Eight in 10 Americans eat fast food at least once a month and half eat it every week according, to a Gallup Poll. Yet most people who eat fast food know it’s bad for them. So why do they keep eating it?
The answer is simple: the benefits of eating fast food outweigh the long-term implications for most people. However, once you read these reasons why all those trips to the drive through may be slowly killing you, you may just want to stop eating fast food after all.
A 15-year study of over 3,000 people found that eating fast food is linked to weight gain and insulin resistance. In others words, fast food makes you fat and increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. You probably know this already. But here’s something you may not know—
The more you eat fast food, the more you crave it. One study found that fast food is “a potentially addictive substance that is most likely to create dependence in vulnerable populations.” If you eat fast food once a week or more, you may be addicted to it.
Breakfast sandwiches at fast food restaurants are a true modern marvel of chemistry. The “egg” sandwich at Subway, for example, has ingredients like glycerin, which is found in soap, and dimethylpolysiloxane, a type of silicone found in Silly Putty and many lubricants.
According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Kids have an amazing ability to recall ads they’ve seen. Fast food marketers know this, and design ads accordingly. Research shows strong associations between increases in advertising for non-nutritious foods and rates of childhood obesity.
One study found that most fast food burgers are composed of about 50 percent water and the actual meat content is only 2.1 to 14.8 percent. So what makes up the rest of it, you ask? Chemical fillers and preservatives, mostly. That’s why we see read horror stories about burgers that don’t go bad.
Many chicken nuggets at fast food restaurants contain a chemical preservative called TBHQ, which can cause nausea, vomiting and even death. Some also contain dimethylpolysiloxane (the stuff in Silly Putty). If Silly Putty nuggets don’t deter you from eating them, maybe this will: many fast food chicken nuggets and patties are still made from mechanically-separated chicken, which is a slimy mixture that’s created from the processed bones and carcass of leftover chickens.
Fast food restaurants are catering to consumer demands to produce healthier options. The problem is, their definition of “healthy” is quite lax. One of the healthiest dishes at Burger King, the Garden Fresh Salad Chicken Caesar with TENDERGRILL Chicken and dressing, still has almost 500 calories and 28 grams of fat, and nearly a day’s worth of sodium.
Okay, this one may not be a reason why fast is killing you, but it’s still a compelling reason to stop eating fast food. 9 billion animals were slaughtered in the U.S. alone in 2012 and much of that meat is for your fast food burgers and chicken sandwiches. Large factory farms resemble more of a “business” than a “farm.” Animals suffer in crowded spaces where they rarely have access to the outdoors or sunlight. They are pumped full of antibiotics to combat disease, which runs rampant in these conditions. Livestock is one of the biggest sources of pollution and environmental negligence, according to the UN.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the cheap sweetener most fast food restaurants use in their sodas, desserts, and many other products. Princeton University researchers linked HFCS consumption to obesity in an animal study. Rats given HFCS gained more weight and body fat than those given table sugar.
What’s better: a fast food burger or one you cook that’s straight off the grill? For my money, I’d rather eat a delicious grass fed beef burger that I cooked than a crappy fast food pseudo-burger.
Maybe that’s just me though.
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