Those of us who habitually eat at our favorite fast food chains should be reminded that it is potentially explosive to our physical and mental health. Not only can the excessive calorie intake cause obesity but some studies show that the high contents of fat, salt and sugar in some foods can cause chemical changes in the brain. Over time, these changes can make it especially difficult to say no to food that we crave; we become addicted. Research on the effects of fast food on the biological and chemical changes are still in early stages but are being thrust into the limelight because unhealthy eating is now the second biggest killer in the United States now – just behind smoking.
However, some believe that the challenge of taking on the fast food giants will be much more difficult than it was with the tobacco industry. No one ever needed to smoke, but people do need to eat and they can choose where and what they eat. Most everyone can agree that tobacco products are addictive – tobacco companies knew this, allegedly some tried to cover it up. We have choices about what we eat, but as the cost of health care continues to skyrocket some are starting to point fingers and shift blame for their health problems to those in the food industry. Fast food is not harmful if eaten in moderation, but could cause some health issues if eaten regularly. Most of the health problems will result from the high sugar, fat and salt contents as well as those conditions in which the foods are prepared and stored.
Children of the poor are especially vulnerable to becoming addicted and it sometimes create a vicious cycle among those households that don’t have the necessary resources to purchase and properly prepare those food items that are necessary to maintain good health. At the same time, fast food chains are becoming more aggressive in their advertising. Moreover, techniques used in processing and preservation of food as well as the unsanitary conditions at some agricultural facilities sometime contributes to the production of low quality food products before they arrive at their destination; this could further compromise the health of consumers.