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Obesity and Fast Food Restaurants

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Nowadays, obesity has already become one of the most burning issues all over the world. This problem comprises excessive growing fat and, as a rule, results in life expectancy reduction as well as an abundance of assident health problems. The fact that the contemporary way of living provokes the major causes of obesity, it is more than noteworthy to understand all of them. Modern nutritionists find the increasing consumption of fast food as one of the crucial factors of obesity; they admit that fast food producers are responsible for the epidemic of obesity in numerous countries, and there are several arguments for it.

First of all, it has already been admitted that those “people who live in closer proximity to fast-food restaurants are more likely to be obese” (Grossman, Mocan 18). The reason for it is the desire of fast-food restaurant managers to locate them mostly in those areas where the demand for their products is considered to be greater than in other ones. This tendency makes the fast food producers locate their restaurants in the residential areas, near offices, schools, or shopping malls. The availability of fast food restaurants is one of the main causes of their overwhelming success and development which, in numerous cases, leads to the population obesity. For instance, the rate of obesity increase is at 5.2% for the ninth-grade children, who study within a tenth of a mile near the restaurant, whereas it is 2.5% for those schoolchildren, who study within half a mile near it.                                                                                                                                                                       

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Moreover, the low price of the fast food attracts a lot of consumers who want not only to have a quick meal but also not to spend much money on it. It is especially important for most citizens because of their busy way of life. On the other hand, the major problem is the lack of people nutrition consciousness as they are oblivious to the fact that the energy-dense food, which is provided by all fast-food restaurants, is of high fat and high sugar content, and, in its turn, it causes obesity. Nowadays, one of the most successful American businesses is fast-food restaurants as, for example, in 1970, the citizens of the U.S.A. spent 30% of their food budget on those products which they ate at home while, in 1990s, this number increased to 50%. This problem is peculiar not only for Americans as, in Canada and China, the obesity rate increased with the appearance of new chains of fast-food restaurants in these countries.

Furthermore, the size of the portions provided in most fast-food restaurants has a considerable impact on the people obesity. Today people are eating more and more, and it can also be proved by some statistics data. In 1955, one of the popular fast-food brands, McDonalds, started its production of French fries; its size was only 2.4 oz. Today, it is three times larger (about 7.1 oz). In 1916, Coca-Cola offered 6.5 oz bottles. In 2008, such bottles were not sold as the 8 oz. and 34 oz. bottles are the smallest ones. This is the reason why people consume more calories that they can burn, and all “extra” calories result in excessive body fat.

Another reason of the negative effect of fast-food restaurants is the lack of regulations in the legislative system of the country. In spite of the fact that the society is aware of obesity and its causes, no measures are taken to prevent citizens from consuming junk food. The quantity of fast-food restaurants is increasing every year. This is the reason why the local governments should limit their amount as soon as possible whereas the products offered by various fast-food restaurants should be under the strict control, as well. It is evident that the amount of fat and sugar the fast food is rich with can be reduced. The products, which are known to be junk, are not substituted by other healthy products, which can also be quite cheap. The tendency to prefer fast-food restaurants more than cooking and eating at home even leads to the decline of the healthcare system of the state.

What is more, the problems caused by the popularity of fast-food restaurants are based on the social environment the person lives in. As a rule, if one’s friends and relatives prefer fast-food restaurants, although they already know its negative influence, and they are obese, it is obvious that it impacts the person; he/she is likely to eat junk food, as well. Advertising of fast food and the presence of the world-famous brands make people visit McDonalds or drink Coca Cola more than often as the majority of American citizens cannot imagine their life without consuming their products.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is significant to notify that the snack-food industry attracts the citizens of all ages as its low prices and convenience is the major advantage of all fast-food restaurants. Most consumers find it quite quick to have a snack in the fast-food restaurant. On the other hand, fast food is harmful for human health as it is fat-saturated; in addition, it is energy-dense. It is of common knowledge that those consumers who use to visit fast-food restaurants either daily or several times a week are likely to be obese. The main problem is the fact that there are too many fast-food restaurants in most cities or towns, and, as a rule, they are located on convenient traffic routes or near various apartments or official bodies. In spite of an abundance of information which proves the harmfulness of fast food, citizens do not desire to change their food habits. This social phenomenon is present because of some stereotypes which have already been formed in the modern society: fast-food restaurants are too convenient to refuse from visiting them, whereas it is no reason to cook at home as all friends, acquaintances, and relatives do not prefer doing it although they have the problem of obesity already. In any case, if some measures are taken by the government, the situation will be given an added gloss in the nearest future.

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