With our plentiful supply of fast food, obesity has become a major problem in the United States, the United Kingdom and many other parts of the world. Fast food is an integral part of life in the developed and also the developing world, and with it comes a massive increase in obesity and associated problems.
Children in the United States eat approximately five times the amount of fast food their counterparts ate in the 1980s. And Europe is not far behind them. Developing countries like China are also having to face childhood obesity for the first time, now that western fast food chains have opened their doors in the major cities.
A research project in the United States, carried out over a fifteen year period, has established that there is a definite link between the consumption of fast food and the increase in obesity. It was found that people ate at fast food restaurants more than twice a week weighed on average four and a half pounds more than those who ate in these food outlets only occasionally. And the "fast food junkies" are also twice as likely to suffer from obesity.
Why does fast food cause obesity? Fast foods, such as burgers and fries are high in fat, salt and calories. In fact a super size meal can contain more calories than the average person should keep in an entitlement day. Unfortunately, meals consisting of junk food do not fill you up for long. Because they are lacking in fiber, and are made of processed foods, they tend to rate high on the glycaemic index, which means they provide a quick rise in blood sugar, but this also falls quickly, giving rise to hunger.
Without we cut down on our consumption of fast food, obesity rates will continue to rise, creating a legacy of ill health for ourselves and our children.
© Waller Jamison 2007