Fast food has a negative impact on our life. When people are in a hurry and feel very hungry, they will look for a quick meal. In such a case, a fast food restaurant will be, without doubt, their choice. The majority of busy people, especially students, prefer this type of food because it is cheap and can be quickly prepared. In this way, they will not waste their own time on cooking. However, this issue remains one of the most debatable questions in modern society, which has both supporters and opponents. This paper argues that fast food restaurants are ruining traditional food culture or, what is more important, a normal healthy diet.
The Overweight Problems
Fast food changed the daily routine in many different ways. One of the things that fast food restaurants have changed in everyday life is that people started to eat more these days. They have no schedule for eating: individuals got the possibility to eat almost whenever they want and wherever they are. For instance, there was a schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the past. Today, general public do not have this anymore as eating is associated with the desire. Laziness is another thing that fast food restaurants have changed in the regime. It is one of the factors that facilitated the level of obesity. Nowadays, a lot of people, who are addicted to fast food restaurants, are suffering from the overweight problems. The main reason is their laziness: they eat and do not do any exercises.
Moreover, overweight causes dangerous diseases, which derive from excess food. In order to illustrate this argument, fast food restaurants are known for really cheap prices. Here, people can order a meal of the biggest size that will cost them only about 3$. In addition to cheapness, fast food restaurants also provide customers with delicious meals. Thus, high-sugar and high-fat food is widely accessible; it tastes good and costs less than a healthy alternative, but eventually puts health at danger. It speeds up clogged arteries, which can lead to heart problems, provokes diabetes and even cancer. In the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, Monteiro argues, “The rapid rise in consumption of ultra-processed food and drink products, especially since the 1980s, is the main dietary cause of the concurrent rapid rise in obesity and related diseases throughout the world”.
The research has shown that about ten percent of the food was processed sixty years ago, and only four autoimmune diseases were known at that time. At present, more than ninety percentages are processed, and the number of diseases is over eighty-seven. This fast food has actually no nutrient value. The majority of people’s eating habits are determined by time, cultural habits and boundaries. Fast food restaurants have become popular all around the world, but they are far from our rich cookery traditions as well as the required nutritional balance. The most vivid current finding is that heart disease can be reversed and prevented by healthy eating.
Harmful Influence of Fast Food Restaurants
Each country has its traditional dishes, but, unfortunately, fast food changes the way people look at food. Dr. Christine Horner wrote that Americans had stopped highly protective habits in eating. Fast food restaurants are one of the first and foremost reasons: people began to eat highly processed food and avoid their native whole foods, engaging in less physical activity at the same time. “For a growing number of Americans, cooking, an activity that was once an obligation, has become a spectator sport. They consume information about food the way baseball fans hoard statistics…because it is easier than ever to eat without cooking”. Few people still care about the traditional dishes, which are the essential element of culture for every country all over the globe.
Nowadays, it is obvious that a huge percent of new generation does not like to eat traditional food. Young people eat at McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger and other fast food restaurants instead of original dishes. It is also related to losing part of the culture. The dishes are not just food. They are a kind of culture. When part of it is losing now, all unique culture can be lost in the future because of the industry, whether it is food industry or any other. For example, in the Middle East, especially in Arabian Gulf, the main dish is Kabsah, which consists of rice with meat or chicken. Its culture will change if this dish becomes unpopular because it had been the main dish and part of the culture for a long period of time.
Furthermore, fast food restaurants have moved us away from cooking. There are a lot of people who do not know how to cook, and I am one of them. Also, the majority does not want to learn to cook because they have not such a desire: “The average American spends only 27 minutes a day on food preparation, which is less than half the time most people spend watching a cooking show episode” (Pollan). As a result, it can be observed that the lack of experience in cooking has significantly increased over the last 20 years.
Fast food restaurants teach youngsters that meal is included in a package and can be ready after a minute. They attract children with toys, sweets and bright colors, but adults must remember that food was not created for their entertainment. Its main function is to provide nutrients. There is the proverb “you are what you eat.”
Importance of Cooking for Culture
Nevertheless, the meaning is much more profound. Cooking is very important to culture as its reflection, and there is no community without it. Each culture has developed its exclusive cuisine for thousands of years. When one looks at American eating culture, he or she will realize how much it has transformed during the last half century. It is not bad that many new dishes have become common, but they must not replace the cooking tradition that is not just an action to eat; it can be a social activity, as well. In the past, the whole family gathered together due to the process of cooking. They communicated with each other, did some activity and spent their free time together. This usually contributes to strengthening the relationships between family members.
Some people may say that fast food restaurants have a beneficial function as they provide jobs for people, who need work, and hire part-time employees such as students, who can complete study with their help. That is right, and this is one of the many advantages, but both our health and culture are more important than having a job. Even if we ask an employee, what is better for him or her – to have a job with the loss of health or do not have a workplace but be healthy? A normal person will choose the second variant because everybody knows that the job in fast food restaurants can be replaced, but health cannot.
To sum it up, fast food restaurants have both good and bad consequences. As it was mentioned above, there are more bad effects than good outcomes. Even if the good effects were more than bad ones, people’s health is worth more than all the benefits of these types of food. Only healthy nutrition makes individuals healthy. Fast food ruins not only health; it has a deep impact on society as a whole. Some of the ways, by which fast food restaurant can change culture and its values, were stated. In my personal point of view, people need to make fast food restaurant always a second option. That is why, they must learn how to cook in order to eat healthy food. In addition, individuals have to make their mind control the bodies and desires. Government intervention is also necessary. It should take such measures as ban of fast food from schools and design of programs as a tool for disseminating healthy eating.