The Inside of Your Car Should Not Double as the Dining Room

July 31, 2016
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Is the dollar menu really worth your dollar? Obesity caused by fast food consumption is a growing problem in America, leaving Americans with multiple health issues. The convenience of a drive through window has helped the inside of a car become the new dining room table. Americans need to start paying more attention to their food choices; there is always a healthy option. Food is fuel and is crucial to a child’s health and development. The fast food industries are giving families’ access to low quality meals portrayed as a better choice than cooking. The convenience of fast food is the leading cause of obesity and heart disease in Americans today. People need to be educated on what they are putting into their bodies and how they can take care of their health.

Americans have a false knowledge about the prices they are paying for their foods. They think that by spending $5.00 at the drive thru window of McDonald's will be better than spending $15.00 on a few ingredients to create a home cooked meal that could last a few days. McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food chains in America. Almost any mall you go to, airport or street corner you will find a McDonald’s or fast food chain. According to the Huffington Post Newspaper “You pass about 32 fast food chains on your way home” (Huffington Post, 2014). It’s almost sickening how much easier it is to find a fast food restaurant than it is to find a grocery store.
According to McDonald's, on average it costs them about $0.88 to produce one hamburger.  McDonald’s made $25,413,000,000 in sales this year. Their Net Income is $4,529,300,000. Their net worth is $7,087,900,000.McDonalds's. ( "McDonald's Corp." LexisNexis® Academic). The popularity of fast food will make these numbers increase yearly.

To make the prices of the meals at their low prices the company needs to buy meat that is cheaper than the average hamburger meat you would purchase at the supermarket. Due to these cut backs they end up buying meat that contains E Coli. E Coli is “a bacterium commonly found in the intestines of humans and other animals, where it usually causes no harm. Some strains can cause severe food poisoning, especially in old people and children”. (Allee, John Gage).

Fast food chains don’t order meat from places that have been taking care of their animals properly. McDonald's was given the grade of a C when their meat was tested for antibiotics. A shocking fact about the food from McDonalds is how the food does not decompose when left out. This happens because of all of the preservatives and additives that are injected into their meats, fries, and shakes. According to an article in “The Independent” there are over 78 different additives injected into your McDonald's meals. “The Big Mac has 18 separate additives and a cheeseburger 17 separate additives, while a chocolate milkshake has eight different chemicals.” (Hickman, Martin. The Independent). Along with additives in your hamburgers there are also chemicals in your “healthier alternative” salads and chicken according to “The Independent”. Lastly even the buns that McDonald's uses are unhealthy, they have white buns that are bleached, do you really want to put dangerous chemicals in your body?

Obesity in America has become a huge issue, affecting children and adults all around the country. The cheap convenience of fast food chains is one of the leading contributors. According to a study on the percentage of obese American adults and children from 2011-2012; 34.9% of adults were obese while 16.9% of children were classified as obese. The amount of adults and children that were obese or overweight is doubled since 2012, with 68.6% of adults being affected and 31.8% of children. ("U.S. Adult Obesity by Education Level 2012 | Survey." Statista).

This is not okay.

The ease and convenience of fast food is also making it more convenient for people to obtain heart disease and diabetes.  Parents don’t realize the damage they are causing to themselves and their child’s body every time they go and get the most popular meal at McDonalds. Can you guess what it is? French Fries of course. Obesity leads to heart disease, diabetes, and many other life threatening diseases. Why would you put yourself through that, when it’s easily prevented? Even though you might think that the portions are smaller McDonald's burger calorically is much larger. McDonald's has stated that their standard hamburger is 300 calories (McDonalds Company), and that's just the burger. Add fries and a soda to that and you have almost 600 calories and a very small portion.
Many different studies have been conducted to see the affects that fast food consumption has on the human body. In 2012, The University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers conducted a study and found that consuming fast food as little as once a week increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent. Shockingly that risk goes up to 50 percent if you eat fast food two to three times weekly. The most shocking finding is that the risk shoots to 80 percent for those who eat fast food four or more times per week. (Livestrong, Does Fast Food Cause Heart Disease?). By consuming fast food you are increasing the calories, sugar, saturated fats and carbohydrate amount, sending it over the limit. From consuming these greasy, fatty, sugary, double or triple portioned meals you are increasing your chances of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Many people think that going to the drive thru will be easier for themselves and their families. Consumers say that the fast food tastes better. Fast food might taste good but once it’s inside it can make you feel anything but good. We don’t know exactly what we are putting in our bodies. Our bodies need good nutrition, not a hamburger that only has 2% of actual beef in it. Parents with a lower income make the argument that they can only afford the drive thrus, supermarkets are just out of the question. They say that there are healthy alternatives like a salad from McDonalds, but they’re wrong. Fast food salads are packed with cheeses, croutons, high calories sugary dressings and low quality chicken. This is where these families are wrong.

Families could be going to the supermarket and buying ingredients for dinner and that dinner could be used for at least three or four days depending on the family's size. The price will end up being cheaper than going to the drive thru for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner. According to Health Fitness Revolution there are 10 healthy benefits to a home cooked meal. By preparing your own meals you get better nutrition, savory foods, teach yourself and family healthy habits, awareness to food allergies, quality time with your family which will help everyone, gain knowledge about different foods, learn to portion correctly to avoid over eating, cleaner, and lastly you save money. All of the reasons stated above are extremely beneficial to your health and your families health. It is undeniable that Americans should cut out fast food completely and start cooking at home together. Fresher ingredients and eye opening conversations could be filling kitchens everywhere.

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