Fast food and chain restaurants sell products that can exceed the recommended daily intake of fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol. As a result, some individuals who have developed ailments due to consuming such food began to pursue litigation against these restaurants for intentionally selling foods they know are unhealthy. The chains have countered these lawsuits claiming that their foods should be consumed in a limited quantity and coupled with regular exercise. Thus, the paper aims to explore whether these restaurants should be held accountable for offering food that is inherently unhealthy.
According to Alviola et al. (2014), since America requires more active members of society, people are now focused on being as productive as possible during the day. Therefore, people opt for fast food as a better option since it saves time besides being cheap and conveniently available. For instance, some researches that have been conducted within America reveal that people are becoming obese when they are located or working closer to a fast food restaurant since the availability of the fast food within their locale is saving them the expenditure on traveling to look for healthier options and consequently saving on time that they use for more productive reasons (Alviola et al., 2014).
Moreover, Alviola et al. (2014) pose that the advertisements that have been presented by the restaurants over the media direct the mindset of the people, especially the kids, to be interested in the snacks offered by such restaurants. For example, the advertisements are aired at such closer intervals and such persuasion that the children become interested in the cheap snacks that can be available at any time (Alviola et al., 2014). Moreover, the restaurants are allowed to operate within the school compounds and within reach for the children. Despite the fact that such companies tend to promote consumers’ participation in physical exercises, they fail to restrict the food limit. As a result, since the consumers are allowed to have as much as they want, the calories contained in fast food lead to obesity.
Furthermore, the restaurants focus on remaining competitive within the market by reducing their prices to much lower prices compared to more healthy products like vegetables and fruits. Thus, people opt to save their money, especially in rural areas and consider the cheaper option on the food price index.
Moreover, the focus of the restaurants has been on providing food on the go for every consumer. As a result, the processed food is majorly comprised of fats and calories that are only important to quench hunger but lack the minerals and vitamins that contribute to the wellbeing of the body (Alviola et al., 2014). Thus, the imbalance in the nutrients in junk food contributes to obesity since the excess fats and calories are deposited within the body tissues. Therefore, Alviola et al. (2014) conclude that the restaurants should be blamed for providing unhealthy products for the population. If the restaurants were to balance the contents of the food they sell, it would contribute to a healthy nation.
In conclusion, the fast food restaurants are to blame for the unhealthy food offered to the American population that is leading to obesity at a fast rate. The restaurants manage to promote their fast food through the low prices of the products and convenience at which the junk food is being available besides the consistency in the advertisements and marketing of their products.
Alviola, P. A., Nayga, R. M., Thomsen, M. R., Danforth, D., & Smartt, J. (2014). The effect of fast-food restaurants on childhood obesity: A school-level analysis. Economics & Human Biology, 12, 110-119.