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Are Fast Food Chains to Blame For the Obesity Pandemic?

Updated on June 14, 2009

We tend to live in a society where fingers must be pointed out in all directions when there is a chance to blame. Lawsuits are a daily trend and the yellow pages feature more pages of Attorneys than any other profession. So when it comes to blaming for those rolls of fat and that cottage cheese cellulite, it comes as no surprise to point the finger towards that last visited fast food restaurant.

Perhaps we humans do not have a will, rather, maybe we ultimately are robotic beings heading mechanically towards the closest fast food chain, simply because that's where our coordinates are set for us to go. You can almost hear these non thinking beings saying in an almost non emotional tone ''Gotta have a Big Mac''.....

Thankfully, this is only an image of fiction. As real humans we have a mind and we can control our will power. Yet, we like to act as if we are in no control of our actions. We like to find excuses to waive away our responsibility and pass it on to others. If we eat more fast food than we should, it really is simply our fault. The only reason that we can blame the fast food industry is for the fact of making resisting them an arduous task.

Accusing a fast food chain for obesity is like accusing and suing a mistress for cheating on a wife. Nobody would do something like that, because it is unreasonable. Yet, the accusations against the fast food industry being responsible for obesity continue to grow. If you cannot control your cravings you must put extra effort in yourself and pull out some determination. The fast food industry does not hypnotise nor does it cause addictions, it simply just makes tasty food at reasonable prices. Following are some of the most common reasons people like to blame fast food chains for the nation's obesity pandemic.

Why Fast Food Restaurants are Considered Responsible For the Obesity Pandemic of our Nation

-Fast Food Chains are Too Tempting

Ok, yes, indeed fast food is quite good. Picturing a burger and fries will make most people's mouth water. But there are several other tempting foods that people indulge in but never think of accusing. Have you ever thought of blaming Baskin and Robbin's for their great tasting ice cream? Have you ever thought of accusing your local grocery store for producing great tasting donuts? Are you ever mad at your grandma for making that lip smacking lasagna but so rich in calories? Of course not!

-Fast Food Chains are Affordable

This is very true. Dollar menus make eating fast food affordable even to street beggars and the homeless. With the strict economic times we are going through, dining at a fast food restaurant may even cost less than preparing a dinner at home. This is a valid reason to blame fast food chains for obesity. But yet, affordability is a good thing nowadays. We all wished all of our favorite dining places would be cheaper. If you find yourself often tempted by the affordability of fast food chains, try to carry less cash around with you. People carrying spare change with them often find it more tempting to visit their local fast food joint.

-Fast Food Chains Target Children

There are play grounds, happy meals, toys, french fries, chicken nuggets and fun sauces to dip. In a child's eyes a fast food chain can be a very look forwarded to event. It comes natural, therefore, that your child will ask you to visit Micky D or the Burger King. Again, you are in control. As a parent you are responsible for your child's safety and therefore, you are also responsible for what your child eats. Obese children do not get fat on their own, they get fat because their parents allow them to. It does not take much to tell a child ''no''. Actually, posing some limits is good at times. Instead, take your child to your local park or organize a day to go fishing. Forget about the fries or at least, make trips to the fast food a once a month event.

-Fast Food Chains are Deceptive

There was a time where really people thought that fast food was actually good for them. Advertisements were misleading at times, making individuals think that there was not much harm behind eating a BigMac every other day. Thanks to documentaries such as Super Size Me or Fat Food Nation, people become more aware of what fast food eaten on a regular bases and without exercising could do to- your body. Thankfully, today most fast food chains list the nutritional value and caloric content of most of their meals. If you are concerned about calories and fat, ask for a pamphlet with all these values listed.

-Fast Food Chains are Convenient

We live busy life styles and we are always on the go. That drive tru restaurant makes eating food such a super sonic and convenient ordeal. We are in a rush and need food fast. If we could, we would almost like to skip meals if it wasn't for that rumbling stomach or the fact that food tastes oh, so good. When on the go, the first thought therefore goes to the drive through. You can eat in your car while driving home. Once home all you can do then is wind down and watch a movie on the couch without worrying about preparing dinner. Indeed, our life styles are quite busy, but we must also remember that people were also busy many years ago when there were no fast food chain to resort to. So at that time it was tough luck, you had to get the dinner chore done unless you had a loved one at home preparing your meal for you. As a last resort a crock pot or a microwaved dinner may be ultimately a better choice.

Fast food restaurants may produce too fat or too sweet meals but they have already solved the problem: they have provided pamphlets with the list of calories and healthier choices, yet, most people still cannot resist the unhealthy ones.It is easy therefore, to point the finger to the most obvious source. Fast food chains indeed can be the cause of the obesity epidemic but in the midst of the hustle and bustle of modern life it is sometimes challenging to remember that we are humans equipped with will power that can be put to use. It really doesn't take much, if you are driving and get into a ''gotta have a Big Mac trance'' take a deep breath, put some music on and look the other way. As Star Wars puts it ''May the Force be with you''.

Are we loving it too much to Stop?


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    • Dave Sibole profile image

      Dave Sibole 7 years ago from Leesburg, Oh

      Too much is made of obesity. It is all political. The studies they use to support their claims are tainted. Our genes have more to do with obesity than anything else. I am 5'8" and weigh 265. My son (age 30) who is built more like my wife's side of the family is 5'11 and has never weighed over 130. Since he is married he eats out 2-3 times more than I do. He has 2 daughters ages 8 and 5. The younger one weighs more than the older one and they eat basically the same. I wish the politicans would put that into their formulas. Great Hub however with a lot of good points.