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Why Fast Foods Can Be Bad For Your Health - Research Paper Example

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Fast foods are a controversial topic among many. There are claims that they can be bad for your health for a number of reasons, including high salt levels, high fat levels, dangerous additives and the fact that they are seen to be addictive (French et al, 2004)…
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Why Fast Foods Can Be Bad For Your Health
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Download file to see previous pages Another issue with fast food is that it is easily available and can be much easier than trying to cook or provide a more nutritious meal for your family – meaning that people often each much more fast food than they should (French et al, 2004). This type of problem has led fast food to become a victim of much controversy in the media as well as getting many analyses in the scientific literature that has led it to become a dangerous topic. The purpose of this essay is to explore the literature on fast foods and examine why it can be bad for your health, as well as completing a discussion and analysis of the research available. It will become evident that there are many reasons why fast food can be bad for your health, and these claims are backed up by evidence that supports this claim. The term fast food was popularized in the United States in the middle part of this century. The term is used to refer to any food that can be prepared and sold extremely quickly, making it easy to access and available to many. The fact that many fast food restaurants do not have typical waiting staff (preferring to rely on a collection or takeaway method) means that it can be even quicker and sold at an extremely low price. All of these have led to the popularization of fast food across the Western world, with many chains having outlets in many countries. There are many different types of fast food, although the most popular types include hamburgers, fries, pizza and other foods which are high in fat and many contain a high level of additives and addictive substances (French et al, 2004). One of the main reasons that fast food is considered to be so dangerous is that it is linked to the main health problem in the United States – obesity (French et al, 2004). Because fast food is so easy to obtain and can be bought for relatively low prices, those who are on low incomes or who work long hours are more susceptible to obesity (Block, Scribner & DeSalvo, 2004). Additionally, Jeffery & French (1998) have shown that there is a strong association between eating fast food and watching television, and together these two activities are strongly linked to obesity – particularly because they reduce activity levels in many people. Kwate, Yau, Loh & Williams (2009) also did a study considering whether the high availability of fast food makes it bad for your health. The study found that those who lived in areas with a high density of fast food chains were more likely to be obese and have related health problems. The reasons for this were multiple. For one, those who merely had to order food to get it delivered were likely to do less exercise to get to their food. Secondly, the content of the food was much higher in fat than meals that had been prepared in the home, leading to weight gain. As we will see, weight gain can lead to health problems such as type II diabetes. Pereira et al (2005) did a study examining the links between fast food habits, weight gain and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is important because it is an early indicator of type II diabetes, and therefore any sign of increased insulin resistance can be considered a health risk. There was found to be a strong link between fast food eating and a resistance to insulin, particularly because many of the foods have a high level of sugar and carbohydrates. This is what makes the foods more appealing and taste nice, but consuming sugar in high levels can lead to obesity and type II diabetes in later life. In this sense, eating a lot of fast foods is definitely bad for your health. Another major concern with fast food is that they contain some additives, not all of which have been fully tested ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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