Fast food is a menace that has caught the fancy of the people in our consumerist society, young and old alike. Ask a child about their favourite food item and pat comes a reply, “burger”. To say that kids being naive fall into the trap of unhealthy food habits would be a fallacy as the fast food joints are always loaded with mature, grown adults. In spite of numerous awareness campaigns organised by social welfare and health groups, we, as adults, often find ourselves succumbing to the temptations of that perfect pizza and even better cheeseburger with fries on the side. Blaming it on the modern society that we are living in, which leaves us with limited time is merely an escape route and a practice of self-delusion. We all know that fast food is bad for us and developing a proper habit of eating fast food is exactly the kind of nightmare our parents are always scared of. Be it obesity, heart problems or even monetary issues, fast food comes with a full package of problems curated specially by the devil, as it were, to destroy you slowly and gradually. If often you fall short of logical arguments and reasons to motivate yourself or others around you to stop that harmful habit of eating fast food, read on the list that follows where we have tried to delineate the major reasons why you should absolutely avoid eating fast food.
Half of America stands witness to this argument that fast food makes you obese. With all the fat, processed starch and calories, fast foods add nothing but unwanted weight to your body. And this weight once gained, is almost impossible to lose. Also, it attracts several other problems. So next time you want to eat that burger or pizza, think of yourself about 150 pounds heavier and you will find a reason to not eat it.
11. Medical problems
If only obesity was the first and last harmful effect of fast foods! Research has shown that eating fast food also increases cholesterol levels in our body and affects our heart in adverse ways. Not only this, several other medical problems like depression, diabetes can also be attributed to habits of fast food eating. It is quite obvious that the momentary pleasure of eating that fast food is clearly not worth the diseases it is exposing you to.
10. Waste of money
With all the branding and marketing gimmicks, fast food is definitely portrayed at much more than its actual worth. A pizza or a sandwich costs way more than its healthier counterparts and it’s not because of their nutritional value but only because a huge amount of advertisement is involved in selling them. Think carefully on this point and you’ll realize that the whole political economy of fast foods is nothing but a sheer wastage of your hard earned money.
Found mostly on streets, cooked in an open place, fast food is anything but hygienic. The very identity of it being fast and accessible demands more weight given to cost and low or zero emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene related factors. Majority of the items, from oil to utensils and from vegetables to crockery that is used to serve it, are unhygienic and will surely be avoided by us if we closely go on to scrutinize the whole process through which our orders are brought to us.
8. Improper nutrition
Human body needs appropriate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients on a daily basis to stay healthy. Of these, only carbohydrates and starch can be found in most of the fast foods with rest being either absent or present in extremely low quantities. With the steep prices they come for, one would expect that these junk foods would at least provide sufficient nutrition to the body, after all that’s what “food” is supposed to do. But alas, only if that were true!
Most of the fast foods are processed and as a result, contain chemicals that reach our brain cells and affect them. While some of them may not be that strong, others like serotonin and MSG (mono sodium glutamate) cause the pleasure cells of our brains to react and every time we eat any fast food item, it makes us more addictive to it. So remember, it’s not just alcohol and drugs that are addictive, fast foods do it too, only in a more subtle and permanent way.
6. To be the ideal child
With your mom nagging you all day to eat your food on time, there’s only so much you can do to make her happy if you’re already full on junk. That burger you eat doesn’t fill your stomach but goes a long way to kill your appetite and that upsets your mom, right? So, here’s another reason to not eat fast food, to be that ideal child who always finishes their meals on time and never brings their lunch back home.
5. Weakening of the immune system
It is true that our body builds up its own resistance mechanism to fight against diseases but that mechanism needs to be fueled by appropriate nutrients. Eating too much of fast food prevents our body from developing a strong immune system and as a result, it easily falls prey to diseases that we attract by, yes, eating that fast food! So, you see, it is two pronged attack on our body, it exposes us to diseases and at the same time, kills our ability to fight with them.
4. Dependence on others for food
Those who have a habit of eating out frequently never bother to learn to cook for themselves. This results in building a dependence on others for satisfying your hunger. Everyone should learn to cook, at least for themselves and as long as you don’t give up eating fast food, you will not realize the importance of home-cooked food and will only learn it the hard way when you are forced to starve someday.
3. Wastage of time
Every McDonald’s that I’ve been to so far has a queue waiting that’s at least 15-20 mins long. Waiting 20 mins for a burger that’s not even going to make me full, well that surely doesn’t make sense to me. The consumer culture that capitalism has successfully harnessed today doesn’t really take account of the waiting time and that time wasted in going up to the “nearest” joint which is at least half an hour away and waiting again for 20 minutes for your order to be served, that’s just ignored. Remember, it’s called fast-food, but is it fast really? Think again!
2. Because there are better options available out there
Fruit salad, juice, milk shakes, there are plenty of options available out there which are healthier, tastier and cheaper than that junk we think is so pleasing. If only we tried eating something that was real food would we realize that there are so many better things in the market which do not harm our body, which taste equally good or even better and do not burn a hole in our pockets.
1. It dumbs down your brain
Yes, it really does! As weird as that may sound but it’s true, eating fast food not just makes us lazy, but it also slows down our brain. A study has shown that children who eat fast food tend to score lower in maths, science and reading. It is associated with the fact that fast foods lack in iron content which is an important ingredient for the development of our brain cells. So here is another reason to not east fast food, it makes you smarter, free of cost.
An occasional bite with friends or colleagues is not that harmful. However, do not let that become a habit. Fast foods were meant to be an alternative when regular healthy food is not available due to logistical issues or time crunch and it should be kept at that. Making it into a staple diet can only attract irreversible damages to both our body and brain. We are sure you don’t want that, do you?