I mean no disrespect to any fast-food company for making a green back dollar and succeeding in business, but I can’t stand them. Although I have my own personal food preferences, for the purpose of this article, I will relate only to health issues.
One of the greatest marketing strategies that fast food companies have employed is the perceived value meal. Taco Bell actually began the program. They learned that people chose food based on quantity and not quality. So this means that if they throw in a large soda and up-size your fries, you will pay to eat a larger burger than you would, if you paid a la carte. Really a small fry is sufficient, but most people will not bypass a “good deal.” Overeating is not a healthy habit. It usually leads to obesity. Eating to satiation and not into a gluttonous stupor is a good guideline.
Be aware. You are a target. From the music being played to the lighting to the colors on the walls, it is all designed to make you consume. Since one in three Americans is obese, there is a possibility that the added 200 calories per meal from fast food is a contributor.
PhIP (2-Amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine) is a chemical that appears in the grilled chicken, which forms when meat is heated to a certain temperature, and is associated with human breast, prostate and colon cancers. PAPs (polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters) are chemicals that line fast-food packaging to make it grease-proof and waterproof. The substances leach to the food inside the packaging and end up in your bloodstream. The blood of more than 90% of Americans has traces in it, and it is linked to cancer and liver disease. Caramel coloring can be found in cakes and sauces and soda…Carcinogenic! Sodium nitrate, used to retain meat color and to inhibit bacterial growth on the food, breaks down into nitrosamines, with the potential to cause cancer. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but convenience costs: not just money.
Do not be fooled by the ads!
Companies pay vast sums of money each year to market their brand of food. It is no longer just eating. It’s a way to be accepted, cool, trendy and have an experience, not just a meal. McDonald’s alone spends $963 million a year in advertising! For that amount of money, you can pick a McDonald’s “m” out of any line up. You know what the Taco Bell chihuahua “quiero.” And that Little Caesar wants “pizza, pizza.” Admit you have drunk the Kool-Aid. You have fallen prey to their propaganda. Have a right perspective on food. It’s a meal. It will not fulfill all your hopes and dreams.
It is costly to be ill.
We can really grunt and groan over the “cost” of being healthy. Face this fact…life is expensive. Money is a tool to be used, not hoarded. If you do not invest in your health, you will spend in your illness. Invest in “health care,” not disease care. I know that sometimes it is sickness that “encourages” us to choose better, but aim you arrow at health. Be bold; be engaged and jump in the deep end.
Learn to eat well. Limit, limit, limit fast food, or even (shudder) eliminate it. Take personal responsibility for what you put in you gullet. There are health issues that are not a result of wrong lifestyle choices, but they are not common. If you are not healthy, you are probably doing something wrong (I am not saying you are living in sin, but you have wrong habits). If you are not healthy, stand up straight, shoulders back, eyes front and take a stand to choose right. You may fail. We all do. Get up and try again.