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How responsible are fast food restaurants for the rising levels of obesity?

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Introduction

How responsible are fast food restaurants for the rising levels of obesity? Obesity is the condition in which excess fat has accumulated in the body; usually considered to be 20 percent above the recommended weight for height and age. Obesity can cause many diseases, for example gallbladder, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnoea just to name a few. In the America the death rate from these diseases is higher than anywhere else in the world and 63% of the entire American population are overweight. Also, the price of trying to treat this disease costs one billion pounds per year and is estimated, by 2050 to have risen considerably to 45 billion per year. Are the fast food restaurants to blame or are the rising levels of obesity down to us? Firstly, McDonalds is everywhere. There are 23000 McDonalds restaurants in 109 countries serving food and drink to 38 million customers daily. In the UK alone, McDonald's operates a staggering 900 restaurants. This shows that fast food is the easy, quick option which many people chose to take. Also, now McDonalds offer a 'drive-thru' service it is even easier because you don't have to get out of your car, you can just drive straight through and get a full meal for a reasonable price. When people are tired travelling home from work, they drive past several McDonald's restaurants and buy something, meaning they will not need to take time to cook something at home. McDonald's have caused such an impact in the modern world that even car manufacturers have re designed car models to accommodate for the new sized drinks, re designing cup holders to be able to hold the large McDonald's drinks. Because the food is so easy to access it seems McDonalds and other fast food restaurants do pay a part in the rising levels of obesity. McDonalds can also be seen to be responsible because of their advertising. ...read more.

Middle

Children like McDonalds due to the happy meals and what they offer. A happy meal usually contains burger, chips, a drink and a toy. The toy attracts children and shows why the happy meal option is so popular. The price is also extremely good value for a full meal, as it costs �1.99. It is affordable, quick and the children enjoy so it is easy to see why this meal is so well known and popular. Carrot sticks and grapes are also available which gives the healthy option as McDonalds' have been at the centre of a campaign recently to show people what goes into the food. Introducing these healthy options has displayed that they aren't as bad as they are made out to be. However, if children have the choice between carrot sticks and chips not many at all will pick carrot sticks so it is still the same as before. After the criticism they received recently about the content of their food McDonalds' started to sponsor sporting events like the Olympics which shows they are trying to promote a healthy lifestyle. McDonalds' are slowly bringing in new healthy techniques to keep customers buying their meals and to carry on being one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the world. There are also other factors for rising obesity. McDonalds' cannot be totally blamed for the rising levels of obesity because people are not forced to go to McDonalds it is entirely their choice. Fifty years ago it would have been likely for every family to have a freshly cooked meal each day as fast food restaurants were not really around as much. But over the years with fast food restaurants becoming so popular many parents find fast food a quick, easy and cheap way to provide a meal for their children and as a result less and less families are having freshly cooked meals at home in the modern day. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, after a campaign by Chef Jamie Oliver this is now changing. Schools are now ensuring that all meals contain healthy and nutritious food making sure children are eating the correct foods for them. Also, physical education and exercise within school is vital for children so they have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Nowadays, it seems that less and less time per week is being allocated to p.e lessons which is leaving some children unfit. In previous years p.e has been compulsory and done at least three hours a week. This is another factor which contributes to the rising levels of obesity in the UK. Furthermore, the government and the media can also be seen as factors which contribute to the rising levels of obesity. The government can be seen as a factor because it pays the NHS to provide treatment and rehabilitation programmes for people that are obese. The NHS pay out 113.5 billion pounds per year on health. If these people were not overweight, the government would not have to do this and the money could be invested in other more important things. The media can also be blamed because there are many adverts on television in favour of fast food restaurants. These adverts are watched by adults and children all over the world and it then attracts them to McDonalds.' However, now these adverts are banned on children's television channels due to the fact that children were simply becoming brainwashed b McDonalds. The banning of these adverts stopped children being able to see offers and other promotions made by Mcdonalds. To conclude, I think that McDonalds is most to blame for the rising levels of obesity because of the food they are offering and how easy, quick and cheap it is. However, it is up to the person if they want to eat it and they are not forced to so overall, I think it is a mixture of both fast food restaurants and people themselves. ...read more.

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