In an age where technology continues to develop daily to make peoples lives more convenient, we must be careful to not be expedient when it comes to our food. Fast food is a revelation in the food industry, serving masses of people in a matter of minutes, but are we sacrificing our health for speed and low costs? With thirty-six percent of all adults in America eating fast food daily, the nutritional value of fast food needs to be reexamined (Fryar et al.)., should fast food be banned? Our body relies on certain nutrients to operate and to be deprived of those can cause serious harm to both one's physical and mental health.
In the article "Fast Food Pattern and Cardiometabolic Disorders: A Review of Current Studies", Bahadoran and others claim fast food to be "rich in highly processed meat and refined carbohydrate, sodium, total fat, saturated and trans fatty acids, cholesterol, and poor in essential nutrients and dietary fibers" (2016).
This nutritional makeup is detrimental to one's health as her team further explains that an increased intake of fast food has a direct correlation with higher obesity and BMI levels. Specific foods were also "red-flagged" as processed meats such as burgers, fried chicken, and sausage could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to nineteen percent (2016). The increased amount of sugar and salt in these fast food options also raises major health concerns. Foods that are high in sugar will absorb vital trace elements such as vitamin B and zinc from the body to assist the sugar through the digestive process (Sugar).
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Not only are sugar-rich foods lacking vital nutrients for a healthy lifestyle, but they also take away these nutrients from your body. Foods that are too high in sodium can also cause health issues. In a study performed by Leon and others, it was observed that the average participant would intake over 300mg of the daily recommended sodium intake if they ate just one fast food meal that day (Leon et al.). An excess of sodium can weaken bones and eating a diet based on fast food proves this as studies conducted by Anderson and others proved that when twelve healthy young males ate a diet based on fast food for just one week, they reported having a lessened ability to move compared to before the fast food binge (2015).
After only one week of fast food, all twelve males had weakened bone structure due to the sodium-rich food intake. With an obscene amount of negative health effects paired with virtually no positive health benefits that home-cooked meals could also offer, the fast food industry is detrimental to our country's health. With a direct correlation to obesity and other severe health issues, a massive overhaul should be required in the industry to offer healthier food options. However, if no changes are to be made, a ban on fast food should be strongly considered.
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