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Dangers of fast foods

Michael Polan’s ‘Escape from the western diet’ argues that Western processed foods are full of industrial chemicals, and a major cause of nutrition relates chronic diseases. Adoption of good eating habits by humans is essential as nutritionists do not offer a good solution to modern diets and only deal with the medicalizing the predicament (Pollan 434-440). Humans should not just be westernized in their dietary habits and concentrate on plants for nutritional value. Humans should try to avoid fast foods with the large amount of calories especially due to their health effects.

David Zinczenko in his book ‘Don’t blame the eater’ consumption of junk foods in the US has put many kids at risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes as many cases are reported every year. It is advisable that children consume healthier foods to avoid the risk although it is difficult to find the healthy food. The majority of the food joints offer fast foods with no calorie information as David asserts. Fast foods should be required by the law to provide information on the quantity of calories in each food pack to reduce the risks associated with consumption of fast foods.

In the Judith Warmer’s Junking the junk foods, the Obama administration policies for the regulation of the consumption of junk foods by the American kids was a step forward in reducing lifestyle diseases. A number of the US citizens protested the directive to allow schoolchildren consume low-sugar foods. According to statistics, more than a third of Americans adults are overweight, and Warner notes that the move was politically motivated. However, many hope that in the future people will change their lifestyle, regard fatty, and junk foods as unhealthy.

The writers of the three articles unanimously agree on the dangers posed by consumption of the Western processed foods in America because of the health risks involved such as obesity and diabetes. David claims that the eater is not to be blame although Polan and feel that the problem lies with the consumers of the fast foods. As Polan notes, individuals with a high intake of Western processed foods tend to suffer from chronic diseases compared to people who take natural foods especially from plants (Pollan 435). The high figures of people suffering from diabetes in America result from high consumption of fast foods, which are very accessible. However, some chronic diseases such as diabetes are caused by other factors such as inadequate exercises and heredity and not necessarily fast food. The government faces many challenges when implementing policies to reduce the public consumption of processed foods especially the school-going children. The policies may assist to regulate the consumption, but it is impossible for the government to regulate all the companies and food joints. The best thing for the individuals is to be disciplined and eat a balanced diet from natural foods. There is viable good evidence to argue that accessibility results in the consumption of the fast foods as human beings can travel long distances in search of what they want. The main reason for the high consumption of the processed foods is bad eating habit and craving for fast foods. The other cause is the lack of information of calorie contents on the package of the processed products lead to an increase in their consumption as people are never aware of the amount they are consuming. Children love fast foods, and will never care to look at the information on the packaging material, and may not understand the meaning of the figures. Adults who consume the fast foods may not have time to read the information on the pack and calculate the number of calories they need to take. The other thing that contributes to the consumption of the fast foods is the Western way of thinking and the fact that fast foods are very cheap, readily available, and appealing to the look. The availability of the fast foods in the food joints and supermarkets contribute to the high rate of intake since they are affordable. The displays especially in the supermarkets are appealing, and it is difficult for people to contain their craving for fast foods. However, a person aiming at having a good diet and living a healthy life will never get attracted to the processed products on the display. Craving for fast foods is not about seeing but a habit that is difficult to control. Plants foods are the best for maintaining a healthy diet and reduction of diet-related diseases as Polan argues. In the past, people used to consume fresh foods from the farms and lifestyle diseases were less compared the number of cases reported today. The fresh foods from the farms contain a high nutritional value such as proteins and vitamins, which help people, live a healthy life. However, people require carbohydrates and fats in their diet and sometimes need to take the processed foods in addition to foods from their farms. There is no need of forbidding processed foods completely as long as people eat responsibly.

Advertisement also does not give information regarding the dangers of consuming too much of the calories as tobacco does, thereby raising the risks factors as people eat without any caution as Pollan notes (437). However, eating habits are not necessarily an influence of factors such as the advertising or lack of calorie information as Polan argues but individual choices. With or without advertisement on the dangers of consuming fast foods, people should try to live a healthy life and control their eating desires. Advertisements may be there, but people may never bother to take the warnings. For instance, the tobacco manufacturers give a warning to its products’ users but they never fail to smoke.

Warner notes that fast foods cause overweight in children and adults but forgets that the genetic make-up of an individual also contributes to weight gain. Politics should not be a blame for increased fast foods intake as Warner asserts since regulations should start from an individual’s choice and not from a governing body. The government may put laws but will never get to somebody’s kitchen to see the kind of food being served. According to David, the eater should not be blamed for eating an unhealthy diet, but the presence of the fast foods without calorie information on the packaging. However, healthy eating is a person’s choice, and external factors should not be blamed for the consequences.

In conclusion, fast foods are hazardous to peoples’ health as the three writers argue since many of the sufferers have a history of taking junky foods. The other factor that contributes to the unhealthy eating is due to inadequate regulation of the food industry such as lack of calorie information and warnings on the packages. The medical cost associated with the treatment of diseases caused by the fatty diet is quite high, and the death rate due to the same issue is high especially in America. Fast foods rich in calories are a great health hazard to peoples’ life, and lifestyle change is the only option to curb it.

Works Cited

Pollan, Michael. Escape from the Western Diet.

Warner, Judith. Junking Junk Food.The New York Times Magazine, 25 November, 2010. Print.

Zinczenko, David. Don’t Blame the eater. The New York Times, 23 November, 2002. 1. Print.