Persuasive – Why fast food culture
is problematic and has to be changed?
Thesis: Fast food culture is
problematic and has to be changed; because it is unhealthy for the human body,
its production harms the environment, as well as the local food culture.
Body 1: Unhealthy
kids grow to adore this kind of food, their taste buds tend to abhor natural,
organic, and slow-cooked foods, which results in the ingestion of more fats and
sugars than protein and greens.
According to the study on the American population, Cardia states that high
fast food consumption over 15 years is associated with gaining weight and risk
of insulin resistance. “Individuals who had meals at fast food restaurants more
than two times a week gained 4.5 kg more weight and had a 104% greater increase
in insulin resistance. (Cardia).” There are several important features of fast
food that could explain why it is fattening and unhealthy; large portion sizes,
high-energy density and industrially produced trans fat content. It is a well
known fact that the bigger the portion size, the more we consume. “Portion
sizes of burgers, fried potatoes, pizzas, and soft drinks at fast-food
restaurants have all increased 2–5-fold over the last 50 years. (Cardia)” In
addition to that, the energy density of an entire fast food menu is typically
more than twice the energy density of recommended healthy diets. Humans have a
weak innate ability to down-regulate the bulk eaten to meet energy requirements
appropriately. French fries and fried meat from fast-food outlets contain high
amounts of industrially produced trans-fatty acids. Trans fats are fats in
margarines, spreads, and frying oils, produced by industrial hardening of
vegetable or marine oils, to make the product more stable and robust for
handling and storage. These findings contribute to explaining why high intakes
of trans fats increase the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Amid growing concern about rising rates of childhood
obesity in the West, already some school systems have responded by switching to
local, fresh ingredients.
Stender, S., Dyerberg, J., & Astrup, A. (2007). Fast food:
unfriendly and unhealthy. International Journal of Obesity, 31(6),
Body 2: Environmental and ethical concerns
Fast food has a negative impact not only on
people’s health, but also on the environment and the ethics of society.
Eric Schlosser, writer known for his book Fast
Food Nation, believes that manufacturing fast food is changing the American
culture for the worse, by creating a society that wants everything now and
wants it fast. Fast food chains target
children when advertising. McDonalds, for instance, not only awards children
with a toy for eating their Happy Meal, but also hypnotizes them to believe
that the clown’s food tastes better than their mother’s home-cooked food. The
goal of advertisement is to convince them to do something. This contributes to
the growing culture of wanting things fast and cheap. Kids can be experts at
demanding things immediately, and their parents usually please them. However,
parents are no different, since they are always looking for ways to feed the
whole family with what requires the less effort: fast food. With fast food
restaurants at hand, families start to believe that it is faster, easier,
cheaper, and better to feed themselves on these establishments rather than to
cook at home.
The fast food industry also denigrates the local
economy. They have reached a point where they are no longer part of the service
industry; they are now part of the manufacturing industry. There is a
systematic line of production, both in the factory and in the restaurant, that
is still run by human beings; yet, the need to speed up the production process
even more and get the cheapest labor available to make the most profit may soon
be replacing those human beings with machines.
Food is better for the environment if it doesn’t degrade soil and water with
pesticides and fertilizer and avoids the overuse of antibiotics in animals.
Going local and organic will banish hunger for many
low-income families by making food far more affordable and frequently just as
healthy as food raised to be environmentally sustainable.
Body 3: Disappearance of local tastes and
no longer natural or local; on the contrary, it is manmade and global.
agriculture and the fast-food industry for environmental degradation and the
loss of biodiversity as well as the waning of good, healthy eating. To give an example; compared to turkeys bred
up until the 1920s, the Broad-breasted White, as the breed is officially known,
has such an ample breast that it cannot be relied on to mate naturally. Its
legs are so short it can barely run or fly. To prevent diseases in the crowded,
confined spaces where commercial turkeys are raised, they’re routinely fed
antibiotics, contributing to concerns about the rise of antibiotic-resistant
But most crucial for the
person about to enjoy one of the most festive meals of the year, today’s
“industrial” turkeys have lost the complex taste and texture of earlier
varieties, say Slow Food chefs, farmers and consumers in the growing niche
market for so-called heritage turkeys.
Slow Food movement at US
is gaining adherents at a time when fast food is coming under increasing
criticism and Americans are discovering the joys of ethnic and gourmet cooking
and eating. Salsa has surpassed ketchup in popularity, and balsamic vinegar — once
obtainable only by traveling to Italy — is now a staple in supermarkets across
S. (2007, January 26). Slow food movement. CQ Researcher, 17,
73-96. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/
families need to provide an example of good food choices and educate children
about the local food culture and encourage them to get involved in food
preparation; school canteens should include mostly traditional foods;
shopkeepers/restaurant owners should consider the flavours, appearance and
presentation of traditional foods to make them more appealing.
S., Kelly, M., Yuthapornpinit, P., & Sleigh, A. (2009). Cultural resistance
to fast-food consumption? A study of youth in North Eastern Thailand. International
Journal of Consumer Studies, 33(6), 669–675.