What is Fast Food?
Can we call it Junk Food?
WHY do we need Fast Food?
Where did Fast Food come from?
WHY is Fast Food so popular now?
What is Junk Food doing to our body?
Definition of Fast Food
Fast food is considered as the empty calorie food.
In other words, food with little or no micronutrients. (1)
That means the food is not going to nourish and support our body for true health and vitality.
Cooked food sold in snack bars and restaurants as a quick meal or to be taken away.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2)
1. of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly.
2. designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary (3)
Hot food such as hamburgers that is quick to cook or is already cooked and is therefore served very quickly in a restaurant.
Cambridge Dictionary (4)
Fast food is hot food, such as hamburgers and chips, that you can obtain from particular types of restaurant and which is served quickly after you order it.
Food that requires little preparation before being served.
Collins English Dictionary (5)
Definition of Junk Food
If you refer to food as junk food you mean that it is quick and easy to prepare but is not good for your health.
Collins English Dictionary – COBUILD (6)
Food that is low in nutritional value, often highly processed or ready-prepared and eaten instead of or in addition to well-balanced meals.
Collins English Dictionary – British
Any of various snack foods processed as with chemical additives and of low nutritional value.
Collins English Dictionary – American (6)
1. Food that is high in calories but low in nutritional content.
2. Something that is appealing or enjoyable but of little or no real value.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary (7)
Food with little nutritional value.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2)
Food that is unhealthy but is quick and easy to eat.
Cambridge Dictionary (8)
Do we need all these definitions to tell us the Truth about Fast Foods?
Would it be true to say Fast Food is Food that is made Fast and eaten Fast?
Would it be true to say that the intention behind Fast Food is to make it cheap so more people will buy it?
Would it be true to say that Fast Food means we are not interested in the calories?
Would it be true to say that nutritional value is not on the radar for Fast Food?
Would it be true to say that Fast Food was designed for our busy Fast Lane Life?
Would it be true to say that Fast Food is unhealthy for the human body?
Would it be true to say that most of us are not interested in the detail about the processed food we choose to eat?
Would it be true to say that chemical additives in our Fast Food snacks keep us going back for more?
Would it be true to say that Fast Food is appealing to us because we have made it part of our lifestyle choice?
Would it be true to say that Fast Food is all about quick quick with no attention to the consequences whatsoever?
Would it be true to say we have created a world of NOW and this instant wanting is reflected in the way we demand Fast Food to be served Fast?
We all know junk means it is useless and considered of little value.
Can we agree that most of us call Fast Food, Junk Food because that is what it is?
Can we be honest enough to admit we accept putting junk food into our belly as quality of health is not something we want to take Responsibility for?
Fast Food Restaurants
A fast food restaurant is a specific type of restaurant that is defined by minimal table service and cuisine that is quickly prepared.
Fast food restaurants are also known as quick service restaurants.
Fast Food Restaurant Chains
Fast food restaurant chain is a group of related restaurants based in different locations that are operated either by franchise agreements or under shared corporate ownership.
Normally restaurants within a chain are not only built to an architectural prototype of the required format but also offer customary services and menu.
Fast food restaurant chains are popular and mostly found close to shopping malls, tourist areas and highways. (9)
Quick Service Restaurants
Over the last decade, Quick Service Restaurants have grown at a much faster pace than any other restaurant segment in the industry. They are characterised by fast food cuisines with average quality food, minimal to no table service, limited menus and price of meals ranging from $3 to $6 per person.
Quick Service Restaurants are typically part of a restaurant chain or franchise operations, with drive-thru outlets for most of these chains.
In modern Quick Service Restaurants, fast food is highly processed and prepared in bulk using standardized cooking procedures. (10)
198.9 billion U.S. dollars – revenue of the Quick Service Restaurant industry.
2020 – forecast to reach $223 billion.
According to the World Health Organization, the unregulated frequency of weekly visits to Quick Service Restaurants is causing Obesity and its related health problems in the United States. (11)
186,977 franchised Quick Service Restaurants in the United States.
28,000 growth in ten years. (12)
Quick Service Restaurants include –
Carry out sandwich shops
Carry out service shops with on premises baking of donuts, cookies and bagels
Fast Food restaurants
Ice cream parlours
Limited-service eating places
Pizza-delivery establishments (13)
Is this just a big fat number to us or does it mean more?
We have just over 2 years and this is the prediction for the Fast Food Industry.
Is this simply a confirmation of the fact that things are getting worse for our health?
Is this a clear indication that things are on the rise and not slowing down regardless of all the health studies saying Fast Foods are harming us?
Of course, for those who choose profit before people, this sector would provide shareholders with jumbo returns, as people are going to continue living fast and demanding fast foods.
So when is it going to slow down, stop or take a U turn?
How much more pressure are we going to put on our health systems?
Are we concerned that our children as young as age 10 need hip replacements due to Obesity?
Are we interviewing all the dentists who are pulling out young children’s teeth due to bad diets?
What are we willing to feed our kids and are we paying attention to this?
When do we move from the pure baby foods to Fast Foods for our children?
WHY do many of our kids behave differently when they eat Fast Foods?
WHY are children raised on Fast Foods and never have homemade meals?
WHY have we become a nation, a world, obsessed with Fast Foods?
WHY do we keep creating more and more types of Fast Foods?
WHY are we looking for the next Quick Service Restaurant to give us the fix?
WHY are we not seeing that Fast Foods is like a drug and keeps us wanting more?
At what cost are we allowing and accepting this way of living that we know is not working, simply because our body tells us so?
Fast Casual Restaurants
Relatively new and rapidly growing, Fast Casual Restaurant is somewhere between fast food restaurants and casual dining restaurants.
This hybrid of two concepts provide counter service and offer more customized freshly prepared and high-quality food than traditional Quick Service Restaurants, all in up scaled and inviting ambiance. However, they have minimal table service and the cost of meals range from $8 to $15.
Most often, fast casual restaurants do not have drive-thru outlets.
Consumer shift towards Fast Casual Restaurants is primarily due to the fact that people with higher disposable income are inclined more towards quality and hygienic food, unlike less nutrition junk food in most of the Quick Service outlets. (10)
Are we aware of the detail that goes into getting our Fast Food Fast?
Are we aware that our Quick Service world has a clear expectation when they join the drive-thru or in-store queue for Fast Food?
Are we aware that if a line is moving because of good speed of service, we do not mind waiting?
Are we aware that if there are just two people in front taking 10 minutes, we will be annoyed by the time we get the service?
Are we aware that there is work going into the strategy for increasing speed of service like measuring the number of steps it takes to deliver food to the customers?
Are we aware of the micro detail like the number of footsteps and arm stretches it takes to get food to customers?
Are we aware that making more profit fast is why so much focus and effort is put into the detail?
History of Fast Food
The name and location of the first fast food restaurant in the world, is lost to history.
Middle Ages – quick, inexpensive food was abundant in large cities of Europe, where fast food establishments of the day fed locals and tourists.
The history of fast food in America runs parallel to the invention of the car.
Most people today think of fast food as anything being served out of a window and into a car.
1916 – First fast food hamburger restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas, USA.
1920’s – Curb Service – fast food restaurant employee delivers food from the restaurant to waiting customers outside in their cars.
1940’s – Carhop person delivering the food to cars wearing roller skates to speed service.
Drive-through windows soon followed.
1950’s – Fast Food industry in full swing, incorporating and perfecting marketing strategies borrowed from earlier days.
Fast Food franchises had become popular dining stops because of –
Easily Recognized Signage
Unified Advertising Strategies
1951 – History of Fast Food in America was secured when the Merriam-Webster dictionary included the term for the first time.
1960’s – Children’s menu became a standardized part of popular restaurant chains.
Advertisers started to focus on marketing at children.
With the family-oriented culture in America, focused heavily on children first, fast food restaurant excursions were fun and affordable family affairs offering culinary delights for all ages.
Burgers and fries were the main foods of the industry but today’s menu is offering much more.
Almost anything can be eaten on the go, using very little cutlery, if any.
Some of the most popular newer Fast Foods are –
Speciality Sandwiches (14)
Fast Food Market will reach $690 billion in 2022. (1)
Hello – can we stop and pause?
$690,000,000,000 in 5 years time.
What is this saying to us?
What exactly is this spelling out to us?
What is this telling us about our Fast Food world?
What is the future figure predicting about our health?
What is this figure presenting about the way we are living?
WHY are we demanding food that has little nutritional value?
2 billion in our world are now overweight or obese.
Global Nutrition Report – 2017
41 million children under 5 overweight.
Global Nutrition Report – 2017 (15)
10 million children under 5 in Africa now classified as overweight. (16)
Obesity rates in the United States, South Pacific and Persian Gulf are among the highest in the world.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index over 30.
Over the last 35 years, Obesity has grown fastest in countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. (17)
2011 – 2016
The Obesity epidemic is inextricably linked to the sales of packaged foods, which grew 25% worldwide.
Euromonitor – Market Research
Fast Food grew 30%.
Euromonitor – Market Research (17)
Carbonated soft drinks have doubled since 2000.
World Health Organisation (17)
Zion Market Research new report titled –
Fast Food Market by Type
Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analyses and Forecast, 2016 – 2022.
According to the report, Global Fast Food market was valued at over US $539.63 billion in 2016.
Globalization and urbanization had heavily impacted on the intake routine of consumers and fascinated them towards fast food.
Fast Food Restaurants can be classified on the basis of their infrastructure, namely Quick Service Restaurants and Roadside Vendors.
Quick Service Restaurants are grasping the Fast Food market owing to their authenticity and hygiene.
Strict government regulations and pollution may hamper the functioning of the roadside vendors.
The Fast Food market is mainly driven by the rise in the pace of life of the urban population and their requirement for inexpensive and faster options for their meals.
The languid population who expect their meals delivered at their doorstep also drives it.
Appetizing Fast Food with desired flavours may positively lift up the Fast Food market in the forecast period.
Rising health awareness among the consumers may impede the growth of the Fast Food industry in the foreseeable future.
Rise in trend of online ordering and app-based companies offering delivery services could open up more opportunities in future.
Easily accessible healthy Fast Food may provide huge options to the health-conscious populace bolstering the Fast Food market growth in the upcoming years. (1)
Why Do People Eat Fast Food?
67% eat Fast Food because it is convenient.
32% eat it because it is cheap.
31% just like eating Fast Food.
13% have a lack of other options. (18)
Are we opting for convenience above quality of life?
Are we saying cheap holds more value than our precious body?
Are we being really honest when we say we just ‘like eating Fast Food’?
WHY do we seem to just give in when it comes to eating Fast Food on the go?
Fast Food generates over $570 billion in revenue – bigger than the economic value of most countries. (19)
Consumers of Fast Foods focus on –
The food is often highly processed and prepared in an assembly line.
The restaurants focus on consistency of experience, affordability and speed. (19)
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and personal income.
Consumers still looking for convenience of eating out but are drawn to the low prices of Fast Food over table-service restaurants.
94% consumers in U.S. say Taste is the most important factor when it comes to restaurant experiences.
Health is less of a consideration as nutritional quality of meals offered by many popular Fast Food chains do not have this quality. (20)
1. the sensation of flavour perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance.
2. the faculty of perceiving taste.
3. a small portion of food or drink taken as a sample.
4. a brief experience of something, conveying its basic character.
5. a person’s liking for particular flavours.
6. a person’s tendency to like or be interested in something.
7. The ability to discern what is of good quality or of a high aesthetic standard.
So here we have it – lots of meanings for one word.
What is it about us humans that we are wanting more of this sensation, which is in the mouth or throat then boom, it’s gone?
What is it that is going on inside us that makes us want more of the same?
What is it about the taste of Fast Food that makes us go back for more fast?
WHY do most of us find it hard or almost impossible to stop even when we know something is not right?
WHY do we consistently seek more different tastes when it comes to food?
WHY are we so hooked on cookery shows and the next cook book when it comes to Taste?
The taste of Fast Food is carefully controlled.
A lot of flavours are there for a reason – and not natural.
A strawberry milkshake bought in a popular burger chain contains no real strawberry.
The ‘strawberry flavour’ which is just one of the ingredients on the milkshake list, contains over 20 different chemicals. (22)
The Fat, Sugar and Salt Combination
Some people get addicted to the taste of popular Fast Food because it contains just the right mixture of fat, sugar and salt to set off the pleasure chemicals in the brain.
Studies in the lab on rats who were fed a diet that consisted of 25% sugar, when the sugar was removed the rats become anxious, they suffered with shaking and their teeth chattered – similar to people going through a nicotine or morphine withdrawal.
The researchers also noticed long lasting changes in brain chemistry with foods that had a combination of fat, sugar and salt which led them to conclude that there was a possibility that we can become physically addicted to eating Fast Food. (22)
Do we need to test out on rats what we already know?
Do we need to wait for more studies to get us to this same point?
WHY are we not funding Independent Research on real humans?
WHY are we not demanding more support on food that is harming?
Can we simply join the dots and stick our common sense hat on?
Would it be true to say that sugar is a killer to the human body?
What happens chemically when we combine sugar with fat and salt?
What if this mix is like a bomb going off inside us and causing havoc?
Does it taste better because there is no effort or responsibility to cook?
Does it taste better because we have never bother to take care of ourselves?
Does it taste better because we don’t think we have the skills to cook a meal?
Does it taste better because it gives us the exact feel good chemicals to do the job?
Does it taste better because we can ignore all the horrible stuff going on in our lives?
Does it taste better because we have found a cheap way to feed the family?
Does it taste better because let’s face it, we are exhausted at the end of the day?
Does it taste better because we will not get into the cooking and washing up stuff?
Does it taste better because we can wash it down with a 22oz soda full of sugar?
Does it taste better because we can afford to eat like this a few times a week?
Does it taste better because it fills us up fast and that’s one less thing to think about?
Does it taste better because our kitchen needs to look clean at all times and this helps?
WHY are we not asking more and more questions to get to the Truth?
WHY are we just busy stuffing down more foods that we know make us feel dull?
WHY are we hell bent on eating the next Fast Food as it just suits our lifestyle?
WHY have we got into the habit of overeating when it comes to Fast Food?
WHY have we not made our body a number one Priority in Life?
WHY have we not made the effort to have a real Foundation to support us?
WHY are we living with the tension of Sitting on the Fence and not taking action when it comes to our True Health and Well-Being?
What is it about us that goes for the next burger and drowns it with a jumbo shake?
What is it about us humans that love to just eat and eat with no regard to our body?
Where did this all start and WHY are we so complacent about our health?
Fast Eating, not just Fast Food, can increase the risk of acid reflux after meals.
Researchers say people who eat their food quickly are more likely to suffer from GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Study presented at Digestive Disease Week, Orlando, Florida – 17 – 23 May 2003 (23)
Are we not learning anything after 14 years, when this study was telling us there is a link between fast eating and what we all know is Heartburn?
WHY is it that we have found Solutions to deal with our acid reflux issue but never once asked WHY on earth are we getting Heartburn in the first place?
Could it be that our body is simply not designed to wolf down food at a fast pace?
Could it be possible that our digestive system has no time to register what has been eaten if we eat quick quick?
Could it be possible that the complex internal system in our body needs space to work out what we are shoving into our mouth at a marathon speed?
Top Continents for Fast Foods
2015 – Largest Fast Food market.
Mainly due to growing drift towards pocket food.
Reluctance for cooking on daily basis has led to high demand for Fast Food. (1)
North America – a third of all men and women are obese.
Global Nutrition Report – 2017 (15)
Second largest market for Fast Food.
Hectic lifestyle – people prefer quickly accessible food such as pocket sandwiches and burgers.
There has been some apparent swing from Fast Food towards the healthy and natural food which may impact on the growth of the Fast Food market in the coming years.
Some restaurants in Europe had included healthy Fast Foods such as salad and baked fries. (1)
In the forecast period, Asia Pacific expected to take the major portion of the Fast Food market.
Growing number of Fast Food vendors due to surging demand for western and local Fast Food stimulates the growth of the market in this region.
Asian food is gaining demand across the world owing to intense flavours and bold taste.
Rising dual and disposable income predominantly in India and China likely to fuel the growth.
Increasing inclination towards western Fast Food brands especially in India.
Young population adventurous for tasting new products, therefore demand for diverse Fast Food is rising. (1)
Huge potential for chained development in the forecast period.
Latin American food has secured their position on the global market owing to diverse flavours, which is predicted to thrive the market growth over years to come.
Increasing preference for packed food and ready to eat food has fostered the demand for Fast Food in Latin America. (1)
Middle East and Africa
Owing to improving living standards along with leisurely growing disposable income
in this region – evident growth for Fast Food market.
So what is it about us that demands ‘pocket food’?
Are we drifting off the radar and do we need to get back on track?
WHY do we need this type of ‘pocket food’ to keep us going?
WHY is our lifestyle so hectic and what are we going to do about it?
WHY have we got a reluctance to cooking food on a daily basis?
Do we need to find out by asking more questions or just carry on?
Can we get real and admit that baked fries don’t cut it, as we are craving the fried stuff so it is not really a healthy option that we can stick to?
Can we get super honest and say that chips, baked or fried are not really healthy?
Could it be possible that we need bold and intense flavours because we are always seeking for more ways to stimulate ourselves?
What choices are we making every day that makes us unwilling to take care of our body by cooking foods that can support it?
Do we need to look at our quality of Sleep that may be affected by Fast Food?
Do we have a one unified definition of what ‘healthy’ actually is in our world?
Would it be honest to say, we as world are way off the mark when it comes to agreeing and living the word in its pure essence, which is the true original meaning?
WHY are eastern countries jumping on the bandwagon and moving away from their traditional home cooked foods?
Could it be possible that the rise of illness and disease in these countries is linked to the diet and lifestyle that many of them want and crave?
Could it be possible that the rise in social media has contributed to different needs for those who in the past would be content with their way of living?
Could it be possible that rising disposable income is all about spending more and this is what is causing the drift in many at the expense of the human frame?
WHY are the Youth of these nations wanting to be adventurous with their taste in food without considering the consequences?
What is now missing for them that they are wanting Fast Foods?
WHY is packed and ready to eat food so popular in countries where they have an abundance of natural food to sustain a more vital body?
1 in 4 Americans is obese. (17)
Americans overall appetite for Fast Food is as strong as ever.
CDC found that adult consumption of Fast Food mirrors what it is seeing in kids.
34% of all children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 consume Fast Food on a given day.
1 in 3 kids eating burgers, fries, pizza and other Fast Foods. (24)
50 million people are served daily by Fast Food Restaurants.
44% eating out at least once a week. (25)
The rate of Fast Food consumption has not slowed in over 15 years. (26)
Many of the leading Fast Food brands specialize in high-calorie foods, such as burgers, pizza and fried chicken. (11)
Average American spends $1,200 a year on Fast Food.
Burgers and fried chicken twice EVERY week.
Study carried out showed burgers, pizza and fried chicken are the most common meals.
The report found many who go for the Fast Food option because they are too busy or too impatient to create a wholesome home-cooked meal.
50% who took part in the poll admitted they were already overweight, obese or morbidly obese.
We are living in a generation that yearns for a quick fix.
People want high-speed technology and quick information – that means Fast Food continues to fit in nicely.
Spokesman for Market Researchers OnePoll.com who commissioned the study (27)
70% opt for Fast Food up to three times a week in this detailed study.
40% admitted to eating 2 whole pizzas, 2 burgers or 3 burritos in one sitting.
Common reasons for choosing the take-out menu include –
Ease of having it as a family
Easy to eat in front of the television
Tastes better than home-cooking
1 in 3 admit their need for a quick fix dinner had been detrimental to their health.
50% admitted knowing the risks of a high-fat diet and had given into another Fast Food fix.
1 in 10 unable to give up, despite trying.
The temptation such as burgers on the go proves too hard to resist.
20% admit they are addicted to junk-food treats. (27)
Can we ignore the fact that there is a strong correlation with Fast Foods and Obesity?
Can we see clearly that a lifestyle of choosing Fast Foods is not working full stop?
WHY are we not choosing another way of living that can support our body?
WHY is the temptation always dominant and is there anything we can do?
What actually happens if we eat in front of the television?
What does the body register?
Is it really easy because it has no shopping, preparing, cooking or washing up?
Is this easy option affecting our health and our children’s weight issues?
Trans fats, found in most commercial baked goods and fried foods, were officially deemed by the FDA to cause high cholesterol – the leading cause of heart disease. (26)
20% all meals are eaten in the car. (28)
We are programmed to seek sweet and salty foods.
Fast Food knows how to pander to those cravings.
Once kids have a habit of eating these foods, it is hard to break it.
A particular challenge with teenagers is that they all feel invincible and they are not as sensitive to the long-term impacts of diet on their health.
Stephen Pont – Dell Children’s Medical Center, Texas.
Chairman – American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on Obesity (24)
Some organisations have shrunk their portion sizes as a way to be healthier.
So does that really make us happy when we have our meal because we know the portion size is smaller? OR do we just order more because we are used to the bigger portions?
World’s most valuable Fast Food brand, estimated brand value of $97.7 billion.
Sugary Soft Drinks
66% Youth consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage on a given day. (29)
USA claims the largest Fast Food Industry in the World. (14)
Many of the largest, most successful franchises have gone global, with restaurants in more than 100 countries.
Is this really what we call success?
Is success just about having more of the same?
Is success directly linked to making lots of money?
Do we all agree on what success is?
Do we have a one unified Truth about the word success?
Does this success consider the health of the consumer?
Does this success put profit before people consistently?
Does this success ensure shareholders are happy?
Does this success have a Priority to make money?
Does this success consider the consequences to the human body?
The Fast Food Industry USA includes ethnic trends which are in high demand like –
Coffee shops that serve extravagant beverages and smoothies are now a Fast Food beverage option that caters to the health-conscious crowd. (14)
WHY do we need more lavish drinks in the coffee shop?
WHY is the one cup of caffeine not cutting it anymore?
WHY do we yearn for the names to appeal to us like ‘billionaire drinks’?
WHY do we need a Christmas taste in our drink, as if there is such a thing?
WHY do we need even more chocolate and cream in our giant size mug?
WHY do we need a cake called millionaire to go with our billionaire drink?
Next – are we being fooled in anyway?
Can we seriously get honest and admit to sitting down and eating a large lump of ginger, 6 carrots, 6 apples, a bag of spinach and whatever else we fancy on the day, to put into our smoothie?
Just because it turns into a drink, is it something that we can easily digest OR is it a Solution?
Do we really think a big sweet drink with bananas, coconut cream and berries is a healthy option?
How is it that most of us want more after consuming our luxury indulgent sugar filled health drink?
WHY are we looking for something different to ADD to our regular beverage?
Are we looking to these coffee shops to provide us with more to keep us going?
Are we aware that caffeine is a drug and it alters our natural state and there is no getting away from that immutable fact?
Have we ever stopped and considered WHY coffee shops are always booming with business?
Could it be possible this is because we have a drug that is legal in our world called caffeine?
Have we heard of skinny fat?
“Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean that you are healthy. In fact, it’s possible to be visibly thin but metabolically obese.”
Edward Tiozzo, Ph.D. – an instructor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (30)
Are those who think they are not piling on the pounds actually better off or do we all have changes going on inside us when we eat Fast Foods?
Do we care enough or are we winging it because we can get into our skinny jeans?
Do we stop and think about what we are consuming when it comes to harmfull fats?
Do we consider the consequences of the copious amounts of salt and sugar in Fast Foods?
Do we realise that animals on our planet stick to their own diet and not create a racy pacy lifestyle with food to match that?
Multi-national food companies are using a network of micro-distributors and individual sellers with handcarts to reach consumers who would otherwise not have access to their products.
Direct sales army is part of a broader transformation of the food system that is delivering Western-style processed food and sugary drink to the most isolated pockets of Latin America, Africa and Asia.
As their growth slows in the wealthiest countries, these multi-national food companies have been aggressively expanding their presence in developing nations and overturning traditional diets from Brazil to Ghana to India.
There is a sea change in the way food is produced, distributed and advertised across much of the globe. The shift, many public health experts say, is contributing to a new epidemic of Diabetes and Heart Disease, chronic illnesses that are fed by soaring rates of Obesity in places that struggled with hunger and malnutrition a generation ago.
Growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished.
Cheap food – widely available, it makes sense.
The diet is killing us.
Anthony Winson – Political Economics of Nutrition
University of Guelph in Ontario (17)
Obesity has been an unexpected side effect of making inexpensive processed food more widely available.
We did not expect what the impact would be.
Part of the problem is a natural tendency for people to overeat as they can afford more food.
Sean Westcott – Head of Food Research and Development, Nestle (17)
This is as much about economics as it is nutrition.
As multi-national companies push deeper into the developing world, they are transforming local agriculture, spurring farmers to abandon subsistence crops in favour of cash commodities like sugar cane, corn and soybeans – the modern building blocks for many industrial food products.
It is the economic ecosystem that pulls in the mom-and-pop stores, big box retailers, food manufacturers and distributors and small vendors.
In China, South Africa and Columbia, the rising of big food companies also translates into political influence, hindering the progress of public health officials or legislation aimed at curbing the health impacts of processed food. (17)
The developing world is now a large contributor to these ever-growing multi-national companies and there is more. There are 600 million teenagers who have not had their soda this week so this is a huge opportunity for them to target and market a sector of humanity who can bring in even more profit.
WHY have we become a world that is focussed on investors gaining even more?
WHY do our shareholders want the dividends but not look at the consequences of what their products or services are doing to humanity?
WHY is everything so geared around making more and more money?
When are we going to value human life before any profit?
WHY are industry defenders saying that processed food is essential?
WHY are we demanding convenience because we have a rise in income?
Is the cost of our health not in the equation, because we earn more money?
WHY do we think that urban life comes with a high price to our health and well-being?
WHY are we choosing to subscribe to Fast Food with our Fast Life, when we know it hurts us?
WHY are we not willing to take a stop moment and look at the harm that is taking place?
WHY do we seem to just give in when it comes to eating Fast Food on the go?
Depression and Junk Food
Eating too much junk food may increase risk for Depression.
Large study in 2012 of adults who consistently consumed “Fast Food” such as hamburgers and pizza.
40% more likely to develop Depression.
Steady rise in depression as more Fast Food was consumed.
Participants who often ate commercial baked food like croissants and doughnuts, were also at significant risk of developing this disorder.
Even small quantities of Fast Food were linked to a significantly higher risk for depression.
Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. (31)
322 million people have Depression. (32)
Can we join the dots?
Is this making sense?
There is a link with Junk Food and Depression?
So what can we do about this and where do we start?
Could we begin by taking Responsibility for our daily choices?
Could this then be how we can inspire others to do the same?
Could this be how we will eventually turn the tides and re-turn back to our natural way of being on earth?
Are we ready to pay attention to blogs like this that are spelling it out?
Fast Food consumption was defined in this study as total consumption of hamburgers, pizza and hot dogs/sausages. Commercial baked goods consumption was defined as total consumption of croissants, doughnuts and muffins.
The investigators also found that the study participants with the highest consumption of Fast Food and of commercial baked goods were more likely to be
Eat less fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil
Work more than 45 hours per week
The researchers add that the legally permitted content of trans unsaturated fatty acids (TFA) in these foods “should be reviewed”.
Although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity, cardiovascular disease) and mental well-being.
Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas PhD – Department of Clinical Sciences
University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health
University of Navarra – Pamplona, Spain
Results of the study report that unhealthy diets are associated with an increased risk for mental health problems over time.
…this study adds to the rapidly growing and highly consistent body of literature suggesting that depression is another common, non-communicable illness with a significant lifestyle component.
As such, it is prudent for clinicians to assess and address the dietary as well as exercise habits of their patients, in addition to pharmacological and other established treatments.
Dr. Felice Jacka PhD
Research Fellow – Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia (33)
Do we really need more studies or is common sense enough to confirm we have an unhealthy diet problem in the world?
Are we aware that what we choose to eat can affect our mental health?
Are we aware that we can choose to make lifestyle changes and commit to them?
Children and Fast Food
Study to assess the awareness of health hazards, consumption pattern of Fast Foods and its association with overweight among high school students.
India’s Fast Food industry is expanding at the rate of 40% every year.
In this age of urbanization, popularity of fast food has been attributed to quick preparation and convenience of finishing a meal within no time.
What is appealing particularly to adolescents is great taste, attractive appearance along with advertising.
The energy density of Fast Foods had been found to be more than twice the recommended daily allowance for children.
Experts attribute the current childhood Obesity epidemic to Fast Foods.
This increase in childhood Obesity has led to increase in life-threatening conditions particularly non-communicable diseases in developing countries.
Dental cavities in school children – due to dense sugar content in Fast Foods.
Food additives used in Fast Food found to be carcinogenic.
Can cause Asthma, frequently seen among children.
Developing countries – poor hygiene during preparation, storage and handling of Fast Foods leading to contamination by micro-organisms.
64% introduced to Fast Foods through TV commercials.
57% developed habit due to being bored with home food.
Parental consumption of Fast Food had influence among children.
Increase frequency of Fast Food consumption in a week associated with Obesity among children.
The report concludes that awareness on health hazards of Fast Foods needs to be taught at schools to minimise its consumption.
Parents need to be role models by not eating Fast Foods and improving home food, to minimise lifestyle disorders among children. (34)
Are we aware that the suppliers are responding to our demands?
Are we aware that it is us who want and then they get supplying?
Is this blog and others listed below telling us we are in serious trouble and things are getting worse?
Female Genital Mutilation
High Blood Pressure
Is it time to stop and ask – is there another way?
We all know we are what we eat, so is it time to take Responsibility for our own health in the knowing that it is never too late?
Could it be that Simple?
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(9) (2017, April 25). The World’s Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains. World Atlas. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(10) Trefis Team. (2014, June 23). How the Fast Casual Segment is Gaining Market Share in the Restaurant Industry. Forbes. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(11) (2017). Revenue of the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry in the United States from 2002 to 2020 (in billion U.S. Dollars). Statista. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(12) (n.d). Fast Food Industry – Statistics & Facts. Statista. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(13) (2017). Number of Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Franchise Establishments in the United States from 2007 to 2017. Statista. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(14) (n.d). The History of Fast Food. AccuPOS. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(15) (2017, November 4). Nourishing the SDGs 2017. Global Nutrition Report. (pp. 10, 19 and 36). Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(16) (2016, January 25). Commission Presents Its Final Report, Calling for High-Level Action to Address Major Health Challenge. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved November 24, 2017 from
(17) Jacobs, A., & Richtel, M. (2017, September 16). How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food. New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2017 from
(18) Pilon, A. (2014, August 13). Fast Food Survey: Most Customers Choose Fast Food for Convenience. Aytm. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(19) Sena, M. (2017). Fast Food Industry Analysis 2017 – Cost & Trends. Franchise Help. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(20) (2017) Brand Value of the 10 Most Valuable Fast Food Brands Worldwide in 2017 (in Million U.S. Dollars). Statista. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(21) (n.d). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(22) Clark, S. (2017, November 6). Why Does Fast Food Taste So Good? Fast Food Nation. Retrieved November 24, 2017 from
(23) (2003, May 23). Eating Food Too Fast Speeds Heartburn. WebMD. Retrieved November 22, 2017 from
(24) Aubrey, A. (2015, September 17). About a Third of U.S. Kids and Teens Ate Fast Food Today. National Public Radio (NPR). Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(25) (2016, August 8). Fast Food Eating Statistics. Statistic Brain. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(26) Ohio Medical Group. (2016, July 15). Shocking Fast Food Statistics You Should Know. Partners for Your Health – University Hospitals. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(27) (2014, May 1). Average American Spends $1,200 a Year on Fast Food – That’s Burgers and Fried Chicken Twice EVERY Week. Daily Mail. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(28) (n.d). 11 Facts About American Eating Habits. www.dosomething.org. Retrieved November 23, 2017 from
(29) Rosinger, A., Herrick, K., Gahnche, J., & Park, S. (2017, January). Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among U.S. Youth, 2011 – 2014. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). Retrieved November 24, 2017 from
(30) Wolfe, C. (n.d). Being Skinny Fat: Is It a Real Thing? SmartHealth. Retrieved November 24, 2017 from
(31) (2017, April 7). Depression: Let’s Talk. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved November 25, 2017 from
(32) Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders: Global Health Estimates. Geneva: World Health Organization: 2017. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO (p.8). Retrieved November 25, 2017 from
(33) Brauser, D. (2012, April 25). Junk Food Linked to Depression. Medscape. Retrieved November 21, 2017 from
(34) Joseph, N., Nelliyanil, M., Rai, S., Babu Y.P., R., Kotian, S.M., Ghosh, T., & Singh, M. (2015, May 1). Fast Food Consumption Pattern and Its Association with Overweight Among High School Boys in Mangalore City of Southern India. NCBI. Retrieved November 21, 2017 from