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Fast Food And Why We Are Becoming Fatter And Fatter!

Fast Food And Why We Are Becoming Fatter And Fatter!

The Fast Food industry is smart. They are killing it in regards to profit and they are killing us in the process!

Never before has more unhealthy, nutrient poor food, laden with combinations of fat, sugar and salt been served up in such huge quantities. It seems that even Starbucks has decided to join the long list of food retailers that provides no inherent restraint to portion size or calorie control. They have begun introducing their new line of “supersized” coffee drinks beginning with the frozen blended drinks. Guess who the large consumers of those drinks are? Kids between the ages of 12-25!

These "trentas", as they are being called, hold 31 ounces of your favorite blended drink. What is interesting to note is that the calorie intake of one of these drinks could be as much as 1200 calories plus! Way over half of the calories that people that age should be eating for the whole day!

Why did they do this? It would appear that McDonalds has been giving them a run for their money, or said differently McDonalds has been stealing away customers from Starbucks because McDonalds has been offering supersized blended coffee drinks.

We all know that McDonalds and most the other fast food chains out there do not consider the public’s health a priority when creating it’s products, but instead looks at the scientific research of what ratios of high fat, high sugar and high salt creates the strongest cravings for people to go back for more and more! It would appear now, that the all mighty dollar has motivated Starbucks to likewise forgo any thought as to what is O.K. for its consumer’s health... 31 ounce drinks filled with sugar and fat! That is insane!

When is enough... enough? Many years ago, before this huge obesity epidemic, it used to be that getting a 10-12 ounce soda (140 calories) was a real treat and more than enough… Even though my family's eating habits weren't necessarily in the "healthy" category, I remember as kids, we were lucky to get a soda more than once a month!

What has happened? As much as we would like to blame the fast food companies who are motivated only by money, ultimately blame must go on the consumer because WE are buying this crap!

But…why? Why do people feed their faces to such excess? Even in the presence of increased rates of; obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and Diabetes?

Some would suggest that it is because of our evolutionary experience. That, in Paleolithic times, we ate in a feast or famine way. We did not get fat then because the availability of the food was limited and sporadic. We also didn’t get fat because the type of food that made up our diet was mostly lean meats, nuts, seeds, vegetables and some fruit.

It is suggested that we continue to eat in a feasting pattern based on that preserved behavior, the only problem now is: there is food available everywhere and at any time.

Others would blame the agricultural age and the increase in production of grain, flour and cereal consumption as well as the more contemporary addition to our diets of preservatives, increases in sugars, salt, and manufactured syrups and fat. It is very true that these types of food create chemical and hormonal changes that lead to powerful cravings to want to eat more of the same. And certainly much of that has lead to poor health and disease, but is that REALLY why we are driven to consume outrageous amounts of food?

The answer is that all those things together have contributed to this time in history… a time where obesity, Diabetes and heart disease run rampant. But… they are not the biggest reason.

The truth is that for the majority of people, they eat without much thought. So yes, we can consider as part of the problem our learned feasting patterns, exposure to unhealthy, nutrient poor foods and effects of bad, even toxic food that trigger cravings in the body.

But all of that pales in comparison to the one truth... eating for us is a habit.

We have learned to eat a certain way, eat certain types of food and consume a certain amount of food. It occurs over time and is handed down from the previous generation to generation. Each generation is teaching the younger generation that there is no such thing as too much of a good thing!

Have you ever been told…”finish what is on your plate.” Even better, that learned habit is reinforced with even more food. “If you finish what is on your plate, then you can have dessert!”

This bad habit is accentuated by the fact that the general serving size has been getting bigger and bigger. Regardless of how much you give us, we keep “finishing what is on our plate”.

This is just one example of how poor eating habits are learned. We learn them from seeing, doing, participating and modeling from sources like parents, family, friends, culture, television etc.

Unfortunately, with each subsequent generation the bad habits, the negative patterns, the shear amount of consumption increases! We have been trained to think that bigger is better and more is better, like we are “getting our money’s worth”, and it is killing us.

McDonalds and now Starbucks is simply added fuel to the fire of an out of control flame of over consumption built on bad habits and poor diet choices. If we are ever to stop the insanity we are going to have to do two things….

1) Change our eating habits and stop handing bad habits down to our children.

2) Learn what foods in what amounts our body truly needs to thrive and be healthy.

3) Ignore the insanity that is seen in advertising and make smarter choices in restaurants and fast-food establishments.

Most importantly we must realize that the beneficiary of over consumption is the bank accounts of the fast food companies and they are not going to grow a conscience. You will be dead long before they start serving healthy, balanced food products served up in reasonable amounts… So, it is up to us to stop the insanity!

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