Pros and Cons of Fast Food Industry in the United States

free essayThe fast food industry has raised many questions and concerns in societies. While some people are for the fast food industry, naming its certain advantages, the others are against such type of food production because of its harmful effects on human health. In this respect, the question of the fast food industry is quite debatable, and thus, the unanimous opinion can be hardly held. Nevertheless, it is important to investigate the phenomenon of the fast food industry more meticulously, examining arguments for and against this industry. On the one hand, the fast food industry is economically beneficial for many American families since most Americans can easily afford it. Having a dinner at the fast food restaurant, people also can save their time. Moreover, the fast food industry provides people with a great number of job places. On the other hand, opponents of the fact food industry claim that its meals are unhealthy, which can promote many different illnesses.

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Economic Advantage of the Fast Food Industry

While the price of the fast food meals is usually not high, it becomes accessible to average Americans, especially families with low income and teenagers. The alternatives of fast food products tend to be more expensive than an ordinary burger at McDonald’s, and that, in turn, forces more people to visit such kinds of a restaurant (Schlosser, 2012, p. 17). Compared to a homemade dish or dinner at any other restaurant where the price of the meal is higher and the waiting time is longer, the fast food companies such as KFC, McDonald’s, and Subway offer the customers their benefits – fast and cheap production (Schlosser, 2012, p. 18). Because of that, the fast food restaurants become the most common choice of having a dinner for the American families with low budgets. At the same time, despite family income, almost every American has tasted a fast food meal either out of interest and due to its popularity or due to a person’s need. In addition, the fast food restaurants are very convenient for people who are living alone. Thus, in a fast food restaurant, people can always find a meal that would perfectly fit their budget.

At the same time, people who go to the fast food restaurants save not only their money, but also their time. While visitors do not need to wait for their order too long, the fast food restaurants can be regarded as beneficial places for people who are in a hurry. Furthermore, the food is usually prepared in a couple of minutes, and thus, people do not need to spend extra time to wait for their order. In the modern progressive world, people have become more mobile. As a result, the consumers would better save their time that is necessary for preparing a dish and spend it on the more urgent deeds. Thus, people prefer fast food production because they can combine eating with doing their business. Moreover, the fast food industry is very convenient for busy people because it offers on-the-go meals. In this respect, there is no necessity to get out of the car because most fast food restaurants have a drive-through service (Schlosser, 2012, p. 21). In comparison, in a traditional restaurant, visitors may wait for around an hour before they would be served. Thereby, the fast food industry saves person’s time.

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The Fast Food Industry Provides People with Job Places

Furthermore, the fast food industry positively effects employment. In this respect, the fast food restaurants provide adolescents and unskilled workers with a job that is beneficial for both sides. Thus, teenagers who work in the fast food industry can combine studying and working. According to statistics, “in 2013, there were 3,653,168 fast food restaurant employees in the U.S.” (Statista, 2016). It should be noted that a number of the fast food restaurant employees is great. At the same time, the employment in the fast food industry continues to be steady and is even expected to grow (Statista, 2016). In this regard, the number of job places tends to rise, which, in turn, will allow more people to be occupied. In addition, the growth of the fast food industry has a direct link to the widespread availability of restaurants and locations that always provides new job openings. While the fast food industry requires basic skills from the candidates for a job position, it allows more people to come and develop themselves. Thus, acquiring experience and necessary skills, an employee can easily build a career in this industry.

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The Fast Food Industry Promotes Obesity

While most people in the United States work extra shifts or have long working days, they do not have enough time to prepare healthy fresh dishes, as well as exercise regularly. Therefore, such people prefer to dine at the fast food restaurants where they take food, often with a great amount of fat, with them. Eating fast food meals has become a custom, and that, in turn, promotes the over-consumption of the particular food. As a result, people with a poor activity, sitting work, and excessive consumption of fast food dishes are at risk of gaining weight (Freiboth, 2006). Moreover, the pricing policy of the fast food production and its accessibility attracts more and more people, and thus increases the possibility of becoming obese. This is why the fast food industry promotes a high risk of obesity, offering big portions to customers for a lower price than any traditional restaurant. While advertisements of the fast food restaurants do not warn people of the high fat and calorie content of their meals, the number of consumers increases because fast food is affordable for everyone. Therefore, although the fast food is cheap, easily accessible, tasty, and colorful, a frequent consumption of fatty and caloric fast food meals may cause obesity.

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The Fast Food Industry Offers Unhealthy Food

One more disadvantage of the fast food industry is that it offers its consumers unhealthy meals. Since some ingredients of the fast food dishes are prepared in oil, it makes them unhealthy. Thus, the food cooked in such a way may lead to clogged arteries and, in turn, heart disease (Freiboth, 2006). According to Glenn Freiboth (2006), “Researchers at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Francisco have demonstrated that a certain type of fat, called oxidized fat, can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries. And many types of fast food are loaded with oxidized fat”. Moreover, before the fast food meals get to the consumer, some of its products and ingredients go through a long process of frozenness, transportation, and thawing. To still have an appetizing view and taste fresh, many artificial preservatives are added to the meal (Schlosser, 2012, p. 112). As a result, the fast food meal a person eats can be neither fresh nor healthy because it consists of artificial preservatives. In addition, a great amount of fat, sugar, and salt in the fast food makes it even less healthy. People who consume the fast food production on a daily basis are at higher risk of getting heart diseases, obesity, headache, depression, diabetes, high bloody pressure, and liver damage. Thus, the constant consumption of the unhealthy fast food meals leads to a number of serious health problems.

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To conclude, the rapid development of the fast food industry raised many questions concerning its negative and positive effects on society. While defenders of the fast food industry argue that it creates new job places and remains money and time saving, its opponents state that the consumption of the unhealthy fast food meals leads to a great number of health problems and illnesses. Examining both pros and cons of the particular question, it can be noted that there is no only one right or wrong statement about the fast food industry. It is undoubted that the fast food industry offers affordable production, as well as continues to be very convenient for the most Americans. Nevertheless, the amount of unhealthy ingredients and the ways of preparing meals cannot be ignored either. Thereby, the fast food industry in the United States has both positive and negative impact on the society.