Fast food binges today can cause problems tomorrow

It is any food that is quick, convenient, and usually inexpensive. You can buy fast food just about anywhere that sells food and snacks. Vending machines, drive-thru restaurants, and 24 hour convenience stores are probably the most common places to find fast food. It’s so popular because for under $6.00 you can usually get a filling meal. Fast food is inexpensive because it is usually made with cheaper ingredients such as high fat meat, refined grains, and added sugar and fats, instead of nutritious foods such as lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

To a lot of people, there is no such thing as bad food and they are right. Fast food is good and it is a lot cheaper to a lot of people. It’s true that fast food is usually high in fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium, but eating fast food every once in a while is not going to cause you problems. If you eat too much fast food over a long period of time, though, it can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

“I like fast food because it is easier on my family, with mine and my brothers’ sports, my work, and school. I don’t have time to cook or eat at home, but it is not healthy at all and I don’t do it every day,” says high school student at Salem High School. However fast food menus change in response to customer comments.  For example, some chains no longer serve foods with trans fats.

Trans-fat share many of the same characteristics as saturated fat, including the negative effect on cholesterol levels and the tendency to clog arteries. Trans-fat is created through a process called hydrogenation. Many food chains have added menu items that contain fruits and vegetables to give customers a healthier choices.

“I feel that people can get stuck (including myself) into the pattern of eating out or getting fast food. Fast food is quick and easy and sometimes people can get caught in that convenience and forget about what’s important,  which is nutritional value of food. Most fast food restaurants’ food is high in calories, fat, and sodium and is unbalanced: lacking the fruits, vegetables, and grains a body needs. You can order some meals at McDonalds and almost meet your daily allotment of calories for the whole day in just in one meal. In a few years, it will be required for all restaurants to state on their menu the calories and nutrients in every food they provide. Hopefully, that will start encouraging people of all ages to make healthier choices whether what it is at McDonalds or at their local grocery store,” says Catherine Waller, Gym and health teacher at Salem High School.

By: Samantha Blevins, Staff Writer

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