Fast Food Research Paper

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In the last 30 years, we have seen a vast increase in the rate of obesity of individuals in the America. The increase in obesity is not isolated to any single demographic group in particular but is in fact widespread through people of different age, race, location and socioeconomic status. The manner in which the American food industry advertises and operates is largely to blame for the high level of obesity in America. I will examine how portion sizing impacts eating habits; why the fast food industry is so popular with our society and how public school system meals impact the health of children.
A large majority of the American adult population are overweight. As defined by the Center for Disease Control in America, an adult is overweight
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The business model built on serving burgers and fries has grown from six billion dollars worth of revenue in 1970 to over 190 billion dollars in 2013 (“Fast Food Industry”). The fast food industry itself provides over three and a half million jobs in the American workforce and pays out almost 50 billion dollars a year in wages (“Fast Food Industry”). With such staggering financial statistics, many argue that fast food, from a financial standpoint, is extremely beneficial to economy and in turn, our society. I agree that fast food restaurants in America provide numerous jobs and drive a tremendous amount of business through the livestock and agricultural industries. Do these financial rewards outweigh the nutritional war being waged upon our population? The fast food that Americans consume today is loaded with complex carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, high levels of sodium and plenty of grease and fat. These ingredients are often used because they increase the flavor without the additional expense of using nutritional ingredients. The majority of Americans stated that the most important factor of their dining experience is the taste of the food, not the nutritional value. When large companies use preservatives and fillers as opposed to fresh ingredients, it allows them to sell their food at a lower cost which appeals to the general consumer. This creates a triple threat to the public; fast food is …show more content…
An immediate solution would be to change the food in public schools. In 2014, roughly 49.8 million students attended public primary and secondary schools (“Back to School Statistics). Many of these students eat school cafeteria food for breakfast and lunch. This means that the average American public school student eats roughly one third of their meals each year in a school cafeteria. Unfortunately, very few public school meals meet nutritional guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture. According to the USDA, the recommended sodium content of 500 milligrams or less is exceeded in most all school lunches (Perle). The USDA also states that less than one third of public schools stay below the recommended fat content in their meals (Perle). Many people argue that not all students eat school lunches and that many in fact rely on food brought from home. While there is a portion of students that consistently bring food from home, most students rely on the food distributed at their school. Again, according to industry studies, 21 million students rely on free or reduced lunch as their primary meal for the day (Perle). In fact, “In the United States alone, nearly 7 billion meals are served in K-12 schools each year through the National School Lunch Program and National School

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