Saturday, November 13, 2010

Home of the Fast Food Junkies

Americans are obsessed with their fast food. It’s quick, easy and convenient. It’s so much more enticing to just drive through a drive through and grab a cheap meal for you and your whole family instead of sending that extra time after work cooking something at home. And it also just tastes good even though we really over do it on the Big Macs.

Last week was just another testament to our fixation with fast food. The McRib sandwich returned to the McDonalds restaurant, and I heard about it all over the news as much as I heard about the midterm elections. Web searches on the artery clogging sandwich went well over 600% during the week that everyone should have been wondering who was in charge of leading our nation.

Our deadly worship of drive through eateries has even gotten to the point where we had to stop enticing burgers to kids by slipping in a shiny toy. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors lit up headlines and probably angered some kids when they had to approve a prelimary ban on toys in McDonald's Happy Meals. They probably assumed that it’s bad enough that all of the adults are incredibly obsessed over junk food.

According to the Healthy Eating Guide, It’s already estimated that Americans are now spending over $140 billion on fast food each year. And now there are over 25,000 fast food chains in the country, which is an increase of more than 1,000% since the year 1970.

And when two thirds of Americans are now either overweight or obese and one-third of U.S. adults may have diabetes by 2050, our unhealthy over indulgence of juicy burgers and salty fries needs to be knocked down a bit.

Instead of sliding through taco bell for that steaming pile of Nachos Bell Grande everyday at lunch and munching on an order of 20 piece Chicken McNuggets for dinner after work, you should try limiting your fast food intake to once a week.

And when you are stuck with the option of zipping through a drive through, keeping tips in mind like avoiding items that are deep or pan-fried or covered with heavy creams and sauces. Instead, order dishes with more vegetables and choose leaner meats when it’s possible. Remember to never supersize your portions, add salt to your already high in sodium meals, and resist the temptation of overeating by avoiding buffets.

Avoiding fast food whenever possible will benefit you and your family’s health. And we can ultimately reverse the rate of obesity and the diseases associated with it when we do so. The grim projections of the rise in diseases associated with obesity can be proven wrong as well if we learn to consume fast food in moderation. America is the home of the fast food junkies, but we can change when decide to make healthier choices.

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