American Fast-Food Culture And Obesity: Culprits And Effects

As a person living and studying in America, I am witnessing a bunch of things embedded into American culture and lifestyle, of which fast-food has long been playing a key role in everyday meals of the people. In fact, Americans consume way too much convenience food for their daily meals. However, most Americans do not care enough to take a look at the nutritional values of the food that he or she is consuming on a day-to-day basis, which is mainly why the USA has the largest proportion of obesity in the world. This is a serious problem on the grounds that one in every three adults is obese, and one in every six children is obese. There are many factors that go into the problem of obesity in America, but most of those factors are not appealing nor is it good for their well-being and its adverse impacts are of great concerns. To begin with, the majority of Americans seem not to be able to live without consuming convenience food every day. This is due to the fact that it is not uncommon to see the presence fast-food outlets like McDonald’s in every corner of a town or city in the US, their busy living and working lifestyle and more importantly, it is really cheap and “tasty” to eat. To illustrate, as long as we opt for a day in random, we can assure that around 40% of Americans will have eaten fast food during those 24 hours before heading to bed, as a result of a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). It is so convenient to have a quick meal for breakfast and finish the day with a 3-storey hamburger on their hands and a cup of coke that satisfy their stomach in no time.

As a result, they can save a huge amount of time spent on other activities, but they fail to remember that the high amount of calories accumulated day by day can result in fat and gradually obese people if no methods of burning calories can be applied during the day. But most people, especially children who are simultaneously targeted and lured by how tasty those kinds of fast food are, are not really aware of nutrition information of fast food packets like products in supermarkets. David Zinczenko confirmed that there are no calorie information charts in fast food packaging. Let’s calm down and see that now many Americans can make small choices to eat better, and they have indeed modified their dietary habits in reaction to increased information about healthy eating. But choosing to eat well is not a comfortably available option for many Americans. In effect, many of Americans, mainly those who live in low-income areas, find themselves in food deserts where there is no decent grocery store or market to make a purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables for home-cooked meals. Instead, many low-income people really on small corner stores, which are often underwritten by big manufacturers and brands promoting “fast-food culture and lifestyle”, have no choice, yet buy pre-prepared meals, barring people from having a better and healthier meal. As a result, obesity has increased with adults, adolescents, especially children in the United States where an enormous portion, nearly 70 percent of the adult populations were obese from 2007 to 2012, as published in a study by the Washington University School of Medicine. It is no surprise that the money spent on the treatment of obesity has bounced. According to NCHS, it is estimated that diabetes accounted for $2.6 billion healthcare cost in 1969. In this day and age, the number has gone up to over $100 billion a year.

Another major consequence of the obesity epidemic is its harmful effect on US younger generations. Childhood obesity is much more prevailing at the moment than it used to be at one time. What is most alarming is that it greatly affects the long-term health of children and the future of American society. The American Heart Association (AHA) warns that today’s children may be the first generation in the history of USA to live shorter and less healthy lives in comparison with their parents. According to Olshansky, obesity lessens the life expectancy of people who are severely obese by an estimated 5 to 20 years. Obesity is linked to rising U.S. rates of dozens of chronic illnesses and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, to name but a few. Obesity can result in early mortality and increased susceptibility to other diseases and can have an incalculable influence on the quality of life, as well as on the family. To sum up, it can be concluded that obesity is an alarming issue facing American people of all ages because of the eating lifestyle and habits and many harmful effects are threatening people’s well-being and society. It is so widespread that people consider obesity as a so-called epidemic. Therefore, the national administration had better act immediately to tackle the chronic issue like enacting practical policies in reducing the number of operated fast-food restaurants, fast-food advertisements targeting children on TV channels and billboards, etc. so that the overall health of American people can be enhanced to better their lives. In tandem with that, accessible fresh vegetables and fruits should be placed on supermarkets’ shelves with affordable prices in various states and regions where people find it hard to buy them.

01 February 2021
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