Nov 7, 2019 in Health

Reasons for Eating So Much Fast Food Consumption in America

More than 25% of all the people in the United States take fast food each day that passes. It is reported that fast food need not to be unhealthy, but it can pose one to risks. Fast foods have been mentioned to have high levels of fat, sugar, calories as well as sodium, hence posing risks to American regular consumers. Google map has shown that there are almost 50,000 outlets for fast food across America. In fact, MacDonalds has been majored in fast food and is one of the biggest restaurants in the United States. Children between ages six and fourteen consume fast food for approximately 157,000,000 times each month. Increase in levels of obesity as well as chronic diseases across the country has been associated with too much consumption of fast food. However, Americans have not quitted the habit yet because of various reasons that will be evident in this paper. In most cases, fast food is easy to obtain since it is cheap, packaged and cooked. Moreover, there are other psychological drivers that tend to push Americans to consume fast food for their meals. This paper looks deeply into some of the reasons that drive Americans to consume too much fast food including the need to choose convenience, easing anxiety, lowered motivation to try other eating habits and the cost-effectiveness of fast food items.

Tight and busy schedules are a major reason why Americans result into taking too much fast food. In most cases, busy schedules tend to lower the quantity of time that they have to cook healthy as well as nutritious meals. That way, Americans opt to eating faster along with easier alternatives than preparing their meals. Some Americans assert that certain foods including vegetables and animal products consumer more time in their kitchens in order to be completely cooked than those that they consumer in the fast food joints. According to some of them, fast food is usually served to them upon placing orders. It is for that reason that they end up becoming addicted and with time, it becomes a necessity. In fact, changing the routine needs one’s investment and that is one of the major reasons that most Americans stick with so much consumption of fast food. A good example is that of donuts and hamburgers that are being consumed very high rates across the country. One would instead buy a donut rather than preparing a bowl of stew at home since it is less consuming to grab a donut than take much time fixing a plate of food at home. Families are busy with their routines including preparing children for school. I am a good example of Americans experiencing tight schedules especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays when a night class. That causes me to grab fast food such as chips from a nearby joint the next day when I am hungry and tired. That way, they lack time to prepare nutritious breakfast, which has been quoted as a vital meal by most nutritionists. One of the supporters of health breakfast is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) that holds that it assists in brain functioning, increasing attention period and boosting ones memory along with concentration. Despite knowing all that, Americans still result into consuming so much fast food due to their busy schedules.

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The other reason that leads to so much consumption of fast food is easing anxiety among the Americans. In fact, a peripheral reason for the fast increase in the culture of consumption of fast food in the United States is increasing levels of anxiety. Most importantly, increased levels of anxiety trigger the body to consume increased energy, hence provoking hunger. In most cases, stimulation of hunger is for calories and that leads to consumption of fast food with high levels of fat and sugar. Moreover, anxiety causes individuals to result into fast food for comfort in their brain reward section. A good example is McDonalds that only grants its workers 30 minutes for lunch. In that case, that is little time and creates anxiety and confusion. 30 minutes are not enough for one to prepare some healthy meal for lunch. That way, such employees result into exactly the same habit of consuming fast food at the same restaurant. That way, eating fast food due to anxiety and stress can be associated with emotional eating as well. Emotional eating refers to the tendency to react to anxious situation by consuming high levels of carbohydrates and calories. It also results into restricting form healthy foods such as those with high levels of nutrition. Most importantly, the amount of consumed food is defined as the primary difference between binge and emotional eating. Emotional eating has become one of the main contributing factors to consuming fast food in the United States. That prompts for effective solutions that can include teaching individuals on healthier channels of seeking solace from anxiety and stress instead of fast food consumption that can even increase stress levels.

Furthermore, Americans have increased their levels of fast food consumption due to lowered motivation to seek alternative and health eating habits. Despite the availability of alternatives of unhealthy eating of fast food, most Americans are unwilling to alter their eating habits. It has been stipulated that it only takes 21 days for one to change and transform from a habit. That way, in case Americans lived and ate healthy foods with dedication, then they can eventually lower their level of consuming fast food. In addition, as much as the people wish to change their habits of food consumption, they require an alteration of attitude. Furthermore, changing one’s food tastes and preferences emerges as a matter of triggering attitudes towards that food instead of transforming the pleasantness or the unpleasantness of sensory characteristics. That comes along with the degree of one’s maturity. In that case, an individual who has sufficient knowledge of what food to consume knows all that he or she should eat despite its taste. Most evidently, most Americans find it hard to change from fast food consumption since they are used to it. A good example is when an individual grows up in a family where fast food is one of the most consumed types, and then they result into consuming the same as well. A real example is that of my friend who has grown up in a family where they had never eaten celery. Now that she has grown up to adulthood, she has not eaten celery either since she had not been introduced to it. That is a clear indication that despite its less tasting level than fast food, it is healthy and effective for one’s body. Change of eating habits by the Americans has also been as a result of the cost of healthy lifestyles. Affording fresh foods such as vegetables as well as fruits can be a problem to some households due to low income levels.

Many people indicate that the reason for unhealthy lifestyle is economic hardship. Science has proven the same indicating that unhealthy eating such as fast food is approximately $1.50 cheaper than the health eating every day. That depicts $550 in every year. It is also clear that purchasing fresh fruits as well as vegetables is more expensive than eating fast food at a joint. Purchasing a whole bag of grapes, which are health fruits for their high nutritional levels, is probably $1.20 for each pound. The grapes will only be consumed for seven to ten days when being stored in a refrigerator. On the other hand, purchasing oatmeal cakes from a fast food joint will only cost one $1.00. A study that was done by the Society of Teachers and Family Medicine (STFM) indicated that the average total cost for a healthy lifestyle is $5,019 for each year. However, that of fast food consumption is $15.30 a day. There was also another experiment carried out by the Oakton Community College that used prices of food items for each individual in every week. It was found out that the cost incurred for items in the grocery stores was ranging from $1 to $2 for each individual. The most expensive foods were Cheese and tortillas ranging between $4 and $5.60. That is an indication that as much as fast food hold the advantage of convenience in terms of time, health eating offers greater nutritional values and are more expensive. That has hindered many Americans to refrain from their habits of fast food consumption.

Using the Rogerian approach of argument, one can provide rigid ideas that can be of significant help to the Americans. In this case, many researchers have mentioned that dangers that come with fast food consumption including obesity and chronic diseases such as increased blood pressure and diabetes. Most importantly, a typical meal from a fast food joint has high levels of fat and calories. That way, weight gain will be the result since one consumes more than the body can burn in a day. There is also a high chance of contacting type 2 diabetes due to regular consumption of fast food. A study carried out in 2004 indicated that regular consumption of fast food develops great chances of acquiring insulin resistance. That tends to increase the risk of contacting diabetes. Most researchers and individuals have highly advised individuals to refrain from too much consumption of fast food in order to prevent certain risks that come along with such habits. In fact, it is widely known that fast food is linked with increasing death rates across the United States as people die of cardiovascular diseases. However, some people would state that consumption of fast food poses only a little risk to the Americans. In fact, they give reasons such as tight schedules and expensive levels of consuming other alternative foods. I take that to be a misleading argument since evidence has indicated that fast food consumption poses many health risks to the Americans. I am of the opinion and support that fast food consumption should be controlled across the country as a way of mitigating the risks that come along with it.

In conclusion, it is clear that fast food consumption has emerged as a rampant practice among the Americans. Americans result into buying items from fast food joints due to their tight schedules need to reduce anxiety, expensive rates of alternative foods and reduced motivation to change their eating habits. It has also become evident that there is a high need for Americans to embark on healthy eating since fast food poses high risks of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses and obesity among others. It is also clear that there is a need to change attitudes held by the Americans with regards to costs that come with healthy eating. They ought to know the benefits of healthy eating and risks of fast food eating. Despite some arguments that fast food eating has the advantage of convenience, it is evident that it should not be on regular basis in order to mitigate the dangers that come along with it.

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