Fast Food in America: The cheap but dangerous cost of advertising and the American appetite

Essay by aphexCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2002

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Americans in general have become one of the biggest groups of consumers on the planet; wanting everything bigger and better than anyone else - apparently including waistlines, with over half of all Americans being overweight. Americans are also working more and on the move more than ever, making our reliance on a quick and cheap meal bigger and bigger - and in turn it has created a huge business for fast food companies. Why are so many people willing to eat this food that they know is bad for them? It could possibly be the marketing; companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars blasting us with advertisements and marketing gimmicks to eat their food. Or do we eat the food simply because we want instant gratification and don't care at what cost it may come? America has become synonymous with fast food, turn on any TV or radio or walk down the street, virtually everywhere advertisements can be seen marketing fast and processed food.

One reason Fast Food is wreaking havoc is because food items without any nutritional value are so widely and easily available; there are vending machines in workplaces and schools that dish out high-sugar and high-fat foods; you can even pick up a burger, fried chicken or a piece of pizza along with some sugary soda at a Gas station! This food is also usually considerably cheaper than healthier food, making it that much more attractive. Fast Food companies are even forming contracts with schools so that the school will only carry one brand of food, the school sees an advantage in receiving the much needed funds but apparently don't see the problem of exposing kids to a barrage of junk food and advertising all day long. And for the working class, instead of making breakfast at...