- Global obesity is soaring, with nearly 800 million people considered obese and 40 million children under 5 considered overweight.
- High in sugar, salt, saturated or trans fats, and many processed preservatives and ingredients, these foods are incredibly detrimental to our health.
If you’ve watched the documentary “Super-Size Me,” you’d know that it takes a horrific yet fascinating, honest look at fast food and its terrible effects on the human body.
The documentary features the famous, now scandalized Morgan Spurlock (he admitted to sexual misconduct in 2017) and details how he gains a staggering 24 and a half pounds after living on only McDonald’s for 30 days.
Yes, you read that right. That’s nearly a gain of 25 pounds in just a single month! And if that wasn’t enough, his cholesterol shot up 65 points, and his liver became fatty. That still doesn’t stop Mcdonald’s from selling an estimated 75 burgers per second.
Read on to find out more.
What Counts as Fast Food?
It’s only in the last half-century that fast-food restaurants have seen their popularity skyrocket. Over a third of Americans now eat fast food daily, a worrying statistic.
Food referred to as “fast food” are meals prepared and served speedily. Fast food usually is:
- On the go, and easily accessible
- It’s cheaper than going to a sit-down restaurant, on average
- Fried food and food made with frozen (rather than fresh) ingredients are frequent inclusions
- Often high in fats, sodium, and sugars
Positively Disgusting Fast-Food Facts
Feces Infused Drinks
Fast food drink dispensers have been found to contain traces of fecal bacteria. Worse, it’s not even a once-in-a-blue-moon thing; it’s a common occurrence.
Coliform bacteria, which is found in these dispensers, isn’t lethal in small doses. Still, the fact that it’s located in feces frequently is enough to make even the most unsanitary person give up fizzy drinks.
Another pesky bacterium lurking around in those refreshing soft drinks? E. coli. In some rare cases, E. coli has even led to death.
When hunger strikes in the morning, you might want to avoid any egg-based fast-food breakfasts.
To save money, many fast-food restaurants use an egg substitute called “Premium Egg Blend,” which has been found to contain a potentially harmful (when ingested) chemical, glycerine. Chances are you’ve come into contact with this material while showering or shaving.
Sure, consuming a small amount of this solvent won’t kill you, but it’s hardly something to sing praises about.
Beaver Butt Gland Infused Beverages
We sincerely hope you’re not eating as you read this one. Unfortunately, there’s a big fat chance the vanilla, strawberry or raspberry milkshake that you adore drinking along with your meal at your favourite fast-food restaurant contains beaver anal gland secretions. Yuck!
The secretion in question, Castoreum extract, apparently gives foods a flavour similar to vanilla. It can also be used to enhance strawberry and raspberry flavourings. Surprisingly, the FDA allows it. Sorry for forever scarring you from drinking milkshakes at fast-food restaurants!
Smashed Up Beetle Food Dye
Some food dyes contain the red cochineal beetle, an insect that is often captured, dried, and crushed to produce artificial colouring for fast-food milkshakes and meals.
This insect-based food colouring won’t hurt your health if consumed in low doses, but seriously: do you really even want to eat something that contains dye made from a crushed-up beetle?
Unhealthy Junk Foods to Avoid
Almost all junk food is unhealthy, but these foods listed below are edging close to being the most harmful foods known to man in the long term.
Your favourite lip-smacking salami and bologna sandwiches are chock-full of harmful nitrates and chemicals. Don’t even get us started on the amount of fat they contain. As delicious as those deli meats taste, they’re destructive to your precious body. Our suggestion? Try swapping out those fat-laden pork sausages for a much healthier choice – smoked chicken, roast beef, or turkey slices are all good contenders. Also, look for reduced-sodium and nitrate-free deli meat whenever possible.
A soda can usually has between 30 and 40 grams of sugar and almost no other nutrients. To put things in perspective, it’s recommended by the NHS to have no more than 30g of sugar per day. In 2007, the “American Journal of Public Health” published a paper that says there is a strong link between drinking soft drinks and getting type-2 diabetes.
Frozen French Fries
Many American households serve tater tots and french fries as a side dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More than 500 milligrams (the daily recommended intake is 2300 mg) of sodium can be found in a single 3-ounce serving of French fries, containing 8 to 11 grams of fat and nearly 200 calories in total.
Soup from a can is ridiculously high in sodium content. One brand of condensed soup contains a staggering 760 milligrams of sodium per cup. If you consume one can, which includes 2 1/2 servings, you will consume 1,900 mg of sodium.
The Correlation Between Fast Food and POC and Low-Income Communities
Targeted Advertising to POC and Poor Communities
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Arizona State University found that fast-food chains target poor black children, who are more likely to be unhealthy and obese, which is rather terrifying to think about. It makes you wonder about the conscience and ethics of these companies.
Amount of Fast-Food Chain Concentration in Black and Brown Neighbourhoods, Minority Communities, and Low-Income Regions
A pattern of fast-food concentration is typically observed in low-income black and brown communities and areas with fewer supermarkets. A national study found that low-income ZIP codes have 25 percent fewer chain supermarkets than middle-income ZIP codes. Compared to predominantly white ZIP codes, most African American ZIP codes have roughly half as many supermarkets, and most Latino ZIP codes have about a third as many.1
Is eating fast food worth the health risks, or is it just convenient? Eating well doesn’t have to be time-consuming or hard on your pocket. A well-balanced diet can be accomplished by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, limiting the consumption of sugary and processed foods, and drinking plenty of water.
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Please note that although we’ve done thorough research on all of our blog posts, always be sure to do your due diligence and consult a doctor or medical professional before making any decisions related to health or medicine.