Fast Food Is A Double-Sided Weapon

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Food is of vital importance for people. Not only do we need it because of biological reasons, but also we empower food to play a more important role than just its consumption. In many countries national cuisine is one of the key aspects of the culture. Without a doubt, no one can imagine any celebration without holiday dishes. Moreover, many people treat food as a remedy to deal with stress, suppress their anger or sadness, whereas it remains as a primary source of energy for our organisms. There is a strong connection between food and a lifestyle. The proverb says “You are what you eat.” From this point of view, I would like to raise a question about fast food and its effect on our lives.

To begin with, a well-known fact is that fast food causes the harmful effects on our health. Fast food has a high fat content and, therefore, is very high in calories. Menzies states that “Humans can store energy in a variety of ways. But the most efficient way in the long term is as fat.” If the calorie intake is higher than the amount of used energy, people tend to become obese. Consequently, obesity is considered to be one of the major facts causing such diseases as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart and liver diseases etc. To show how it really works in life, I would like to provide an example from my life experience. Four years ago one of my relatives faced the negative effects on health due to excessive junk food consummation. During a short period of time, he gained 65 lbs because of eating fast food on a daily basis. In addition, his extra weight made him lead a sedentary lifestyle, developed laziness and, as a result, his academic performance was poor and disappointing. To provide a scientific proof, one may refer to the study of one of the leading medical journals The Lancet, according to which individuals who eat at fast food restaurants more than twice a week gain 10 lbs (Pereira, 2005).

Many eating habits have changed since the fast food restaurants appeared and gained wide popularity. Traditional family dinners or meal-time with friends were substituted by eating in a hurry while driving or enjoying your own company and a takeout. On one hand, in the era of pragmatism, this is convenient and time-efficient. However, the other side of the coin shows that new habits of eating fast food are damaging our social lives. One of my friends is a student and spends most of the time outside his home commuting and having classes. As he has no time to prepare a proper breakfast in the morning, he gets a snack on his way to university for the sake of time. Obviously, during the one-hour lunch-break, he orders fast food as well. What he misses is social interaction. Previously, he used to meet with friends and had cozy talks while preparing a picnic and cooking a new dish. Now he is trying to fill his stomach with junk food in order to make everything on time. Luckily, during weekends my friend stays at home and has plenty of time to enjoy sharing meals with his family, discuss the problems and just spend time together. He feels that this is what he is lacking now. Hence, properly cooked food is good for one’s social life. When was the last time that you In the era of fast food, subsistence incomes do not allow the culinary culture to develop properly. Being time- and money-consuming, home cooking is being neglected. However, people underestimate the advantages of self-prepared food. Firstly, it is healthy because one chooses the ingredients, controls the calorie content, focuses on good nutrition and, last but not least, taste preferences. Secondly, one has an ability to develop his or her personal skills and creativity while preparing food. Nowadays easy access to the Internet, numerous shows, recipe books and cooking classes enable one to become a master of the trade in case he or she has doubts about cooking abilities. Why not making it your hobby if it is a part of the household duty? Nothing can compare with the home cooking.

Subsequently, fast food has more drawbacks than advantages. Even though it makes our lives easier and saves time, are you sure that you want to pay this price for treatment of serious health problems, broken social life or wasted talent? Being sick, lonely and dull all the time will definitely not lead you far ahead. In the article “Three Habits to LOSE” from Current Health, Carolyn Gard claims:

The super combination may be great for your wallet, but it’s lousy for your health. It’s more food than you want or need. Fast foods offer calories but very little nutritional value. Too much fat, sugar, and sodium lead to obesity and high blood pressure as well as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Therefore, it does not mean that it is forbidden to eat favorite hamburgers when visiting McDonald's once in a while. However, one should be wise and thoughtful so as not to become too fanatical about junk food and make it integral part of his or her lifestyle. Food industry should respond to consumers’ concerns about health. Taking into account how well-developed and popular the fast food network is, one may claim that this is people's conscious choice. Your life is in your own hands.  Do not let it be harmed due to the consumption of food with increased cholesterol saturation, which will lead to gaining extra pounds and confinement to XXXL clothing size.

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