It is no secret that fast food is extremely pernicious for human health as it continues to contribute to the obesity epidemic that continues to burden American society The primary reason that health practitioners encourage people not to consume fast food is because it spawns a litany of debilitating health problems including heart disease diabetes and obesity among several others While health discourses often comprehensively examine the pernicious effects of alcohol and drug addictions fast food consumption has emerged as one of the most prevalent addictions that people do not widely discuss thereby emerging as a nefarious disease In his popular polemic work entitled Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser limns the depravity that inheres the fast food industry as he posits that the fast food industry continues to change American culture and society for the worse Schlosser 2 Indeed fast food adversely affects not only human health but also the economy and environment Fast food consumption is detrimental to human health which spawns a litany of negative consequences in society today More than one third of the American population is categorized as overweight and obesity has emerged as the leading cause of death which has been attributed to fast food Indeed fast food advertising which primarily targets a younger audience promotes consuming cost effective meals that contain thousands of calories and portions that are far too when compared to recommended portion sizes Smith 45
Children are inundated with appealing advertisements which cultivates an innate desire to consume those foods that are high Thomas Forbach in fats and sugars in turn these youths eschew ingesting more natural and healthy foods such as meats and greens If an individual is overweight he or she is susceptible to developing a broad array of debilitating health conditions that range from cardiac to pulmonary problems Medical studies have demonstrated that consumption patterns of fast food are directly linked to the escalating rates of severe obesity Garcia et al 810 Furthermore studies have shown that the western diet is demarked by eating too much and an oversaturation of salt saturated fat and refined sugars such an over indulgence in fat sugar and salt negatively impacts immunity which renders consumers vulnerable to developing serious health conditions such as increased rates of cancer lack of ability to control infection increased inflammation and heightened risk for auto inflammatory and allergic disease Myles 61 Fast foods also continue to use genetically modified ingredients to make their foods which provides fast food chains with foods that appear richer more colorful and thicker yet in actuality are rife with antibiotics carcinogens and other noxious toxins Schlosser 126
It is the so called fast food fever that has spawned such adverse health consequences and the social problems caused by obesity Fast food restaurants not only negative impact human health they also affect the environment in an adverse manner thereby harming society far more beyond people s waistlines Fast food chains package their food with superfluous items such as unneeded condiments and plasticware and napkins that eventually become a large source of urban litter Foamed polystyrene indeed are a ubiquitous form or waste as the packages are able to float easily into storm drains and gutters eventually reaching waterways and contaminating marine life California Against Waste CAW is an environmental campaign against the use of plastics calling for fast food franchises to use recyclable materials Fast Food Waste Plastics that Thomas Forbach infiltrate the water source from urban runoff constitutes the biggest source of marine debris Additionally fast food restaurants currently are a huge drag on local communities waste diversion rates Fast Food Waste In 2015 less than 35 of the waste produced in fast food restaurants were diverted from landfills the preponderance of which was cardboard Hardly any fast food plastic and food packaging was diverted from the landfills which is quite a diminutive diversion rate A study conducted in Texas in 2012 ascertained that 85 of the waste discarded by fast food restaurants could have been composted or recycled Fast Food Waste If fast food restaurants made simple changes to how it handled its waste then urban litter could be reduced thereby providing a paragon for other businesses to emulate Nonetheless fast food continues to inflict harm on human health and the environment Finally the fast food industry has proven to denigrate the economy because of the low wage labor it employs
Indeed employees in fast food restaurants are subject to low pay and no benefits which forces them to rely on government assistance programs for basic subsistence Allegretto et al The median laborer is compensated just 8 69 an hour with the majority of workers making the minimum wage and not receiving health insurance from their place of employment As Allegretto et al point out multibillion dollar businesses pay their workers poverty wages and then depend on the taxpayers to pick up the slack to approximately a 1 4 of a trillion dollars on an annual basis in the form of public aid seven billion of that number can been attributed to fast food laborers with the preponderance of them who despite working full time still depend on public aid programs such as Medicaid and food stamps just to survive The fast food industry unequivocally impacts society in a negative manner Human health continues to deteriorate as people especially those who reside in socioeconomically Thomas Forbach disadvantaged areas continue to consume fast food meals that are high in fats sugars and salt Beyond the social costs of obesity the environment is harmed by fast food restaurant practices as they pertain to waste Finally the fast food industry generates high profits at the expense of its low wage workers which continues to denigrate the economy by forcing workers to depend on government
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