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Reasons to Never Eat Fast Food Again

Updated on July 11, 2012
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Fast food chains have grown at an extremely fast rate in the last 50 years. Fast food is easy, somewhat inexpensive, and is much easier than the process of preparing a meal at home. Advertisements we see for many fast food chains portray a healthy, beautiful individual smiling while consuming a giant cheeseburger or taco of some sort. How could fast food not be so appealing to us? With all of the benefits it provides to the busy pace of our lives, not to mention the tastiness, it is hard for many Americans to find a reason not to patron the nearest drive thru.

Many things are often too good to be true. Such is the case with fast food. While it does make life simpler by saving us time and effort at a reasonable price, the negative side of fast food chains far outweighs the positive. Here are several of those negatives.

Nutrition

Most people have learned through movies or competitive advertisements that places such as McDonald's and Taco Bell can lead to obesity. Still, people choose convenience over health one day after the next. We are encouraged to eat 2000 calories a day or less. This is hard to do with fast food meals. We all know a Big Mac has a lot of calories, but what about when you add in the fries and drink? A Big Mac burger has 590 calories, a medium order fries has 450 calories, and a regular medium soft drink has 210 calories. That equals 1250 calories for one meal. Most people eat at least three meals in a day. It is hard to stay under 2000 at that rate.

Many may be fooled by places who claim to be health oriented chains. Take Subway for example. A six inch cold cut combo has 370 calories. That may not seem bad, but throw in chips and a drink and your right back up in Big Mac range. They also lure you into getting the 12 inch option. Most men can eat a 12 inch. That would give you a whopping 740 calories (without cheese or dressing). The same is true for many other so called “healthy options” in fast food restaurants.

The issue wouldn’t be so bad if the food offered actually contained nutrition. Calories are bad, but not getting proper nutrition can be just as bad or worse. Try to think of any typical fast food chain that offers an array of vegetables or fruit. It shouldn’t be that hard to think of even one or two. The food offered at these places does not provide us with any of the nutrition we need from foods like fruit, vegetables and dairy products. They are just fillers that make us want more. We are sacrificing our own health for the convenience of fast food. This is a serious problem and is causing a record number of obesity and heart related problems in adults and kids alike.

This was ten years ago. It has grown much higher since 2002.
This was ten years ago. It has grown much higher since 2002. | Source

Cost

It was mentioned earlier that fast food is reasonably priced for what you get. Well, that is true if you order on the dollar menu everywhere you go. Used to, one could get a combo meal for 3 or 4 bucks. Today, it is hard to find a combo meal for less than $5. Some places have taken it to the point of charging up to $8 for a meal. That is unheard of.

The majority of people who eat fast food at least once or twice a week are middle class Americans. If a family in this category has four people and the average price of the meal is $6 a person, they will end up paying nearly $30 for a meal with little to no nutritional value. In comparison, the same family could have bought a loaf of bread, lunchmeat, a head of lettuce and chips for around the cost of one person’s meal at the fast food chain.

Assuming the average family spends $30 a week on fast food, they will have spent $120 at the end of the month. That would equal out to nearly $1500 over a years’ time. Personally, I would rather have the cash and be in better shape. Yes, many will say that the cost of eating out is not nearly as much of a concern as is the time and effort of cooking. But cooking doesn’t have to be as complicated as we portray it in our minds to be. There are millions of recipes online, many of which can be made in less than 20 minutes. It takes nearly 20 minutes to sit in a drive thru and wait your turn. Use your money more wisely. Don’t waste it on a subpar meal worth not even half of its cost.

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Mental Health

Everyone has stress. Fast food adds to that stress. When we eat foods that contain little to no nutrition, we do not repair our bodies properly. This leads to a lack of ability to cope with everyday activities that may bring stress, like work and school. Part of the reason is that the lack of nutrition leads to a tired, lagging feeling that makes us less energetic and sluggish.

Aside from energy and stress, the lack of nutrition brought on from fast food consumption also gives us negative mental feelings. This is also brought on by a lack of exercise, but the food doesn’t help the cause. Again, we do not have the proper nutrition needed to produce positive feelings that make us feel good about ourselves. Many foods that are high in fat and sugar have even been linked to certain forms of depression.

Not only do these foods add to feelings of sluggishness and depression, they can also cause us to develop a dependency on the food. Like alcohol, cigarettes, or any other drug, tasty food is often seen as a solace in dealing with stress or related problems. Not only is this a psychological disorder, it can, and often does lead to serious physical problems. Developing dependencies on anything will typically lead to a host of other related health issues. Food is no different. We must take the step to choose nutrition over filler foods at the drive thru. Doing so will help us feel better about ourselves and enhance our mental health overall.

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Conclusions

I understand that many people who don’t eat much fast food still suffer from the issues mentioned above. Nevertheless, fast food restaurants and health related problems grow at a rate that is eerily similar. It is undoubtedly a factor in millions of deaths each year. We can all be in better shape, save money, and increase or mental health if we will at least reduce our fast food intake. When children grow up in a household that eats out regularly, they begin to see that it is the norm for society and will make the same decisions as they get older. Children should not be set up for problems associated with fast food when they are unable to make the choice for themselves in their youth.

My hope is that we can all help get the world back on the right track and live better lives in general. We must be fooled no longer by the allure of a nation filled with unhealthy conveniences like fast food chains.

How often do you eat fast food?

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    • mandination profile image

      Amanda W 2 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I used to eat fast food about five nights a week. It was a bad habit I fell into because I work in food service and would be at work until 10:30 at night - the last thing I wanted to do was go home and cook dinner.

      I started buying groceries and cooking at home a lot more because of the cost. It's surprising how much you actually end up saving when you plan ahead.

      I noticed changes almost immediately. Even without shopping for particularly nutritious foods, I was getting more protein and more nutrients by keeping my fridge stocked. This really helped my energy levels.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 4 years ago

      Thank you all so much for your comments and compliments to the hub. Im glad to see that so many people are passionate and motivated to live healthy lives and eat properly.

      Thanks again!!

    • bonworld profile image

      Bon Daraphet 4 years ago

      Interesting hub. You notice how Ronald McDonald is thin? He should be overweight with a fat belly with the kind of food he's trying to sell

    • georgialgal1984 profile image

      Mrs Clark 4 years ago from United States

      Totally agree! I am always the healthiest when I am not eating any fast or processed food. When I eat fast food I end up craving more, not feeling full, fatigued, waste money, and gain weight. Thanks for all your information on this topic. Hope your day is great~

    • LA Elsen profile image

      LA Elsen 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Thanks for writing such an interesting hub. We are so busy. My family (4 kids) get caught every weekend having to go through the drive thru lane at McDonalds(of course.) I have all but banned fast food on weekdays. My husband and I hate the food. It literally makes us sick. I used to crave md fries with a passion then I gave up diet soda and the cravings went away. The same with other salty foods. Even the salads and the apples are sprayed with preservatives.

    • sunflowerforests profile image

      sunflowerforests 4 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Very important statistics you have mentioned here. Fast food is generally unhealthy, unsanitary, expensive, easy and tastes really good. It's the last two items that keep people stuck on them. I am also very concerned about the food being grown with GMO (genetically modified organisms) too, as I understand that to be very detrimental to human health as well. Great hub.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up and shared, I stopped eating fast food months ago and my heart and stomach are both thanking me daily, that stuff is so toxic.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 4 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Nice one. The sooner we get away from these chains of near poison the better. Perhaps one day we'll realise that fast food is just not good enough for our children and should be off the streets, replaced by an ethical and reliable local source.

      Votes and a share.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You are speaking the truth. I feel like fast food is getting more and more expensive that it is really not affordable. Kids get addicted to fast food and get on a fast track to obesity. When, you can actually make burgers and fries at home with smaller portions and in a healthier way. And, who really needs to drink a huge soda with every meal?

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      The body uses a large amount of energy in order to digest these types of dense food. This leaves the mind very tired and sluggish. The person would then have to drink coffee to get a boost. The cycle continues.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I don't eat fast food, anyway, but I'll have to share this with folks! It is amazing how much it really costs - it really isn't cheap at all!

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      A combination of laziness with out of time can be my excuse. Ohhh, I feel so bad after reading this, but you know what I know this and that is worse. I ought to print this article and stick it to my car. Thanks for sharing this important information.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I am a recovering fast food junkie. My love for it cost be 100 extra pounds and a digestive disorder in my early 40s. However, I am committed to change and already feel better in the two weeks of my new lifestyle. Thanks for your honesty in this article.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I think Ifbit is only done in moderation then it isn't quite as bad. The real problem lies with those who eat fast food on a regular basis.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I have to admit my guilty splurge is going by Bojangles and ordering some fried chicken with the mashed potatoes, gravy, and some cole slaw. Fortunately I don't do that too often. It is always nice to be reminded why we should watch what we eat, and especially staying away from the fast food restaurants. You never know what kind of chemicals are in the food. Thanks for sharing a very useful hub, voted up.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thats a good point and very true. They taste better as well. Thank you for reading.

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub. If a person has the time to stretch their dollars , it does not take long to cook burgers, and fries at home, and have other good food along with it at a great savings. God Bless You. Great Hub.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I like your perspective. I suppose fast food chains have the ability to make us rather passive both in character and physically. Joe Camel is a great analogy. Ronald McDonald ought to face the same fate.

      Thanks for reading.

    • Steel Engineer profile image

      Steel Engineer 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine

      There is a phrase I have heard many times, "No country with McDonald's has ever attacked the United States." I understand ingredients in the food are specifically designed to make eaters passive. I hope happy meal toys go the way of the Joe Camel cartoon.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thank you for reading and for sharing. I very much agree with you and hope others might take the same viewpoint as you do.

      Thank you again

    • jennzie profile image

      jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

      Great information! Fast food and junk food addiction is definitely very similar, if not the same as alcohol and drug addiction. Will share this.

    • wowsite1234 profile image

      wowsite1234 5 years ago from Moncks Corner, SC

      Great facts and great hub, keep it up!

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      It is really sad. Im glad to hear people are making efforts to fight the problems with food we face nowadays though.

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      oh wow! The statistics tell it all! Thanks for the read.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thank you all for reading and sharing your personal stories about health and fast food. That is what truly inspires people.

      Thank you for reading and for linking LaThing, I have linked your hub as well to this one. Very nice.

      The nutrition is entirely too low deepmeta, I completely agree.

      Melchi, im glad you have made the choice to cut out the fast food. I think our bodies breathe a sigh of relief when we start eating properly.

      Amy, nice job. It really is amazing how many calories some things have. They say the average person should eat 2000 a day, but as you pointed out, we are all different and have different requirements. Thanks for sharing.

    • amymarie_5 profile image

      amymarie_5 5 years ago from Chicago IL

      I lost a few pounds just by cutting fast food and soda from my diet. The other day I was on a rush and went to taco bell. I chose a chicken burrito thinking how bad could it be? After I bought it I looked up the calories. 750!!!! I'm a petite woman who should only be eating 1500 calories per day. I ate half and felt bloated the rest of the day. Everything you've written is true and I'm glad to see you mentioned mental health and fast food addiction. Rated up, useful and shared.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Wonderful points and great information that you've pointed out here. I stopped eating fast food regularly a few months ago as I had to for health reasons, and haven't looked back since. My body is thanking me - and I am in a much better place than I was at the beginning of the year. Thanks for sharing, voted up, awesome and interesting!

    • Deep Metaphysical profile image

      Deep Biswas 5 years ago from India

      The only thing good about fast food is the convenience. They're easy to prepare and can be found everywhere. Nutritional benefits are quite low. We need more easy and less time consuming recipes for healthy foods.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great article! I will link this to my hub "America's Love Affairs with Fastfood..", if you don't mind. Love the stats you put in there....

      Thanks for sharing......

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Cooking meals at home is a lot better than eating out, I think. You can trust more cooking meals at home than in fast food restaurants.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thank you for reading. It really is more expensive. It may not fave used to been, but it sure is now.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I do not eat fast food very often. While many people think of it as saving money it actually is more expensive in the long run than making our own meals. Less nutritious too, as you say. Interesting topic.

    • r jayanthi profile image

      r jayanthi 5 years ago from india

      Lots of food for thought. It is easy to stop by a fast food joint to ease the pangs of hunger while we are busy with our lives, but nothing is worth the loss of nutrition as you rightly put. Its better to cook simple healthy food than be lazy.

      Good hub

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Not getting the proper nutrition we need can cause all kinds of problems. I once read that 80% of what people go to the doctor for could be solved with a better diet,

      Hope ya feel better! Thanks for reading!

    • cheetah786 profile image

      cheetah786 5 years ago

      the facts about mental health are true, as i am experiencing problems these days.. i am relying throughout on packed foods.. i can't sleep well too..

      i use medicine before bed to reduce my emotional feelings, stress and anxiety..

      now i realize fast foods could be the problem for my health..

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thank you Brenda! Im glad to know there are others who share and understand these views. I see you are a graduate of Texas Tech. I have some family there. Nice to meet you and thanks again.

      Thanks Gail, I think a great way to buy groceries is to plan as many meals as you can and buy accordingly. It seems to help me. Thank you for reading!

      HuntnFish, I completely agree. I think part of the problem, aside from the time it takes to cook, is the fact that people do not have a strong enough understanding of health. Even microwaved foods that appear healthy are usually packed with sodium, which is not. Thanks for the comments.

    • huntnfish profile image

      huntnfish 5 years ago from Washington

      I think part of the problem is that fewer and fewer people cook for themselves. If a parents spends the majority of the time providing fast food and microwave meals (which generally are not any better) to their children, the children will have no appreciation for cooking. When it comes time for them to feed themselves, they don't know anything except fast food and top ramen. It's a cycle. I know this is not the case in all families, but it does seem to be an emerging trend. I feel somehow cooking should be incorporated into education, or at least back into the family.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I agree with your hub. I think that cutting down on fast food is a great idea, and eating at home is the best idea. The fast food is really way too expensive, too, but I am trying to buy groceries to avoid the fast food restaurants. Its just too many calories, and too unhealthy. Great article and I enjoy reading it--I voted up!

    • brenda12lynette profile image

      brenda12lynette 5 years ago from Utah

      My husband and I always share fries and a drink on the rare occasions we grab fast food. It cuts down on cost and calories. We prefer to eat at home, though because of all your reasons! Great hub and voted up!

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      Thanks for the reply.

      I find myself giving into the conveniences of fast food every now and then. Like you though, I feel guilty and bad about myself. I am certainly glad I live in a country that has food of such immense proportions. I only wish that we cook prepare these foods for our citizens in a way that is healthy and nutritious.

      Thank you again.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great hub! I feel guilty cause I just had my quick grab at Mcdonald's today. I try to avoid fast food though as much as I can and prefer eating at home instead. Even a simple grilled cheese will be enough for me. At least, I know what's in my food and that only my hand had touch it. But as we all know, more often than not, we run a race and hence, the convenience of the fast food. I do it in moderation though and so far, I'm still fit. Voted up and useful on this hub.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I think it is a decent idea. I think it would cause riots, but is a good idea. haha. Either way we need to do something. It is an epidemic with no end in sight.

      Thank you for the comments

    • huntnfish profile image

      huntnfish 5 years ago from Washington

      I loved this! Everyone should read it! There are few things I feel more strongly about than the detrimental effect fast food is having on our country. I say we tax it like crazy and put the revenue towards healthy food subsidy. But unfortunately, I don't see that ever happening.

    • Sethughes profile image
      Author

      Sethughes 5 years ago

      I think you're absolutely right. If more people would cut out the drink, fries, chips, etc the problem wouldn't be quite as bad. A lot of times, it is a problem of quantity. We eat way more than we should way too often.

      Thanks for the response and kind words.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      I sometimes eat fast food, but what I don't do is order a full combo - way too much food (calories) with the drink/fries/hamburger. For example, a few days ago I stopped at wendy's for lunch and got one chicken sandwich and a water. I think if more people ate fastfood like that, there would not be as much of an issue. Your points about lack of nutrition in fast food etc. are very good. I try to eat fast food less than once a week - and usually closer to once a month.