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Fast Food and Obesity in United States
Writer John Blake described the dangers of fast food in a single line very well, according
to him They call it fast food because you will reach your death a lot quicker if you go too fast
with it. This quote is the best interpretation of this whole project. It is a common knowledge
that fast food contains more calories than any ordinary food we consume in our daily life. These
calories produce excessive fats in our body and it eventually leads to the problem of obesity.
Obesity is the mother of severe problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack at
worst level. United States is one of the biggest consumers of fast food, The Statistical Portal
report showed that 1 out of every 5 American eat fast food several times a week (McCarthy).
Former United States Senator Tom Harkin shed light on the condition of obesity by quoting the
numbers of people that die due to obesity related problems in United States and the number was
360,000. But it wasnt until 1950s that American people started eating fast food or referred to
junk food by some scholars in recent researches. Fast food restaurants were started as a treat
place rather than a full fledge commodity for American people (Yatsko, 2). As people did not
start eating fast food on regular basis, thats why obesity wasnt a much-discussed problem at
that time. Only 5-10% people at that time were facing the problem of obesity in 1980s, relative
to this when the use of fast food increased in 2000s (Adult Obesity in US), the problem of
obesity raises accordingly. The problem of obesity is not decreasing in United States, it is raising
day by day, this situation needs to be control because otherwise coming generations will face a
severe problem of obesity. U.S Government needs to start awareness campaign and pass some
laws regarding the use of junk food.
The trend of fast food eating wasnt famous in US until modern century. But before the
end of 20th century people due to less time started eating fast food for time management purpose.
This eventually turns into a habit. The rate of increased obesity is directly proportional to the rate
of restaurants opening in United States. Research of North Ohio Heart Research Group showed
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that McDonald’s has more locations (35,000) than the combined total of Burger King (14,000),
Wendy’s (6,500), Taco Bell (6,200) and Arby’s (3,400) combined. The average American spends
an estimated $1,200 on fast food each year. Children consume an estimated 12 percent of their
calories from fast food (North Ohio Heart). At this rate, the obesity rate in children would
increase by a 70% in next 10 years. Further this consumption of fast food has made 13 million
children and 78 million adults in US obese (Paula, 16). This condition of obesity will eventually
raise the health expenditure of American people and this is not a good thing at all. A country
with high rate of health issues has to struggle for sustainability.
A report by Center for Disease Control confirmed the stats about obesity in children and
adults. The report was consisting of state-by-state data from the CDC to project obesity rates. In
every state, that rate will reach at least 44 percent by 2030. In 13, that number would exceed 60
percent (Begley, 14). The analysis by CDC clears the point about increase in the expenditure of
health in United States. Furthermore, obesity also cause the problem of laziness, most people
with obesity tends to ignore work outs and exercise, this situation would eventually lead to a lazy
In counterargument in the support of fast food. On one hand, fast food is considered as
the major reason in spreading obesity in United States. People in United States consume fast
food a lot more than the rest of the world, this is why even the children in United States are
facing the problem of obesity. On the other hand, research shows that fast food is not the only
reason behind the increased obesity in United States. There are several other reasons e.g.
genetics, overeating, lack of activity, etc. According to Center for Disease Control, United
States, these are some of the identified reasons behind obesity in United States. This stance put
the blame of obesity more to the people of United States than the fast food. The research by
Center for Disease Control shows that a new born baby can face obesity if his parents are obese
and this problem is in his genes. This is why fast food is not the only reason behind increasing
obesity in United States. According to CDC, avoiding obesity depends on the human behavior,
Healthy behaviors include a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity. Energy balance of
the number of calories consumed from foods and beverages with the number of calories the body
uses for activity plays a role in preventing excess weight gain (Houl, 17). Less activities by
humans, result in excessive fats in body that eventually leads to the problem of obesity.
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Now if we take a look at this matter closely, we come to know that all of these other
reasons are connected to the use of fast food. For example, if a person is not doing any activity
all day and eating fast food that contains calories more than a usual meal he will surely gain
weight. On the other hand, usual food does not contain extra calories this is why the inactivity
of that person would be less harmful for him. This is why the counterargument is not strong and
fast food is the link between obesity and human beings.
Concluding the discussion, United States is a developed state leading other country in the
field of science and technology, it is normal for a nation with less time to eat fast food on a
higher ratio but it is a need of time that US officials should think about the possible outcomes of
fast food consumption in near future. This is possible by two ways, first, by starting awareness
campaigns about the benefits of healthy food and second, by passing a law about junk food. Food
chains must prepare food according to safety standards so that people can eat quality food with
no fear of obesity.
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Adult Obesity in the United States. August 31, 2017. Web. Accessed October 21, 2017. The
State of Obesity. https://stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/.
Begley, Sharon. Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030. September 18, 2012.
Web. Accessed October 21, 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-obesity-us/fat-andgetting-fatter-u-s-obesity-rates-to-soar-by-2030-idUSBRE88H0RA20120918.
Houl, James. Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences. CDC. n.d. Web. Accessed November 25,
McCarthy, Niall. 1 in 5 Americans Eat Fast Food Several Times a Week. Statista. August 9,
2013. Web Accessed November 8, 2017. https://www.statista.com/chart/1349/one-infive-americans-eat-fast-food-several-times-a-week/.
North Ohio Heart. Shocking Fast Food Statistics You Should Know. July 115, 2016. Web.
Accessed October 21, 2017. Center for Health Research.
Paula, Elle. Fast Food and Childhood Obesity in America. Live Strong. Oct 13, 2015. Web. 15
September, 2017. http://www.livestrong.com/article/347234-fast-food-and-childhoodobesity-in-america/.
Yatsko, Christina. The History of Fast Food. October 12, 2002. PDF. November 8, 2017. p. 2-8.
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