Why is fast food unhealthy?Why is fast food unhealthy?

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fast food is a term applied to highly processed food with little nutritional value. It is usually microwaved or deep fried. Fried food can have negative effects on heart health. Many fast foods contain preservatives and high levels of salt. The criticisms against the fast food industry are many. "Super-sized"portions are extremely high in Calories and fat, salt, sugar and preservatives. Trans fats which are very unhealthy are sometimes used in the preparation of fast foods. There is little emphasis on fresh fruit or vegetables, and due to the fact that most fast-foods are fried, a great deal of the nutritional value from the vitamins is lost due to the frying process. Fast food has been attributed to obesity in young people and because it is readily accessible and relatively inexpensive, it is an easy choice for fast-paced people on the go.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The two biggest reasons why fast food is unhealthy are fat and salt.  Most types of fast foods have too much of both of these things.

Fat is bad for you for at least two reasons.  First, fat is high in calories.  Eating a lot of calories tends to make you overweight.  This leads to issues like diabetes and heart diseases.  Second, fat tends to cause things like high cholesterol counts that also contribute to heart disease.

Salt is bad for you because excessive salt leads to high blood pressure.  This, too, can cause heart disease as well as other health problems.


Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An additional aspect of fast food which makes it unhealthy is the context in which it's generally consumed.  Instead of sitting down to a meal, taking the time to digest the food, and enjoying the social aspects of eating together, a person eating fast food is often in a hurry, eats too quickly, and does not take the break which would probably benefit his or her body. It's the fast-food lifestyle which is just as dangerous, it seems to me, as the fatty, greasy food itself. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Fast food has to be made very quickly. Usually, that lends itself to certain types of foods. Foods tend to be cooked in grease and covered in salt, and made from fatty foods. It's not that fast food is unhealthy, it's that the types of food that we make as fast food are generally of a certain high-fat kind.
lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Also don't let the fast food restaurants fool you into thinking that their healthy choices are that much healthier for you. Most of the healthy choices are still not a real healthy choice.

Wiggin42 | Student

Fries, nuggets, burgers! Everything is just pure fat. I saw Food Inc and read An Omnivore's Dilemma. The source of the meats is absolutely vulgar and disgusting. There is a high risk of fecal contamination in the meat processing industry. Fast food items are meant to have a long shelf life so they are loaded with preservatives and salt. Our bodies were not meant for this.

krishna-agrawala | Student

As pointed out in the earlier answer, high fat and salt content is the primary reason for fast food being unhealthy. But there are other important contributing factors also. There are many types of food other than fast food that contain comparable amounts of fat and salt, but which do not cause health problems in the society.

These contributing factors have to do with the business strategy and practices followed by the fast food businesses that make large number of people to eat such fast food very often and in large quantity. It is a combination of basic high content of some types of ingredients, and high consumption of fast food by people that creates the health problems associated with fast food. The excessive consumption of fast food is due to the several factors like design of the recipe that concentrates on making the food tasty without much consideration of impact on health, very wide and easy availability, low prices and heavy advertising and other marketing efforts of fast food businesses.

kevin0001 | Student

Fast food is unhealthy because of all the fats, oil, and sodium it contains. These are good for you, but too much can damage your health. Another unhealthy thing about it is that most of the ingredients are frozen and not as fresh as other healthy foods. Sometimes, the environment is not clean and can dirty the fast food you eat.

zumba96 | Student

You never know if it is actually healthy because you don't know whether the person who was making your food sanitized their hands or if it is a fast food chain like McDonalds, well it's pretty much covered in grease. Most times there are too much oils in the food

crystaltu001 | Student

The reason why fast food is unhealthy  is  because of how much oil and fat is put into the food. Fast food lacks the nutritions and vitamins we need. And there is way too much sugar inside of fast foods. Eating too much sugar can cause diabetes and obesity so many people can die from eating too much.

eli468 | Student

Fast food is unhealthy for multiple reasons. The one that comes to mind first for most people is the fat content. Fast food tends to have a very high amount of saturated fats. This is problematic because saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and can increase them to an unhealthy number. The saturated fats in fast food can also cause a hardening or narrowing of the arteries (which can cause a clot), heart disease and stroke.

A lot of the time when fast food is purchased a drink, milkshake, or smoothie may be purchased as well. These items are very high in unhealthy sugars and have a large amount of calories alone. Too much sugar can increase the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

With calories comes weight gain. Fast food is typically served in much larger portion sizes than is needed. This causes people to consume an excess amount of calories which can lead to weight gain, obesity, and eventually heart disease being the main problem. 

Fast food is also unhealthy due to its lack of nutritional value as well as the additives and preservatives that are within the food. The ingredients are highly-processed to ensure a longer shelf-life, to keep the ingredients consistent, and to ensure the food products will hold or have enhanced flavor. The additives are essentially chemicals that can damage the cells in the body. It also makes it much harder to digest the food because of the chemicals which causes a much more difficult time for your digestive system. Over working your digestive system can have long-term detrimental effects as well.

ik9744 | Student

There is a lot of salt, grease, and fat in the food. 

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