Is Fast Food Contributing To Obesity In America?

2288 words - 9 pages

Are Fast Food Restaurants Contributing to Obesity in America?Stephanie CretellaMr. CronickPeriod 1January 13, 2014Fast food is very enjoyable every now and then, but are we, the people of America, aware that eating it constantly will cause extremely dangerous health issues. Obesity in the United States is becoming a huge problem, especially among young children and teenagers. Many people are beginning to think fast food restaurants are greatly contributing to obesity in America."According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults and 17% of children and adolescents from ages 2 to 19 are obese." Obesity is defined as any weight that is greater than the average weight for one's age. Before fast food restaurants were created, the range of obesity was very small. Only 9.7% of Americans fit into the obesity category in 1950, when fast food restaurants were unpopular. There were some fast food restaurants around before 1950, but burgers were considered to be unclean or even unsafe, so they were not eaten regularly. (Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, pg. 5)Throughout the late 1950s, more fast food restaurants were being created, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Burger King. By the 1960s fast food was becoming more and more popular. In the 1970s there was a 5.2% increase in the amount of obese people in America. By 1980, the demand for fast food greatly increased. There were about 130,000 fast food restaurants in the United States by 1985. Obesity drastically arose. Almost a quarter of the American population was defined as obese. The rate of obesity had more than doubled since 1970, after more fast food restaurants were created. One out of every three Americans was considered to be obese by 1990. As the obesity rate rose, the amount of money being spent on fast food business rose too. In 1971 Americans spent $6 billion on fast food. By the year 2000 that amount drastically grew to $100 billion.Billions of dollars each year are being wasted on fast food. It is also dangerous to people's health. Fast food can cause many other problems besides obesity, such as diabetes, heart disease, and the greater risk of a stroke. A person who eats fast food two times per week has a much greater chance of these health risks to happen to them. Also, an unhealthy insulin resistance can be created and make it difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar levels, which may cause diabetes. Unhealthy fats are contained in most fast food and can clog arteries. "These clogs block oxygen-rich blood from entering the heart and are responsible for causing coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and possibly death". Large amounts of sodium in fast food may increase the risk of high blood pressure or even cause a stroke.Many fast food places cook their foods with dangerous unhealthy ingredients. "PHlP is usually found in chicken or beef from several fast food chains." This chemical is known to create cancers inside...

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