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Why Anthropologists Argue That Fast Food Is Bad for Us?
Food is the body’s fuel, and depending on what one eats, their mood and health will be affected. In the earlier days, people cooked meals in their homes, but things have since changed. Nowadays there are hotels and restaurants all over and depending on one’s schedule and finances, they can easily get a place to eat. Eating out was reserved for occasions, but today one does not have to be celebrating anything to eat out. Fast food joints are very popular such that there are people who hardly cook or get home made food. Technology has even made things easier for people and boosted this industry. Through an application on one’s mobile device, one can order a meal from their favorite joint. For one to have lunch or dinner they can easily have their order delivered to them wherever they are and at the exact time that they need it. While this may seem to make things, easier and save time, anthropologists argue that this is a dangerous habit. This paper seeks to expound on the reasons people should avoid eating fast foods for the sake of their health as well as to combat climate change.
There are complaints about people having less time to cook which has been brought about by various factors including over employment, affluence, and technology. The chefs who cooked in people’s homes now cook in restaurants. The growth of the food business has grown immensely due to a large number of people who prefer fast foods as opposed to cooking from home. However, people are gaining on one end and losing on the other. It is important to take time and rethink this decision and even go back to the traditional ways for various reasons. There are many lifestyle diseases, and the first thing that is pointed at in this issue is the kind of lifestyle that most people lead these days. Obesity is more common today than it was there before. Looking around at the causes of all these problems, the genesis goes back to what one eats.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
In most instances, junk is appetizing, and it is very easy to get the pie as opposed to eating vegetables. The current generation has the biggest number of obese children. This has great repercussions when it comes to life span and immunity. The World Food Organization has cited advertisements as one catalyst to this problem. In order to market their businesses through advertisements; you have to make the content appealing especially to children. Promotions on junk foods are everywhere, and children are vulnerable and in most cases, they will not think about the dangers of what they eat so long as it is sweet to their mouths. From the cartoons that children watch every day, the characters overeat, but remain ridiculously slim (Spenser & Cohen, 2015). This means that more children are eating the wrong food and this increases the obesity levels in the American children.
Through the use of technology, fast food restaurants advertise their business to many people both adults and children. Today, almost every person has access to a mobile phone or computer including children. In addition to this, as reported by Gallagher (2016), these joints are also becoming a favorite place for children as they get offers to play their favorite reality games. Parents do not realize the danger that this exposes their children to as they think that taking them to such places is part of making them have a good time. Children need to be exposed to better content that encourages healthy eating as opposed to eating junk food that greatly contributes to the rising levels of obesity in American children (Elliot, 2015).
This year the theme of the World Food Day is climate change (Shapiro, 2016). In line with this, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization encourages people to eat more plant-based meals. This move is meant to discourage people from eating meat and meat products. The food offered in fast food joints is mainly meat and its products and before one makes a choice to buy a vegetarian meal, they often usually have gone for the meat products. However, a vegetarian meal saves money and at the same time prolongs life.
In addition, choosing foods from the lower food chain is a way of protecting animals from the extreme suffering that they go through. Animals are usually kept in very poor conditions when they are being led to the slaughter. The space in which these animals are kept is usually small and the measures taken to keep them in order are extreme. For example, most of the slaughter houses keep the chicken in very small spaces and in order to prevent them from attacking one another, their beaks are cut off. Living in such conditions may lead to diseases and to prevent this from happening, they are pumped with antibiotics. The next time one gets served with food in a fast food joint, it is important to remember that the antibiotics end up in the food that one is served. With this information, it would be better to avoid eating in fast foods and even better to become a vegetarian.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Over the course of the last century, Americans have gained a lot of weight. There is a relationship between this and the rise of fast food establishments that offer junk food. In addition, these joints have made protein cheap for consumers, which make it a good choice for people at all levels of income (Buchholz, 2003). There have been a number of class law suits by obese customers who claim that the fast food joints offered them food high in cholesterol, salt, sugar, and fat.
Most people are aware of the dangers they expose themselves to when taking sugary foods and foods with high levels cholesterol and a lot of fat. However, there is less awareness on the effects that too much salt has on the body and if it is there, the tendency is to ignore it. It is recommended that the daily salt intake should be 2,300 milligrams but the average American gets at least 3,400 milligrams. Salt is known to cause heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. The food offered in fast foods establishments contains too much salt and the sodium content in these foods is very high. The relation between salt and diseases in the human body is that it raises the levels of blood pressure in the body. The deaths attributed to high salt intake yearly are 2.3 million. This is something that can be managed if people reduced the number of times that they ate junk food.
Another concern on food provided in fast foods is safety. Most of the employees working in the fast food establishments lack training in food safety. It is not guaranteed that the person who prepared your hamburger washed their hands, which is an important step in food preparation. When one eats from home, food poisoning is highly unlikely as food is handled in the best possible manner. The quality of food offered in fast food joints is also wanting. While the food may be yummy, the ingredients used to make this food, in this case, are cheap and of poor quality.
If one is to measure the number of calories in a fast food meal, on average it would be 1,000 calories. According to the American Diabetes Association, this can raise the blood sugar to extreme levels. The increase in insulin resistance which is often found in people who frequently eat fast food is associated with type 2 diabetes. This kind of diabetes exposes one to many risks, including nerve damage, skin and eye problems, high blood pressure, stroke and kidney disease. The risk of getting these diseases can be eliminated by a change of habit and eating more home-cooked food as opposed to ordering food from a fast food establishment.
Going by the name fast food, there is what comes to one’s mind. What is important to the establishment is getting the meal ready because the customer needs it. The mode of preparation, in this case, is a health hazard. You will often find that not even a stove is used to prepare the food, but that food comes from a frozen container and is thrown into a dirty microwave. This practice saves the establishment time and money, but puts the health of consumers in jeopardy.
There is the argument that fast foods have improved and that their menu contains healthier choices and it is upon the customer to take what he wishes to take. This argument is meant to shift attention from the fast food joints. However, the trend shows that even when people have the choice to eat a healthier meal, they still go for the junk food (Elliot, 2015). There are various reasons people make this dangerous choice. These healthier options are costly and there is still a variety in the menu which contains sugar, calories and a lot of fat which are cheaper and more tantalizing. Eating these foods leads to chronic medical conditions as well as weight gain.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization encourages people to eat foods in the lower food chain in order to combat climate change. The risk of getting chronic diseases and being overweight is also another reason to avoid fast foods. The fast foods have put out arguments, shifting blame from them to the people saying that their menu has all kinds of foods and it is upon the customer to buy what he wants. While this is true, there is no incentive to make the customer take the healthier options when the everyday offers are for the junk foods. Anthropologists advise people to choose healthier options while at the drive-thru windows, but even better to avoid the fast food.
Buchholz, T. (2003) Are Fast-Food Establishments Making Americans Fat?. Journal of Controversial Medical Claims, 10(4), 1-10.
Spencer, B., Cohen, T. (2015, October 6). Children’s shows on join war on junk food BBC must says Hunt. Daily Mail. p. 10.
Elliott, C. (2015). ‘Big Food’ and ‘gamified’ products: promotion, packaging, and the promise of fun. Critical Public Health, 25(3), 348-360.
Gallagher, J. (2016, November 4). Stop junk food ads on kids’ apps – WHO.
Shapiro, P. (2016, October 12). Celebrating World Food Day.