Fast Food And Obesity Essay

2631 words - 11 pages

In today's society, fast food has become a large part of many American's lives. With the rising numbers of obese people, it is hard not to draw a correlation between the increase in fast food and obesity. Most obese people don’t want to be obese and wish they could lose weight, yet they continue to struggle with their fast food intake and obesity. This is due to the advertising done on the consumers, the highly addictive food itself, and most importantly, how advertising and addiction combine with children to form habits that are kept once they become adults. These factors are the reasons that fast food restaurants are to blame for the rising obesity and health risks across America. The government needs to step in and place regulations on these fast food restaurants so they will stop taking advantage of people's weaknesses.
Before it can be gone into detail about how fast food companies are to blame for people over eating their food, it first must be proven that fast food is indeed the main problem causing today's obesity in America. It is known to many people how the number of fast food restaurants in America has increased tremendously over the past several decades, but it is difficult to calculate by how much due to the lack of historic statistics. Also, it is difficult whether or not to categorize certain restaurants as fast food. Although, a good way to get a feel on the growth of the fast food industry is to take a look at McDonald's, which has been America's most popular fast food chain for decades. In 1968 McDonald's open its 1,000th American restaurant. This number has increased to 13,800 restaurants in 2011 (McDonald’s 1), which really shows how much more fast food people are consuming compared to the past. Consider the increase of almost fourteen times in the number of McDonald's restaurants, with the number of obese adults between the ages of 20 and 74 over a similar time period. From 1960-62 to 2005-06 the number of obese Americans almost tripled from 13.4% to 35.1% (Weight-control Information Network 2). These two extreme upward trends might make a convincing case that the extra fast food intake has caused the hike in obesity rates, and it may very well be a good indication, but it is far from proof. Too many things have changed over the years, from the way the average American exercises, to the types of other food that people are consuming.
The best way to tell for sure if fast food was the direct cause for obesity would be to do statistical research on two groups of people where everything was equal such as wealth, age, time period, and location. The only difference would have to be the amount of fast food the two groups eat. This would be very difficult to perform, especially for any reasonably large groups of people. However, a group of people at the National Bureau of Economic Research were able to do the next best thing. They did a study on the obesity rates of 3 million students and their proximity to fast food...

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