Fast Food and Health

A.    Introduction

The Founding Fathers

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal is a book by Eric Schlosser, which explores the rise of the fast food industry and its effects on consumers' health.  Fast Food Nation traces the beginnings and rise of fast food giants such as Carl's Jnr., MacDonald's, Taco Bell and Jack in the Box,  and reveals the environmental and health cost of the industry in America and around the world.

B. Thesis: Corporate practices and advertisement tactics employed by fast food companies to promote their products has helped to promote addiction among consumers, and, consequently, increased health risks such as obesity.

C. Success.

Franchises have been in existence in America since the 18000s, and it is what makes the fast food industry dangerous; it has allowed it to expand and become a household name in many American homes

I. "Almost every facet of American life has now been franchised or chained," (Schlosser 2001, p. 5).

II. The fast food industry emphasizes on "simplicity and uniformity, the ability to replicate the same retail environment at many locations" (Schlosser 2001, p. 97).

D. What's in the Meat?  Schlosser raises an alarm about the dangers of fast foods.

I. Fast foods contain high-fat content and chemical additives used to add flavor (Schlosser 2001, p. 123).

II. Schlosser (2001, p. 204); the meat packing industry poses health risks due to the slaughtering of infected animals, using chemicals like glycerin and borax to disguise the smell of rotting beef, intentional mislabeling of canned meat and the workers' habit of "urinating and defecating on the slaughtering floor."

E. Why the Fries Test Good. The fast food industry relies on consumers' addiction to fast foods.

I. The emphasis on taste- the fast-food industry's ability to capitalize on consumers' addiction to sweet things, especially children, has helped to promote products like burgers and fries, and make them hard to resist.

II. The fast- food industry's major aim is to ensure that Americans remain addicted to sweet and high-calorie food products.

III. Macdonald's builds playgrounds near and around restaurants, making it easy for children to access.

IV. They hand out popular toys together with certain meals, thereby enticing children to buy them.

V. They advertise in schools and on school buses, a practice that creates constant awareness in the children's minds.

VI. Some schools in a few states have made burgers the main item on their cafeteria menu.

F. The Most Dangerous Job. Although the fast food corporate giants provide employment opportunities to millions of people, they, nevertheless, offer low wages and poor working conditions.

I. Meat packers are often exposed to dangerous working conditions: "severe back and shoulder injuries, lacerations, amputations, exposure to dangerous chemicals and work place accidents" (Schlosser 2001, p.152).

II. Schlosser (2001; 204), fast food corporations, particularly in the U.S., operate with impunity as a result of lobbyists, whom they employ to oppose federal laws that tend to protect consumer rights and, consequently, limit their profits.

G. Conclusion.

I. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal criticizes the fast food industry's greed for profits, which obscures the health rights of consumers.

II. Eric Schlosser highlights corporate practices in the fast food industry, which help to promote addiction among consumers, and, consequently, increase health risks such as obesity.

III. The book, is a challenge to Americans in particular and consumers of fast foods in general, to re-examine their diet choices and the consequences they have on their health.