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How Exactly Unhealthy is Fast Food?

 Millions of American families are guilty of eating out at fast food restaurants more than eating within their home for home cooked meals. "Fast food meals on average contain about 1,000 calories for just one meal", according to  The average American needs to eat about 400-600 calories in a given mealtime, so for a fast food meal, it is at least 400 calories over for just one meal, so imagine every other meal as well. As in one of my other blogs, this goes along with the obesity problem.  Not only does this contribute do the obesity problem, but it goes along with how healthy we all are while eating fast food. Also “since the 1960’s, Americans consume more than 500 calories more per day than we did back then”. Over time, our society has become very lazy, and the answer to lunch, dinner and snacks is as simple as running through a fast food restaurant to fulfill their hunger. “Teens between the ages of 13 and 18 purchased 800 to 1,100 calories in an average fast food visit, and most teenagers purchased at least half of their maximum daily-recommended sodium intake in just one fast food meal". When kids now are growing up eating fast food every other day or once a week, it's more than likely not going to get better with time.  While these kids grow up, if all they have seen is fast food, the amount of fast food eaten by these kids is only going to increase, which increases health and obesity risks. It's no secret that everyone knows how simple fast food is to get.  We all know that we are the least bit to blame for how much fast food we consume.  We may not all eat it every day of the week, but the numbers and statistics will only get more shocking and worse as the years go by.  The way our society is and how fast food restaurants are, it is nearly impossible to try to eat healthy while eating fast food.  The possible results of eating too much fast food over a long period of time could be heart disease, high cholesterol level, excessive weight and other serious health problems.

Read more about health risks and fast food calories at
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Fast Food and Your Money?
"McDonald’s opened their first restaurant in 1945, and by 1990 the fast food industry had taken over America with 11,800 McDonald’s, 6,298 Burger Kings and 3,721 Wendy’s”. Just with that statistic alone, it goes to show how rapidly fast food restaurants grow.  As if that statistic did not show how much fast food has taken over, "each day more than 160,000 fast food restaurants service more than 50 million Americans, producing sales of more than $110 billion dollars annually”.  $110 billion dollars is a lot of money coming out of our pockets for fast food restaurants, and is something to consider when eating at these companies. Although running through McDonalds, or Chick-Fil-A can seem like a cheap and easy way to eat, it doesn't add up to be as cheap as we may think.  Most Americans think that on the spot it seems to be cheap to eat out, and it may be for some people, but if you have that mindset more than two or three times a week, cheap turns into more and more expensive with each trip made. We may not all think that we spend a lot of our money out at fast food restaurants, but it goes to show with the profit made by these companies. "The annual revenues of America’s fast food industry have risen by about 20 percent since 2001”. Most Americans’ money for food is going to fast food restaurants instead of regular home cooked meals like it used to be. More and more Americans are picking the easy way out and eating out each day rather than going to the grocery store and buying the food to cook at home. "A generation ago, we could say that more than three quarters of money spent on food were for ingredients to cook a home made meal, while today we say more than half of the money spent on food is spent on food outside of the home”.  A closer look at our own money needs to go into effect, that is the only way we can help our health and money for the better overall.  A major start would be not eating out as much and being aware of our own personal budget. 

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Fast Food and Obesity

Since the fast food industry has grown so much over the last few years, the rate of obesity has increased as well.  Most people know that fast food restaurants are not going to be the best places to eat, and definitely are not the healthiest, which means one could draw a parallel between the increased rate of fast food consumption and obesity. “The food at fast food restaurants contain high amounts of saturated fats, calories, sugars, carbohydrates, oil, etc. and when given in the amounts that fast food usually contains, it puts your health at a major health risk". Not only are the facts of the ingredients in fast food really bad for you, but the portion and portion size of each meal has just as much to do with how this country is becoming obese as well as what is in the fast food we eat.  Throughout the years, the portion sizes have mostly become larger and also more expensive.  Some places make their portion sizes too small, where you can obviously see a big difference, forcing you to order a size up which turns into a larger amount than what you would have gotten before the smaller changes happened.  Not only do the fast food restaurants want more money, but they are trying to make their prices fit the amount of food given, which will, in most cases, bring the customers back for more. For example in the McDonald's happy meals, they have tried to make the fries smaller (to make it more healthy), but it can only do so much when a child is only going to scream and yell for some more, which they have been used to getting all along. It doesn't only have to do with what is in our fast food, but it does have to do with how much we get. "In the 1950’s less than 10% of Americans were overweight or obese, and by 1975 it had jumped up to 15%.”  If we thought that was bad, “since then the obese/overweight rate is topping at a very shocking rate of 32% and the childhood obesity rate has tripled in the past 30 years, and 25% for those less than 19 years of age". These numbers are only going to increase with time, it is just up to us to make the change for better.

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Everyone knows fast food is the one thing they can count on to be right around the corner whenever they need it.  Even though mostly everyone knows how bad fast food is for you, not everybody knows exactly how bad it is for you or in how many ways it has a negative impact on our lives and on society as a whole.  In one of my blog posts I will explain and go into some detail on exactly how many calories fast food has and how bad fast food can be compared to other food alternatives. Since many people do not know the limits of how many calories and how bad it actually is for you, I thought it would be good to show the negative side of fast food since many people look past it since the facts and statistics are not staring them right in the face.  Many people may not eat fast food as much as others, but I'm sure mostly everybody is guilty of driving through a drive thru due to convenience, but this should not happen as much as it does.  Yes, fast food restaurants are very convenient and seem cheap at the time, but our society has seemed to have gone overboard on the amounts of fast food we consume.  As we all know, obesity is taking over this country.  Childhood obesity is also becoming higher and higher as the years go by with fast food being a major indicator.  As well as fast food being a big contributor to obesity as a negative impact, the large amount of money spent on fast food restaurants has also increased with time.  We may not think when we eat out that fast food restaurants are that expensive, but when you get many meals each day and week, the amount adds up very quickly, turning into another negative effect it has on us as a society.  Throughout my blog, I list many different reasons why fast food has a negative impact on our lives, as a society and as individuals.