Fast Food And The Obesity Epidemic

Fast Food And The ObesityWe as a society have regressed in our choices of what we eat and what we do with and to our bodies. We tend to follow what the adverts in the media prescribe to us, and we also choose the easy way out, as far as food choices are concerned.

There is a direct correlation between the fast food consumption and the obesity epidemic. The fast food industry as a business is growing by leaps and bounds all over the world, and we are paying the price for it, by sacrificing our health, and by becoming overweight and obese.

About 60 percent of adults in the United States are considered to be overweight, of which about half of them are considered to be obese, according to BMI measurements. That is a large percentage, and is indicative of how widespread the problem of obesity is. In 2007 an estimate of 368,000 Americans died prematurely of diseases and health conditions related to obesity.

Fast food is a growing business. The profits are increasingly spent on advertising, converting more and more people, especially children, to their way of eating. This causes the children to become used to and addicted to high-fat, unhealthy foods.

Fast foods are usually high in unhealthy heated fats and refined sugar and starches, and very low in nutrients. Most essential nutrients are to be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, dairy products and unrefined cereals. These foods do not really feature on the fast food menu.

The combination of high fat food and sugar, which is abundantly prevalent in the sodas consumed with the fast food, is especially harmful, as it triggers the pancreas to produce more insulin in order to cope with the sugar and fat overload. This leads to mood swings, blood sugar disorders, and eventually diabetes. This is only 1 example of ill-health caused by junk food.

A lot of changes have taken place in our society over the last few decades. Both parents tend to work outside the home, and less time is therefore spent on preparing nutritious meals at home. Children are left to their own devices and have access to unhealthy foods and snacks.

Fast food tastes good and is convenient and accessible, It usually contains an additive, MSG, which is a flavor enhancer, and is addictive to many people. The high fat and sugar content triggers the release of a hormone serotonin in the brain that makes a person feel good, thereby associating eating with pleasure. On top of that we have the commercials to contend with, convincing us to choose their fast food products.

In order to take our health back we have to make better food choices. We have to start by buying and consuming more nutritious food products, and avoiding the high-fat, sugar laden instant food products available in the supermarket and at the fast food outlets. That is the only way we will be able to get rid of the excess weight and obesity we are suffering from, and prevent our children from becoming obese adults.