Fast Food Chains and its Customers

by Carlin C on December 6, 2012 - 11:26am

Since the 1970’s, fast-food restaurants have become the new way to eat. In our busy, New York minute lifestyle,  people do not have time to cook themselves a good meal, sit down at dinner with their family, or go to a good quality restaurant. So, people rely on fast food places for a quick meal. Most Americans that eat at these fast-food places though cannot help it. Whether it be because they are too busy at work, too poor to have a genuine family meal every night or because a mother of three cannot find the time to cook for her kids, people just don’t have the time to eat a healthy meal. So they are punished with these unhealthy meals because their lifestyles require to them to eat at these fast-food restaurants a few times a week. The fast-food corporations know how to manipulate the people into buying their food more often. They convince the people that it is their choice to eat fast-food, and they shouldn’t have to change because America is becoming obese off their products. In support, we are gluttonous, and always bigger and better everything.  So, are both sides at fault? Yes, I believe both corporations and consumers are. It’s the person’s choice to grab food from their restaurants, but, fast food restaurants are to blame for the obesity of their customers as well with what is being served. In, “Don’t Blame the Eater”, David Zinczenko discusses how it is fast-food corporations’ faults for teenager’s obesity and health problems. He states that back in the early 1970’s diabetes accounted for only $2.6 billion in health care costs. As compared to today it is now close to around $100 billion a year. That is a big jump in health care costs. Stephanie Rosenbloom, a New York Times writer, wrote an article recently on a new bill passed by President Obama that requires all big restaurant chains to put calorie information on their menus and drive-through signs. She says, “That even if menu labeling does not inspire consumers to eat better, they should at least be told what they are putting in their mouths.” I have seen these changes on the menus at fast food places and it has helped me in deciding what I should order. I believe that this has also helped what these restaurants have been putting on their menus. I have noticed more healthy choices going up which is a great thing for their customers who want something quick but won’t give them a heart attack. These changes to the fast food chains are definitely a good thing to both sides in my opinion. Costumers get to eat a healthier quick meal for cheap and the fast food chains are less in the spotlight for its cheap, greasy, fatty foods.

 

Rosenbloom, Stephanie. "Calorie Data to Be Posted at Most Chains." NYTimes.com. N.p., 23 Mar. 2010. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.

Zinczenko, David. "Don't Blame the Eater."  The New York Times. N.p., 23 Nov. 2002. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.

Comments

Hello Carlin,

I find this issue very interesting. I believe that this is an important issue since this debate, on whether fast food restaurants or consumers should be to blame for the American population’s obesity, has been going on for several years. I find that the article you gave proves a good point that since there has been a rise in fast food restaurants in the U.S. diabetes has also risen, yet I believe it is more of the consumers fault. Since I work at a fast food restaurant, McDonalds, I see that many people choose to go for the unhealthy menu items and not as many for the healthy options. McDonalds have recently started selling salads, yet the 10 to 15 salads made in one day are never sold out. However, the same McDonalds chain sells thousands of unhealthy burgers. It also isn’t like the salads are well advertised. I found a link that shows that fast food industries aren’t much to blame. A study from the University of California and Northwestern University states that since “people living closer to restaurants were not significantly more likely to be obese than people living further away, [it] indicated that easy access to restaurants had little effect” on the obesity of Americans. I hope this helped you understand another point of view on the subject and maybe you could improve on your essay by research counter arguments on other views.

link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8084044/Fast-food-restaurants-not-to-blame-for-American-obesity.html

 

You have a point. I believe everything you say is true. The corporations are definitely the first one to be at fault. They are the ones who create the menu and who have made sure that people eat extremely unhealthy by deep frying everything. Though, the taste and the price are so good, the customers get addicted and come right back. This is how corporations work. They will find any kind of trick to get the customer to come back and buy more. They have psychologist and other professionals to help them advertise in different ways for people to purchase their meals. Even children get stuck in their trap when they add a toy into the package, like McDonalds with their happy meals. Corporations are the first at fault because they have created the fast-food restaurants, but adults should know better than to engorge themselves in these cheap, greasy, fatty foods. Can't they see what it is doing to their body? Though, they continue. I find it a shame that parents bring their children to these restaurants. Children need healthy food or at least decent food to be able to grow properly. With the amount of people going to fast-food restaurant and the amount of children who eat there, I am quite sure that the children could have heart problems and/or heart attacks at a younger age than usually. Even with healthier food and the menus, it is not even and the calories are still extremely high compared to a healthy meal made at home or at a sit down restaurant. People need to wake up and realize what they are putting in their mouths. For sure it is fun to go to fast-food restaurants, but it should not be done on a daily basis.

As a person who works at McDonalds I can say with confidence that people have a choice not to eat there, if I’m doing an 8hour shift I don’t always eat there. If someone has time to go inside a restaurant wait in line and get their food it takes what 5-10minutes? In that time they could have bought sliced turkey and some bread from a grocery store, I take 10 minutes every night to make my lunch for the next day. So saying that the companies are the ones forcing people to eat is a little much. Sure places like McDonalds encourage kids to eat there but parents have the option to say yes or no. No person in this world can say they are so busy that they do not have 10 minutes to put turkey or ham on bread, not to mention the people who eat there know it’s unhealthy. No one goes to a restaurant thinking ‘I will get the heart attack burger with extra large fry and 2 liters of cola’ and walks away thinking that was a healthy meal. It all comes down to the person eating it; fast food does not control people. People feed fast food places and as long as people are around so will fast food.

  I find this issue very interesting. I think that fast food restaurants are in a big part responsible for peoples obesity because first, fast food is unhealthy and second, fast food is cheap therefore people tend to eat a lot. Although I primarily blame the fast food industry, I also blame the consumers because in a way it is their decision to eat unhealthy food and they know the consequences of eating this type of food too often.

 

The food industry of today has really improved. However they still remain quite greasy and quite expensive on a long term scale. Today's world has become so busy and selfish people have no time to eat proper food and get the right nutrients in their body. It's unfortunate to see how families don't have 30 minutes to sit and enjoy a meal together. The food chain however has increased their profits. Fast food restaurants next to metro stations or bus stations are located at one of the best location. They know people will have a tired day, and who would want to cook at home? It is simpler to grab food, eat and throw the leftovers. I think people should be more responsible and aware of what they eat. They should put a small effort into eating well. In addition, I think some restaurant should not even receive an approval for opening because their food is just so unhealthy and bad. At the end, the decision is in our hands, us humans.

I totally agree that fast food restaurants are responsible for people with obesity, but these people are not helping themselves. They buy from fast food since it cheap and quick services. But when you talk about healthy food in those restaurants, I think they made a good choices, because it will make people buy faster and healthier instead of unhealthy and fast. It might also reduce the percentage of obesity's who knows?

Hi Carlin, I think the exact same way as you and I think your premises are very interesting. Its normal for a company to want money and the best way to “manipulate clients is marketing. They invest billions of dollars on advertising because it is probably one of the best ways to manipulate population. For example, fast food chains like McDonald really focus on advertising for children. Kids are influenced by ads and are used to a fast food life style. Because it is always on TV or in the news, kids are accustomed to fast food and think it is normal to go to McDonald everyday. It is normal that if people have this fast food mindset, they will eat junk and get fat and addicted to their food. It doesn’t bother the companies at all because all they want is to make money. I found a very good article about the ads that company does to children; follow the link:
http://csufoodkids.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/fast-food-advertising-to-chi...