Nowadays, with rapidly global economic development, a wealth of food corporations are expanding their businesses. An increasing number of fast-food chains have had a marked effect on the way we live. Fast-food is very popular in modern life, because it caters for our fast-paced lives. However, many studies claim that fast-food is associated with obesity (The Health of The Nation,1992,P21 ). This essay will analyse the advantages and disadvantages of fast-food and in the following essay I will discuss the relationship between obesity and fast-food.
In the first place, we should define the term obesity. Obesity is described by the World Health Organization(WHO) as a disease in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be adversely affected. (Ewles.L,2005, P80) Throughout the world, obesity has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. This is true not only for industrialized societies, but also for developing countries. (Barnett.A.H and Kumar.S ,2008,P3) In 1995, there were an estimated 200 million obese adults worldwide and another 18 million under-five children classified as overweight . As of 2000, the number of obese adults has sharply increased to over 300 million. In developing countries, it is estimated over 115 million people suffer from obesity-related problems. Indeed, the rate of obesity has been exploded in last 20 years. (Ewles.L,2005, P80) Today, it is accepted that obesity is one of the biggest threats to public health.
Fast food such as hamburgers and hot dogs are often high in sugar, salt, cholesterol and trans fats. The intake of these elements can lead to marked obesity. The support from the national study, compared to the days before fast food, energy consumption was over 187 kcal per meal when an adult consumption of fast food . (Larsson.B, 1981 ,P97).Based on national study, more and more people are realizing there is a connection between fast food
and obesity. There are studies which confirm this idea.
Obesity is a major contributor to the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In the Nurses Health Study, (Larsson.B,1981 P97-P116) the risk of developing diabetes increased five-fold in obese women with BMI 25kg/m2 compared with others women who have standard of body weight . In the same study, the risk of developing CHD increased 3.3-fold with BMI>29kg /m and 1.8 fold between 25 and 29kg/m2 compared to those women with BMI>21kg/m2 . The result shows that each kilogram of weight gained from 18 years old was associated with 3.1 times higher risk of heart disease risks. From those figures. It appears that obesity is one of the significant factors of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
There is also an important association between obesity and hypertension. In the Swedish Obesity Study, (Barnett.A.H and Kumar.S ,2008,P154) hypertension was present at base line in approximately one-half of subjects. The study involving 1000 men and women showed that a 10kg increase in weight was related to 3mmHg rise in systolic and 2.3 mmHg rise in diastolic blood pressure. However, this extent also can increase 12% risk of hypertension by high blood pressure. From this study, we can see clearly the relationship between the weight and data of blood pressure. When the weight is above normal, the weight gain and the risk of hypertension is in proportion. So, weight loss can help obese people reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Fast food is a main factor in childhood obesity. According to a national study, (Barnett.A.H and Kumar.S ,2008,P107) there is a positive correlation between childhood obesity and the consumption of fast food. For example in the late 1970s, fast food accounted for 2 per cent of total energy intake in children in the USA. Since the 1990s, the proportion of fast food consumption has increased five-fold. At the same time the percentage of overweight American children increased from 5% to 15%. In fact , fast food outlets have been growing sharply since the 1990s .The negative effects of fast food consumption on children is increasing. Fast food have a lot of unhealthy ingredients, including carbohydrates, fats and non-starchy vegetables, (Barnett.A.H and Kumar.S ,2008,P226) those elements has been linked to weight gain.
In addition, approximately 20% 30% of obese children appear to be at risk of the same complications of obesity as obese adults. (Barnett.A.H and Kumar.S ,2008,P227) Childhood obesity is becoming a public health crisis. However, there are some advantages in fast food. First of all , the most obvious advantage is quite convenient. in contemporary society as people have no time to prepare their food. Work occupies most of our time, we need to squeeze more time for work. So fast food becomes an ideal choice for modern people. The reasons are not only fast food can eliminate the time spent on cooking, but it also tastes delicious, some of young people particularly are addicted to the flavour of fast food. Moreover, the lower price of fast food attractes people. A further advantage is that fast food outlets usually have a clean and comfortable environments .
In conclusion, although there are many reasons for the causes of obesity ,one of the main reasons for obesity is the consumption of fast food too much. As mentioned above, there is a positive correlation between obesity and many diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It is cannot to be ignored that fast food is the biggest cause of obesity in children. Fast food will bring a large quantity of health problems.
Barnett. A.H and Kumar S.(2008) 2nd Ed .Obesity and diabetes. pub. Wiley-Blackwell Oxford .UK.
Ewles. L.(2005) Ed. Key topics in public health: essential briefings on prevention and health promotion. pub. Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. UK
Larsson. B. (1981) The health consequences of obesity, International journal of Obesity.pub. Oxford University Press . UK.
The Health of The Nation (1992) Key Area Handbook :Coronary heart disease and stroke .pub. Nation white paper. UK.