Fast food is a type of commercially manufactured food that is often served quickly. Its name refers to the fact that the food is prepared in a short amount of time and is then sold in a store, restaurant, or in packages intended for take-out. While fast food is popular around the world, it is also considered unhealthy because of the high sodium, fat, sugar, and preservatives content of its products. Furthermore, workers in the fast food industry receive low wages.
High sodium content in fast food
The high sodium content of fast food is one of the most pressing issues facing public health. Studies have shown that consumers significantly underestimate the amount of sodium in certain meals, including fast food. A recent study of diners in four New England cities shows that adults and adolescents tend to underestimate sodium consumption, especially for high-sodium meals. Dunkin’ Donuts fares the worst, with adults and adolescents miscalculating sodium intake more often than other chains. However, policies requiring fast food chains to list sodium content may be helpful in correcting these misperceptions.
For instance, the prime rib sandwich is a sodium bomb. The meat is layered between mozzarella and roasted peppers, and topped with au jus, which adds 850 mg of sodium. To avoid this dangerous combination, opt for a Create Your Own Flatbread. For 410 calories, this meal includes lettuce, tomato, cucumber, honey-dijon dressing, and a slice of roast beef.
High fat content in fast food
A typical fast-food meal contains 10 teaspoons of fat, including the cheeseburger, fries, and a vanilla shake. That’s more fat than a serving of vegetables, and it’s not uncommon to find a single slice of apple pie topped with a dollop of ice cream. A regular hamburger contains less fat, but five teaspoons of fat are contained in a side salad with low-fat dressing, a glass of 1% milk, and a frozen yogurt soft-serve cone. Of course, this total may vary depending on the size of your burger and the dressing and cheese you’ve added to it.
However, even if you eat fast food in moderation, the high fat content in this type of food is something to consider. Even healthy items from fast-food chains can be high in sodium, sugar, and saturated or trans fats. This means that you should be careful about the portion size of any fast-food order unless you’re sure you’re getting enough nutrients. A diet that is too high in fat may also increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
High sugar content in fast food
Recently, researchers in Australia and the USA compared the sugar content of menu items from four multinational fast food chains. They found that American menu items at McDonald’s had significantly more sugar than comparable European or Australian products. But, the sugar content in hamburgers and other hamburger-related menu items varied significantly between countries. This difference was not statistically significant. So, the conclusion that fast food is high in sugar may be misleading. In fact, the sugar content of fast food is a far better indicator of health than it is of taste.
Many types of fast food are high in sugar and can spike blood sugar levels. Fast food may require extra insulin. To avoid this, you can check the nutrition label of the menu before ordering a meal. Nutrition labels can be found on most chain restaurant websites. Planning ahead of time your order will make sure that you are prepared and that you know how much insulin to take for each meal. This will prevent any unexpected spikes in blood sugar levels.
Low wages paid to workers in the fast food industry
The low wages paid to fast-food workers are due to two main reasons. First, most jobs in the industry are low-skill, assembly-line positions. Because these positions require little education, they are easy to replace. Second, many of the employees are willing to work for low pay. Finally, fast-food workers pay the country a price for cheap food. By contributing to the high cost of social welfare and food stamps, the companies are imposing an extra burden on the government.
In addition to these costs, the low wages paid to workers in the fast food industry also create an incredibly large number of needy people. One-fifth of fast-food workers live below the federal poverty line, and more than half of these individuals’ families receive public assistance. The average fast-food worker is paid $8.69 an hour, and many fast food jobs pay near minimum wage. Another factor contributing to low wages for workers is the scarcity of benefits. According to the study, 87 percent of front-line fast-food workers do not receive any health benefits from their employers.
Availability of healthy fast food
In the study, participants were asked about the availability of fast food and the types of foods they eat. The sample was mostly female and women were the primary food shoppers in most households. Participants ranged in age from 37 to 58 years, and two-thirds were overweight. The participants were from all races and ethnic groups. Half had no college education, and the study sample was equally distributed across neighborhoods. The types of fast food and the location of these outlets were also different.
The study, conducted in Philadelphia, found that fast food consumption was higher among neighborhoods without supermarkets. In addition, the study found that low-income minority neighborhoods had a higher prevalence of convenience stores, which usually sold low-nutrient foods. This is in stark contrast to a study that showed that people in urban minority neighborhoods had healthier diets than those in high-income white communities. It also found that the availability of supermarkets was protective of type 2 diabetes.