Child Obesity Linked
To Fast Food
How is child obesity linked to fast food? This is a question that has often been asked. The fast food industry is a multi-billion dollar business that has had tremendous success over the years, therefore, it is fair to say that they are here to stay.
The biggest reason is the convenience of fast food, it is ready “fast”, and - since we are in a hurry - nutritional value is compromised. Our lifestyles have changed over the years we live in a fast paced society. The fast food industry understands this which is why there is a drive through window. In most cases you can find a fast food restaurant within two miles of your home or work. You can't blame the fast food restaurants for making themselves available it is good business. How is child obesity linked to fast food? Convenience.
Is child obesity linked to fast food because of nutritional value? You bet it is. Most of the foods served at fast food restaurants have been through a processing period. This process involves the mass production of food in factories that add artificial and natural flavors to ensure that the food tastes the same.
As a result of this process nutritional value is lost. The finished product is high in fat, calories, sugar, salt, and lower in fiber. In other words, in one fast-food meal, you can consume almost as many calories and sodium and more fat than you should consume in a day. Since most fast food restaurants offer the option to “super size it” and the cost is minimal people eat more than they should. How is child obesity linked to fast food? Poor nutritional value.
Why is child obesity linked to fast food? There have been studies conducted on what children eat and where they eat. Surprising results indicated that fast food restaurants was the place of choice over 25% of the time. Knowing that fast food has little nutritional value could result in an increase in weight gain of upwards to 6 pounds a year.
If children make fast food restaurants as their place of choice physical exercise needs to be incorporated into their daily routine. In order to burn off the amount of calories from a typical fast food meal one would, on average, need to walk 3 miles at 5 miles per hour. That's a lot of exercise for the convenience of fast food.
Child obesity is also linked to fast food in advertisement.
Fast food restaurants are notorious for luring children with toys included in meals. This is not the only form of advertisement targeting children.
Television advertisement promoting fast food restaurants are aired during key hours of the day when most children watch television. Exposure to television advertisement influences their tendency towards obesity. Children are not equipped to understand the difference between commercial advertisement and information.
It's Your Choice!
Fast food restaurants have made a gallant effort to address the obesity issue by offering healthier food choices. They are not going to stop their advertisement techniques or alter their main menu items. After all, this is how they became so popular and business is business.
Choosing fast food restaurants is a decision that we make on an individual basis. Our children need to be educated on the dangers of unhealthy food choices and the long term effects of childhood obesity. We need to step up to the plate and do something about it. It isn't going to be done for us. Is obesity linked to fast food? Ask yourself that same question the next time you are pressed for time and looking for the convenience of a quick bite to eat.
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