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  • Riya Patel

Fast Food is Failing Us

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers every second, 4,500 every minute, 270,000 every hour, and over 6 million hamburgers every day. Fast food is defined as food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out. That is why there is a fast food epidemic in the United States: because it is fast, easy, and cheap. However, something that seems so amazing definitely has its severe downsides. Fast food leads to obesity or contributes to the serious globesity epidemic. Obesity is also a contributing cause of depression, digestive issues, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and even early death. Of course, fast food is convenient for those who have a 15-minute lunch break during a 10 hour work day, those who cannot afford the pricy organic foods at Whole Foods, or those who are always driving and can’t stop for more than 3 minutes. But there are other ways to avoid the fast food epidemic, so let’s discuss.  

First, people can start cutting back slowly. If it is in one’s routine to eat fast food 5 out of 7 days for lunch, it would be a good start to begin by eating only 2-3 days a week. An amazing alternative for eating fast food on a lunch break during work is to pack your own lunch. There are a plethora of quick and easy recipes to make a healthy lunch that can be done in the morning by waking up just 5 minutes early. Even for high school kids: although school lunches are working to become healthier, there is nothing like packing a homemade meal. By starting with a small step and cutting down a few meals of fast food each week, we can work towards the elimination of fast food addiction and the resultant health issues.

In addition, the high prices of organic foods at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have been widely acknowledged. However, in order to decrease fast food intake, there are many cheaper and healthier alternatives. For instance, instead of indulging in buttered and salted Pop Secret popcorn during an 8-hour movie session, try eating Skinny Pop. Or, instead of Skippy’s creamy peanut butter, try eating almond or nut butter; you can even make it a delicious healthy snack by cutting up some fresh apples from a local farmer’s market and nipping them into the creamy condiment. These are cheap but still healthy alternatives to some of our favorite foods.

Finally, one of the greatest limitations for most of us eating fast food is the lack of time to prepare our own meals. Many of us are bustling in the morning to brush our teeth and grab a cup of coffee to either get to school or work promptly. There are many ways to get around eating McDonald’s and Taco Bell on a daily basis. For instance, over the weekend or the night before prepare as much of the meal as you can. Cut up some fruits or make a salad. Even, cook some pasta the night before and warm it up in the morning. The key to having a healthy meal for lunch every day is planning. Make grocery lists, compile easy and healthy recipes and create a weekly meal planner.

There are numerous easy things everyone can do to fight the fast food epidemic and help ourselves become healthier in the long term by decreasing disease risk.

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