What’s wrong with fast food? A clever summary.

1. A sign advertising inclusion of highly processed meat and even sugar in a sandwich.

Many fast foods are rich in calories as they include considerable amounts of mayonnaise, cheese, salt, fried meat, and oil, thus containing high-fat content (Schlosser). Excessive consumption of fatty ingredients such as these results in an unbalanced diet. Proteins and vitamins are generally recommended for daily consumption rather than large quantities of carbohydrates or fat. Due to their fat content, fast foods are implicated in poor health and various serious health issues such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, there is strong empirical evidence showing that fast foods are also detrimental to appetite, respiratory system function, and central nervous system function (Schlosser).

2. McDonald’s has received criticism for serving food high in saturated fat and calories.

According to the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Nutrition, fast foods are commonly high in fat content, and studies have found associations between fast food intake and increased body mass index (BMI) and weight gain. In particular many fast foods are high in saturated fats which are widely held to be a risk factor in heart disease. In 2010, heart disease was the number 1 ranking cause of death. *(…)

3. Food poisoning risk

This section needs attention from an expert in Health. The specific problem is: The info about manure needs verification. WikiProject Health may be able to help recruit an expert. (December 2013)
Besides the risks posed by trans fats, high caloric intake, and low fiber intake, another cited health risk is food poisoning. In his book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Eric Schlosser argues that meatpacking factories concentrate livestock into feedlots and herd them through processing assembly lines operated by employees of various levels of expertise, some of which may be poorly trained, increasing the risk of large-scale food poisoning.

Manure on occasion gets mixed with meat, possibly contaminating it with salmonella and pathogenic E. coli. Usually spread through undercooked hamburgers, raw vegetables, and contaminated water, it is difficult to treat. Although supportive treatment can substantially aid inflicted individuals, since endotoxin is released from gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli upon death, antibiotic use to treat E. coli infections is not recommended.[14] About 4% of people infected with E. coli 0157:H7 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, and about 5% of children who develop the syndrome die. The rate of developing HUS is 3 in 100,000 or 0.003%. E. coli 0157:H7 has become the leading cause of renal failure among American children.

These numbers include rates from all sources of poisoning, including lettuce; radish sprouts; alfalfa sprouts; unpasteurized apple juice/cider; cold cooked or undercooked meat; and unpasteurized animal milk. Additional environmental sources include fecal-contaminated lakes, nonchlorinated municipal water supply, petting farm animals and unhygienic person-to-person contact.[15] An average of sources leads to the number of 0.00000214% for undercooked beef.

4. Food-contact paper packaging

Fast food often comes in wrappers coated with polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs) to prevent grease from leaking through them. These compounds are able to migrate from the wrappers into the packaged food.[16] Upon ingestion, PAPs are subsequently biotransformed into perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), compounds which have long attracted attention due to their detrimental health effects in rodents and their unusually long half-lives in humans. While epidemiological evidence has not demonstrated causal links between PFCAs and these health problems in humans, the compounds are consistently correlated with high levels of cholesterol and uric acid, and PAPs, as found on fast food packaging, may be a significant source of PFCA contamination in humans.

On average, nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food on a daily basis. Over the course of a year this is likely to result in a child gaining 6 extra pounds every year. *(…) any given day 30.3% of the total sample had eaten fast food. Fast-food consumption was prevalent in both males and females, in all racial/ethnic groups, and in all regions of the country.

Contrary evidence has been documented that questions the correlation of a fast food diet and obesity. A 2014 People Magazine article recounts the experience of John Cisna, a science teacher at Colo-NESCO High School, who ate a fast food diet for 90 days. At the end of 90 days he had lost 37 pounds and his cholesterol level went from 249 to 170. Cisna kept to a strict 2,000 calorie limit a day and walked 45 minutes a day. Harley Pasternak, a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert, supports Cisna’s experiment by saying, “While I don’t think it’s a great idea to eat too much fast food…I do think he is right. Fast food, while far from healthy, doesn’t make people gain weight. Eating too much fast food too often is what can make you gain weight—the same way eating too much of anything can pack on the pounds.” -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_fast_foodFast F

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