With all these benefits for our busy lifestyles, very often we ignore the disadvantages. Fast meal is often criticized for being unhealthy. It contains too much fat, including saturated and trans fats, which are considered to be health risks. Fast meal is also high in cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. The United States now rates highest in fast food consumption. It's no surprise or coincidence that the country's population suffers most from obesity and diseases related to it. Since 1964 fast meal consumption in the United States has increased fourfold. The high speed of life is partially to blame, as we have less time these days to cook meals as our grandparents did.
Various studies have examined the effect of fast food diets on the state of health among children. One particular study included 6,212 children aged 4-19. Daily fast food consumption prevailed in 30.3 % of all children. The results of research showed that children who ate fast food consumed more energy (187 kcal), more total fat (9g), more carbohydrate (24g), more added sugars (26g) and more sugar sweetened beverages (228g). At the same time, fast meal consumption resulted in the reduced intake of fiber (-1,1g), milk (-65g), fruits and non-starchy vegetables (-45g).
Children sticking to fast food diets had poorer diet quality as compared to those who didn't consume fast meal. The research proved that fast food consumption among children has a negative impact on dietary quality resulting in an increased risk of obesity. The results of the research entailed disturbance concerning sources responsible for children's wellbeing. Parents must give attention to their children's nutrition. School authorities also bear responsibility for improper nutrition of schoolchildren.
Almost all middle and high schools now have vending machines on their premises, so that the children can have snacks without even leaving the campus. This is a serious problem, taking into account the fact that obesity among children has tripled during the last three decades. In addition, children today suffer from diseases which were previously observed only among adults.
This epidemic is caused by number of environmental factors and fast food is high on the list. Many fast food commercials are targeted at children, featuring kid's meals with prizes, shakes and sugary colas. Children appear to be affected by fast food to the greatest extent and most negatively. Those who eat fast meal consume a daily average of 180 calories more than those who don't. Most often these calories are from fat.
Children tend to consume more sugar-sweetened beverages, less milk, fewer fruit and vegetables. Because fast foods are rich in refined starch and added sugars they have a high glycemic load. Adding fuel to this wildfire, fast food portions are usually larger than those consumed at the kitchen table. Its popularity is a matter of convenience. It can be eaten without cutlery and is a perfect solution for people on the go, since you can have your burger and French fries without leaving your car. Moreover, at around $5 per meal, fast food prices won't clean out your pocket, either.