In recent decades America has faced daunting rise in obesity from children to the elderly; all due part to, poor choices made in every day eating habits, the fast pace life style of our culture, economical turmoil, and commercial businesses with their guileful advertisements, and monopoly of the food industry. In 1990 the Center for Disease Center recorded that obesity was at a slim 12%. This number is a fairly acceptable percentage in a society. This rate has sky rocketed in the past few years. Today the Center for Disease Control reports that the percentage of children from the ages of 6 – 1 1 has raised from 7% in 1980 to 18%.
Also, in the same amount of time the percentage has raised from 5% to 18% in people from the age of 12 to the age of 19. This number seems quite mediocre until you realize that in 201 0 it is said that ore than one of every three kids is obese. As a whole in America, from the age of 18 and above 35. 7% are said to be obese according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Putting the numbers and statistics aside, one must ask them selves, “How can numbers like this inflate so quickly? Why do percentages rise and what causes the rise? The term “Fast food” is given to any type of food provider that, naturally, can be prepared and served quickly to accommodate the consumer. While sounding like a great facet to a fast paced life style it comes with many improvises; unfortunately that all comes at the consumers expense. In order to achieve quick service nearly all of the food served at fast food joints is fried in fat. The high concentration of calories in a fast food meal is unhealthy for most Americans unless they are frequently active.
To further the point of injustice that they provide, most of the food that chain fast food restaurants serve is delivered frozen, which steals nearly all of the nutritional value from it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s researchers reported hat from 2007 – 2012 adults consumed 1 1. 3% or their caloric count room the day via fasted. The startling thing is that most American’s are aware of these facts yet still wait in line for a fatty Double-Double, or a sodium soaked breakfast sandwich. But, why? The answer is quite simple.
Fast food has catered to us by making it convenient to eat their food. The average American spends his or her life jumping from one thing to another. It has been said, “Life happens in a blink of an eye. ” If you live in America it happens a little faster. Many of us are realizing or have realized the struggle of balancing a job, with school, and maintaining healthy relationships with hose that you love. With all that being said, who has time to stop and take thirty to forty minutes out of heir day to prepare a healthy meal?
A mother rushing to take her son to soccer practice shortly after picking up her daughter from her friend’s house would be crazy to think that passing by the drive-thru wouldn’t be most convenient solution to her time restraining schedule. Put simply, quick and convenient eating has served as a cushion to the harsh blow of how fast pace our society is. In addition to its convenience that the fast food industry has to offer the consumer, it also offers great value. This factor comes with great gravity, as 12. 3 million Americans are unemployed as of January 2013.
On the downswing of a recession, nearly all Americans are looking now, more than ever, to get as much bang for their buck as ever. A struggling college student that only has six dollars to last him two days until he gets paid can either go to the market and buy a pack of chicken breasts and a side of vegetables and spend all that he has, or go to Jack In The Box and buy four tacos and a small cheese burger and still have three dollars left. In scenarios like this we can all ay we’ve all played the part going for the quick reward of tacos and a burger.
It is for reasons like this the fast food industry has played into and evolved to ensure to give the consumer what they demand. Convenience and value is a hard thing to pass up when the conditions hand feed it to you but we, as Americans need to count the cost of the great service the fast food service provides. In the fight for the almighty dollar many companies in the food industry have manipulated the consumer and all but taken over other small food producers with the proverbial muscle they have.
Frank Carmella of Forbes gained reports the fast food industry is worth a booming $660 billion dollars. This point is furthered when later in the report it states that the industry employs 10% of Americans. That being said, one can see exactly how big of a monster the industry is. What is the secret to fast food’s success? As stated earlier it is their ability to provide incredibly low prices. Mass production is the trick they hide up their sleeve; their card that they don’t show. Mass production of the food that a chain restaurant is their ability to buy, receives, and store large amounts of food.
By doing so, they are at a retain advantage that other small restaurants cannot compete with. By buying more they create more business for the farmer’s that provide them, which allows them to negotiate prices with them and get the product at a lower rate. Matthew Wiggliest of Slate website reports that “Food Manufacturing” accounts for 12 – 13% of the Nations total manufacturing total percentage. None Of the statements made are a threat to us until we look at the two negative effects it has on us.
Primarily, health wise mass production type of food doesn’t do the consumer justice by any means nutritionally. Because when the food is mass-produced it must be stored for a period of time. Scientists then must create a food additive that has a longer shelf life, the ability for a food to go longer without spoiling. Like all things, it comes at a cost. By processing food it affects the nutritional density and value. By robbing you of nutritional value fast food companies ensure you the best value in terms of cost efficiency.
The overwhelming numbers we demand the fast food industry provide us is adversely expressed to the farmers that provide the restaurant. This high demand on the farmers make them nearly pendent on the controlling fast-food industry. Our country has seen a growing trend of smaller family farms taken over by large commercial farming companies. As a result, traditional farming techniques are giving way to the more industrial and faster, more yielding techniques. Having a monopoly of farming makes it harder for them to sell to markets at usual price.
In the balance of economics it is more cost efficient to sell to fast food industries because they buy in larger bulk. This is a threat to us in exponential ways. As the industry grows the higher and higher the prices go up on natural rest ingredients such as beef, potatoes, and produce (popular fast food items). The already growing trend of fast food eating causing obesity will spike even further as the harder and more expensive it gets to eat healthy. A huge part of any company is marketing and advertisement.
In order fro a company to experience any kind of growth, whether it be a small Mom and Pop store or Cataracts, they must intrinsically evaluate their consumers and appeal to them. Kim Basin of Business Insider reports that last year alone McDonald’s spent $963 million on advertisement alone, in an effort to better appeal to their potential customers. This statistic is up 8. 6% from the year before. Millions of dollars poured out into the minds of receiving consumers so that theft product will pop into our heads next time we feel that small tingle of hunger.
The methods by which fast food industries campaign for our business have all but spread to all sources of media enveloping our society today. According to the Rude Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale university fast food companies spent $4. 2 billion on media advertising in 2009. Targeting susceptible kids is a major angle that advertisers use when ring to pitch their goods. In that same report done by the Rude Center it is said that there has been an increase by 21 % of advertisement directed towards preschoolers.
That statistic is shadowed by the 21 % rise in advertising towards children and 39% towards teens. Kids are enticed by toys of their favorite super heroes with every meal. In reality if those super heroes ate what they were packaged with, they would not be able to save the day. Many companies continue to spend huge amounts of money on commercials specifically geared for young kids to develop company logo recognition. As a growing trend Of children spending time online companies like McDonald’s have developed kid’s websites that offer them games to play and win prizes and sweepstakes.
Studies have also shown that toddlers are more likely to choose food wrapped in McDonald’s packaging than food served on a plate. This subliminal type of advertisement towards children reported by Mary Story in her essay in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity is the base that the corporations build on. The kid’s are turned onto the meals by the flashy advertising, who in turn, beg they’re arenas to buy it, the parents are enticed by the prices creating a unholy matrimony of convenience and childish innocence. Food is a freedom and what I eat should be my choice. ” Says those who fight state regulations on food being produced and sold to the public; and by saying that they are right. Obesity, like no other health epidemic, is one of the toughest to tackle because is relies most heavily on the individual’s choices. Our country has no right to make people eat certain food. But when you look at the entire scope of effects of obesity, it doesn’t take too long to see that, hither we suffer from obesity or not, we all feel the ripples of its affects.
The CDC reports that in $147 billion on medical spending in 2008. The taxpayer’s pay for the majority of this money spent as the medical beneficiaries pay little out Of pocket. It would be more than logical to expect the beneficiaries to be responsible in a small way when it comes to expenses, especially when their “disability’ is so dependent on their everyday choices. The sweeping trend of obesity in our country has sky rocketed in the past few years spreading its wings over young children to the elderly.
The causes are numerous but primarily due to poor eating habits on the consumers part and due to the sneaky leaders of the food industry. In hue of all of our nations problems ranging from terrorism and a depression sweeping the nation, it is easy to overlook obesity. Studies have shown that 850 lives a day is lost each day due to obesity related health issues. Growing in the confines of those being naive and misinformed this monster gets bigger and bigger until, through self-education and awareness, we learn to fight a lifelong battle against poor eating habits and the effects of obesity.