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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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Fast food is consumed by Americans, more than any other foods because of marketing strategies. Fast foods restaurants have certainly proved just how convenient, and inexpensive the food prices are, and more importantly, how good the foods taste. Eating is simply a part of life and one of the most exciting things people look forward to day by day. Although these foods can be bad for one's health, humans choose to ignore what risks may come from eating these foods. The calories, saturated fats, and high salt levels are just a few out of many things that can lead to health issues. In an article by Antonio Fraser, “Will Fast Food be the Death of Us?”, he states that, “The fast food industry as we know it today, got a start in 1921 in Wichita Kansas, as a White Castle Restaurant(Fraser). Fast food is a term used for various items that may be prepared and served within a short period (Fraser). Fast food is simple- an order is placed and the food is prepared quickly. The most reasonable assumption as to why people choose to indulge in fast food over any other food, is the amount of time it takes to make these foods. Fast food is something that people can pick up and go. It is usually something small that they can eat whenever and wherever they choose. The overall negative effects fast food can have on one's life is unfortunately ignored in today's society. I assert that individuals should be sure to think thoroughly before deciding on rather or not they want to eat fast foods. This is due to the numerous poor conditions one's life can be put in when eating fastly prepared foods. Many of the foods that humans choose to eat from fast food restaurants are not cared for as well as humans care for food prepared in their own homes.

Of course, convenience is important, however the health risks overtake the few positives there are in regards to eating fast foods. The health risks that one can get from consuming fast food frequently, can sometimes cause issues that can be life threatening. The topic of obesity comes up many times in America, as it is one of the leading issues affecting this nation. One cause of obesity is consistent fast food consumption. In the article, “This is your body on fast food” by Christy Alexandria, she concurs that “Notably even small fast food quantities contain high levels of calories (Alexandria). Many times people assume that eating smaller portions equates to being a bit more healthy. That is false. In fact, they are still consuming too many calories from just one meal. “The only risk is not obesity; heart disease is also a major concern” (Alexandria). The foods people eat can significantly affect the heart. There is only so much the heart can take and constant mistreatment from fast foods, can cause major heart issues, which can be life threatening.

Moreover, fast food has impacted diets and culture of American families. According to Stauffer, “the diet of a society holds a similar importance to the art or technology of that society”. To further explain his thought, I see his point as being that the foods a society chooses to indulge in, relates closely to the arts, of different forms, that they may enjoy. In this case, “You Are What you Eat,” is perhaps true. According to Grant Stoddard of “Eat This, Not That,” “Overuse of the processed food, served by fast food industries has caused a significantly negative image amongst Americans” (Stoddard). People outside of America typically associate America with being the most overweight country, and with the creation of more and more fast food restaurants with an array of options, this assumption may just be a fact with the years to come. “America is considered the biggest(weightwise) nation” (Stoddard). However, it is important to give props to those Americans who do not feed into temptation and actually do realize the importance of living healthy lifestyles. As difficult as temptation may be, the difficulty of obesity is more to deal with than the small struggles that temptation may bring. How does one say no to the very tempting fast foods restaurants that are popular in America? Especially when these companies have genius marketing skills. They know just the right locations to place their stores in and they have only the best, high quality cameras to take images of the juicy burgers. With increased locations, comes increased health problems.

To show how these consistent patterns of eating fast food is, rather unhealthy. Filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock prepared a documentary, Super-Size Me. In this humor filled, yet concerning documentary, Spurlock aimed to explore the various issues that come with Americans who are obese. I agree with Spurlock's point completely, that these fast food restaurants have complete control over the issue with obesity. Spurlock challenged himself. He decided to eat a meal at Mcdonald's for thirty consecutive days and three times each day. With frequent doctor's visit, Spurlock realized just how dangerous these foods really can be. In just 30 days, he happened to gain more than twenty pounds and saw a concerning rise in his cholesterol. As a result of this challenge, Spurlock ended up with a liver that was now made up of fat (Spurlock). More than often, Americans indulge in these foods without even thinking twice about what they are doing to their bodies an consulting a doctor becomes completely out of the picture.

Subsequently, the issue with obesity does not seem to concern some Americans. As times have changed and food has become even better, obesity rates has increased. Obesity is a leading cause of death, but again that does not seem to concern a small percentage of the American people. In an article by Mark Bittman, “How Fast Food is Evolving,” he claims that “Every day, one in four Americans buy fast food” (Bittman). Fast food can be found almost everywhere, even in grocery stores, where food is typically already bought to cook at home. The idea is all a part of the plan to take over the food industry. These businesses place their restaurants in grocery stores because after doing all their shopping, people are probably too tired to cook. So seeing a Mcdonald's right as you are walking out of Jewel's after picking up a month's worth of grocery, is typically a win-win situation for Americans. However, health still is being ignored. For adults, some of the health issues due to over-eating, includes me forms of cancers and diseases” (Bittman). There are a variety of ways this problem can get better. Making healthier, yet same great taste options would attract even the consumers who choose to stop themselves from feeding into temptation. “Chicken nuggets and hamburgers are great, but they are also killing us” (Bittman). I agree that these foods taste amazing, but there are long term effects that should always be considered. According to the Food and Drug Administration's website, some efforts have been considered. In early 2017, a petition was made to reduce the salt in foods served in the fast food world. This would possibly prevent in increase of diseases and illnesses due to these foods (FDA). The efforts failed because the varying companies in the fast food industry run their businesses based on how they can acquire the most money and cutting down on salt did not seem appealing to some restaurants. Bittman argued that “companies have complete control over what they put in their food” (Bittman). “Healthy” meals can be filled with sodium just because that is what they believe to be tasty and best selling for their company. More importantly, these rules set by companies are damaging to the wellbeing of children. From young ages, they are given foods that are unhealthy and their liking for these foods only increase with age.

Also, there was a major outbreak in the ground beef at popular Hispanic restaurant, Taco Bell. The Food and Drug Administration and Center for Disease Control warned Americans about eating the beef at Taco Bell while they were doing an ongoing investigation in 2012 (FDA). “Currently, this outbreak has affected ten states and more than sixty people are ill” (FDA). Evidently, the FDA did not find the outbreak to be important enough to announce it publicly when they first investigated because the news was not spread until a few months after people were already sick. According to the FDA website, they did not understand the seriousness of the outbreak until later on in the investigation (FDA) Considering many of these major chains get food delivered from various parts of the country, for the sake of consumers, all food items should be thoroughly investigated before prepping begins. Many times, restaurant owners and employees are not to be blamed for the neglect of the manufacturers who provide the food items for their restaurants.

Ultimately, children are easily persuaded more than adults. Children want almost anything they see on television. they are unaware of what is healthy or unhealthy, they just want it because it looks tasty. A study done by Robert Melnick of the Rudd Center for Food and Obesity in Yale University examined just how much restaurants marketing strategies work to attract children. Melnick acquired date from popular companies-KFC, Wendy, McDonald, Pizza Hut, Domino, Sonic, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks (Melnick). His study proved that marketing strategies aimed for children, constantly goes up each year (Melnick). According to Melnick, “Children between the ages of five and seventeen are the target group for these restaurant chains.” This study shows that fast food does not seem to be getting any better with it's marketing and has no plan on providing healthier choices for children and adults, despite the current issues that have constantly been stressed. Fortunately, some restaurants have taken a big leap to appeal to children's needs. “Some meals served at fast food restaurants appeal to the suggested nutrition intake of children, but still that number is significantly low” (Melnick). There are always more unhealthy options than there are healthy. (Melnick).

To add on, nutritional facts for Mcdonald's restaurants are found on the website. However, many people are unaware of that because the company does not make them aware of it. According to an article by Mary McCarthy, “Fast Food and Fast Games,” “Yes Mcdonald's does provide nutritional facts on the web, however more than 45% of American homes do not have reliable internet services” (McCarthy). That being stated, these nutritional facts will forever be unknown to majority of the American families who eat Mcdonald's. If the nutritional facts were something that would make parents proud, Mcdonald's would surely display them in all areas of their restaurants.

To continue, countless Americans depend on fast food to feed their families daily. Mcdonald's is popular in the homes of consumers. They tend to ignore important aspects when walking into these restaurants. Do they show as much appreciation for the customers wellbeing as the customers show them as they purchase food from these companies daily? The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization proved that Mcdonald's lacks the necessary ethical skills. On the authority of the official PETA website, “In 2009, a push for a change in the methods used by Mcdonald's took place. It is apparent that Mcdonald's uses methods that are so harsh, when slaughtering animals, that they should be illegal” (PETA). Mcdonald's does not handle their animals, which they eventually serve to humans, with care. This rough treatment makes it questionable if the foods served are healthy enough to be eaten. Mcdonald's should attempt to look in safer ways to of slaughtering not only to give themselves a better look, but to ensure they are serving only the best quality foods to their customers.

Moreover, people have gotten sick from fast food more times than necessary. This is greatly due to the animals in which are being cooked up. Animals that are being prepared to be slaughtered are usually living tight, dangerous spaces. In the article, “Are Fast Food Ads Killing me?” by Sujit Staffer he states that, “Considering these living conditions, different bacteria enter into the food(Stauffer). A recent survey established that a complete 47 percent of soda fountains in restaurants with fast foods have coliform bacteria which grow in feces and 11.2 percent had E. Coli (Stauffer). Restaurants often times neglect their soda fountains and do not clean the nozzles as often as they should. Yes, even the drinks purchased from fast food restaurants can bring upon sickness and health issues.

As the world is constantly involving, food choices are evolving simultaneously. The once small and not quite popular small burger and fries spot, has turned to a billion dollar industry. Fast food has drastically reversed eating behaviors of Americans of my different cultures. As a result of the evolution of fast food, majority of these companies may have completely overlooked important aspects, such as health conditions of foods served. “Fast food restaurants such as Burger King and Mcdonald's lack ethics in business which is present in their marketing strategy and the way they manage their businesses” (Cronin). By ways of advertising unhealthy foods to children and young adults, using pitiful methods of killing animals, and neglecting to present nutritional facts to consumers, they show that they lack these ethic skills. “These ethics show that the customer is not the greatest concern” (Cronin). As an industry, servicing millions of people, these companies should attempt to apprehend how the foods they prepare can have terrible effects on the consumers. Businesses should be required to practice healthier production means to ensure overall healthier Americans.

Apparently, Mcdonald's is one of the world's most popular fast food industries. However, there seems to be a lack of concern about the people who eat and spend their money at these restaurants. Ethics, does not seem to be present in the Mcdonald's world. Many of the foods served are to be questioned because of appearance. An article by Julietta Klein from the Washington Post, examines the very concerning chicken preparing process in Mcdonald's. “The chicken is turned into goop-like pink substance, which is then turned into patties and nuggets” (Klein). This goop could be a mixture of things that are not supposed to be consumed regularly. Prepping food in this way has become second nature to Mcdonald's. They know that they have a tremendous amount of people to feed and that's their only concern. The health of humans is not of concern because money looks good after a long day at Mcdonald's.

On the contrary, fast food is surely known for it's inexpensive pricing and fast service. Money and time is saved, which is why people usually go to get fast food right after a difficult day of work. Convenience is overall more important than healthy options for people who just want something quick to snack on. This idea of fast service gives these market the greater advantage over Dine-in restaurants. According to Michael Cronin, author of the article “It's What's for Lunch, Dinner, and Breakfast,” argues that, “In America, the fast food industry has a great significance in the lives of many. It is convenient, fast, and fun” (Cronin). However, the main concern is health. At the end of the day, the convenience will eventually cause deterioration in health. When looking at statistics, it is apparent that fast food can control many aspects in people's lives. Their overall health and weight being the main issue. Overall, constantly eating fast food results in expensive hospital bills.

Conclusively, fifty year back, the fast food industry earned its title. Since then, it has changed drastically. The industry has become worse as times have changed. Foods are of poor quality and lack any healthy ingredients. The demand for fast food has increased because the lives of individuals is changing day by day. People wish to feed large families in no time. Because of this, there should be throughout solutions to increase marketing strategies. It is only right that the fast food industry, attempts to acknowledge what selling foods that are deemed unhealthy. Profit has become the main concern of the industry, however they have to consider the consumers. without consumers no money would be coming into these restaurants. With time, people will see how their money is being under-appreciated and will eventually give up fast food completely. As a consumer-driven industry, the consumer is always top priority. Many of these markets contradict themselves. They have brand names and ads that brag about how they always put the customer first, yet they will continue adding unhealthy ingredients to the foods they produce. It is unfortunate to think that day by day, these companies add more and more dangerous ingredients and the consumers are completely unaware of it. They have to realize that they are doing more damage than good with their poor marketing techniques. As amazing as it may taste, people should always think twice before consuming so much fast foods. Also, think about the animals that are put in dangerous situations, everything the animals go through has effects on their health, which will also affect the health of consumers. Of course, the ease of getting fast food attracts consumers, but the risks these restaurants can have on one's life is concerning. This is not to say that people should never consumer fast food, but they should always be aware of what they are eating.

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