Fast Food Obesity Statistics

Fast Food and Obesity Statistics

Fast food and obesity statistics can be a powerful tool in educating the masses about the connection between dining out frequently and excessive weight gain. Children and adults alike are guilty of giving in to the allure of the familiar fast food sign and the embellished pictures of plump burgers and crispy French fries, but these guilty pleasures are sure to add up (as the numbers on the scale can verify). In order for us to gain a better understanding of how severe the situation has become, we must first look at the numbers. Let’s begin with the following fast food and obesity statistics...

Trans Fats

Studies have shown that even with the government and concerned peoples pushing the general public to adopt healthier lifestyles, the fast food industry has yet to make the changes necessary to accommodate health-concerned individuals. One of the main concerns is the level of trans fat contained in the food sold by most name brand eateries. Trans fat, as it occurs in most foods today, is mostly artificial (although it does occur naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products). This form of fat has a nasty habit of raising LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while lowering the HDL cholesterol (the good kind) within the body. Basically, the more trans fats you bring into your body, the worse off you will be. A rise in LDL cholesterol can lead to the development of plaque in the arteries thus increasing one’s chances of having a heart attack. This also puts one at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease (not to mention a larger gut).

Calories

Fast food and obesity statistics also show that that caloric content of most fast foods is much higher than what one would typically consume in a home-cooked meal. Although we often expect that a greasy hamburger will be jam-packed with calories, it is easy to convince ourselves that a chicken burger or even a salad will be a much healthier choice. As far as the numbers read, this isn’t the case. Most of the meat products in the fast food industry are packed full of salts and sugars to help keep them preserved for longer periods and, honestly, to make them taste better. Even a salad isn’t a safe choice in a fast food joint because the calories found in one little sachet of dressing are simply jaw-dropping. The numbers go up if your salad has any kind of meat or fruit on it.

The amount of calories we eat on a daily basis needs to jive with the amount of calories we use within a day. The average healthy, mildly active woman needs about 2,000 calories a day. If this woman were to sit down to a meal consisting of a quarter pounder with cheese, large fries, and a water (to feel better about the burger), she would have already consumed 900 calories—nearly half of her daily allowance—in one meal. Unfortunately, a diet high in this kind of food can be dangerous even for the most active person, as you still have to worry about fats and cholesterol that can damage internal tissues.

The Numbers…

In America, more than 50 million people depend on fast food for whatever reasons. In the last thirty years the world has seen a drastic increase in the occurrence of obesity within the general population. Coincidentally (or not) it is during this same time that fast food has risen in popularity and become an everyday inclusion for the average family. On many occasions people have reported that they feel that it is more affordable to eat fast food than to cook nutritious meals at home, especially with the boom of the “dollar menu.” A pound of lean beef costs around $3.50 without any vegetables or “trimmings,” whereas this same amount of cash would buy a junior burger, small fries, and drink—with change left over. Yes, fast food has a definite link to the amount of obesity in the world today. While we should all learn to exercise a bit of self control and take more care in our health, it is arguable that some families have little choice but to eat as cheaply as possible, which in some cases means having fast food once or twice each week.