The first argument to prove that fast food is bad for people’s health and that it may cause very bad diseases is the evidence of the dangerous consciences that fast food funs early or later face. Apart from the risk of poisoning from taking even one serving of cooked or stored under unhygienic conditions food, regular use of “street” fast foods increases the level of cholesterol, causing harm to gastro-intestinal tract and the cardiovascular system. Fast -food contains a large amount of fats and preservatives and few vitamins and minerals. The use of margarine for making fast-food, which contains a large number of man-isomers of fatty acids over saturated with hydrogen, helps to increase the shelf life of cooked dishes. At the same time, artificial trans fats cause nervous system disease, ischemic heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and infertility. A preparation of fast food is associated with the use of large amounts of salt and other spices, which, in addition to extending the shelf life of products, hide the characteristic taste of propped- used products.
The reason for the negative impact of fast food on human health is also associated with a process of its use. Fast food is usually taken quickly, in a hurry, on the go to stay within a small lunch break. Therefore, for stomach, it is very hard to cope with large chunks of poorly chewed food, top–flavored, and with carbonated beverages. In addition, the gastric juice cannot cope with a high content of spices, mayonnaise, various sauces, and ketchup, the main role of which is to hide the real taste and smell of propped products. Persistent gastric failures due to use of such food result in serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Fast foods cause pancreatitis, gastritis, gastric ulcer, and 12 duodenal ulcer diseases. (Schlosser 56)
According to the statistics, the annual deaths of nearly 40,000 Britons are caused because of the use of fast-food outlets, namely the high presence of these non-natural salt and fat in such dishes. These data were published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of the UK (NICE), reports the BBC. According to NICE, diseases of the circulatory system are the leading cause of death in the UK. These diseases annually kill about 150,000 of Britons. However, NICE experts estimate that about 40,000 of these deaths could be prevented by improving the quality of food that is consumed by the British. (Brownell and Horgen 132)
Fast food can lead to a rapid death. Scientists from the University of Minnesota found out how devastating this food is for people from all over the world. U.S. researchers found that people who eat fast food only once a week, have a 20% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who do not consume this food. Two or three visits of fast-food restaurants per week increase the risk by 50%, and if a person eats fast food more than four times a week, the risk increases to 80%, writes Medikforum.ru. (Schlosser 34-43)
In addition, the use of fast food two or more times a week increases a risk of developing the 2d type of diabetes by 27%. These conclusions were reached after researchers analyzed the culinary habits of Singapore residents. The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association Circulation. (Cohen)
Fast food refers to the category of high-calorie foods, so it is not surprising that the regular consumption of donuts and big poppies promotes rapid weight gain. The example is the problems of the American nation, which is associated with the obesity among all categories of people including children. This problem is also associated with a passion for junk food. The use of fast food causes an imbalance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and contributes to obesity. The dysfunction of endocrine system is a result of a long-term use of such food. Americans whose food fast food becomes a way of life from childhood are a clear example of the hazards of such a diet. More than 50 million people in the U.S. are obese; the average weight of a human is about 100 pounds. It is especially harmful to a growing child’s body. In the world, the statistics of the obesity that is caused by a harmful way of life is as follows: USA - 30.6%; Mexico - 24.2%; UK - 23%; Slovakia - 22.4%; Greece - 21.9%; Australia - 21.7%; New Zealand - 20.9%; Hungary - 18.8%; Luxembourg - 18.4%; Czech Republic - 14.8%. (“Obesity Facts”)
Another problem of fast food is associated with the use of GMO. It is a fact that some restaurants use genetically modified food that is bad for human health. In many countries, the production of transgenic products is banned, but their sale and import from abroad is allowed. Many people do not even know that they buy numerous products that are made from genetically modified soybeans: ice cream, cheese, protein products for athletes, dried soy milk etc.
In addition, what is worrying as well as is that in the stores, genetically modified products from corn, potato, rapeseed, and soybeans prevail over other non GM products. Besides, there are GM fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and some other food. GM plants can be found in butter, confectionery and bakery products, vegetables, oil, baby food, and sausages. These products are not different in taste from the usual, but they cost less. All those products are used in fast food.
Gene manipulation will inevitably lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences for plants, animals, environment, and, after all, the person. According to data published in the appendix of the British newspaper, The Times, out of 500 scientists working in the biotechnology industry in the UK, 30% reported that they were forced to change the results of their research at the request of sponsors. Out of these 30%, 17% agreed to distort the data, 10% said that they were forced to do it, and 3% were forced to make a change, making it impossible to publish the works. It is only in the UK, where GMOs are not as widely distributed as in the United States.
While scientists continue debate, the facts about the benefits and dangers of GMO speak volumes: in Sweden, where the use of GMOs is prohibited, only 7% of population suffers from allergies, that is the result of the use of genetically modified products, while in the United States, where such products are widely sold without GMO labeling, about 70.5% of the population experiences allergy. Furthermore, there is evidence that the gene loses stability by incorporating within an alien gene, which may lead to changes in the chemical composition of GMO and cause the appearance of new properties including toxicity. (Exequiel 68)
People can save more money when they cook their own food instead of buying it from fast food restaurants. “About half of all spendings on food, Americans spend on food prepared outside the home (including fast food .) But it is only 21% of their diet ,” - says Joanne Lichten, a certified nutritionist and the author of How to Stay Healthy & Fit on the Road. The main reasons to cook at home are like that. (Smith)
- Cooking at home is cheaper than eating in the restaurant every day. Money that a person spends at the supermarket for food is enough to cook at home for the whole family for a week. This can be spent in a cafe or a restaurant for 2 or 3 dinners.
- Cooking at home is more useful, because a person can adjust the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, salts, and other substances.
- At the same time when buying in the market, it is possible to choose fruits and vegetables depending on the season and their quality. In the cafe, no one knows exactly what products were used.
- In addition, at home it will be easier to control portion size and avoid gravies and heavy cream, which is often used by chefs in restaurants.
- Cooking at home is flexible. Home-made food tastes better. Home cook is faster. It takes more time to spent on the road to the restaurant, the waiting time (bring a menu, take the order, make ready meals), to pay for the dish, and to return home than to cook something delicious at home.
- Home cooking helps to avoid the use of unwanted additives. All methods of food processing - freezing, canning, and disposal of fluids - actually kill all the taste and spoil the appearance. Therefore, in many prepared foods, preservatives and other useful supplements are added. The best-known and widespread is MSG. Studies have shown that this substance (and it is added to fast food) leads to a set of excess weight.
- People more likely eat less at home, as a half-eaten can be put in the fridge. At the restaurant, people do not to leave food for which the money is paid.
- Better health: studies have shown that the fewer additives in the diet, the lower the risk of gaining weight or become sick is.
In addition to all the above arguments against the fast food, there is another argument. Enthusiasm for junk food can be compared to drug addicts. In a way, it is possible. A man returns again and again to the use of such food that draws exclusively due to high content of various food additives and flavor enhancers. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. The experiments of Dr. John Hebel from Princeton University have shown that fatty food and sugary foods leads to a true addiction, activating the hormone dopamine in the same way as when taking drugs. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is associated with feelings of pleasure as well as with a sense of craving for something. The experimental rats had a choice - either fat, sweet food, or a normal balanced diet - but in the course of the experiment, they refused from the traditional food and transitioned to fast food and, of course, gained weight. Dr. Dzh.Hebel considers the results of this experience to be applied also to the man. To break the cycle of dependence on fast food is very difficult. Dr. Michael Schwartz, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington, showed that gaining weight, lovers of burgers and sweet desserts developed resistance to leptin - a hormone that controls appetite, and less and less controlled their eating behavior. One of the reasons for the increasing incidence of bulimia is widely spreading of fast food, says M.Sсhwartz. (Schlosser 94-95)
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