Impacts of Fast Foods on the Economy and People


Today, fast food has become part of the American culture as it is convenient and ubiquitous to most people. This is because fast food can be prepared in a quick way which does not consume a lot of time (Schlosser 71). Another reason why they are popular in America is that they are usually nice and tasty in the mouth. The major fast foods in America include hamburgers, French fries, hot dogs, and cheeseburgers. According to Schlosser, millions of people spend a lot of their money on fast foods than on other expenses.

This culture of eating fast food is common among children, students, and those who are working (Schlosser 84). Eating fast food is a common phenomenon among very many Americans who tend to ignore the consequences. Eating fast foods is not healthy to our bodies because it may lead to diseases such as heart diseases. In America, McDonald is a fast food company which is well known for its tasty hamburgers (BBC News par. 3).

Over the recent years, McDonald has progressively expanded in US and other countries across the world. As a culture, many Americans like buying and eating fast food from the McDonald restaurants that are situated in several places (Nestle 54). The company is generally earning a lot of income from their fast food business. This paper focuses on how the how the fast food industry has had an impact on the American Economy/Culture. To achieve this, the paper will also discuss the effects of fast food to people.

Effects of Fast food to people

Although fast foods are normally convenient and tasty, they also have negative effects to the consumers. Unfortunately most people still eat foods like French fries and hamburgers without caring about their effects to the body (Schlosser 115). Fast food is a major health hazard to human health yet it has not yet dawned on so many people. These foods are mainly made up of calories, cholesterol, fats and sodium which dangerous especially when highly consumed.

With such contents some people often develop a craving after eating fast food (Nestle 32). Thus, eating fast food is addictive especially when taken on regular basis by an individual. It is sympathetic that fast food is frequently eaten by children who should be taking nutritious food instead. If such children have to take fast food in their entire life, then they are bound to develop health complications at an early age.

This is because their bodies would be accumulated with too much fat in the body tissues. According to Schlosser, the health complications include heart diseases like hypertension, stroke, liver diseases, cancer and asthma (Schlosser 125). Among these diseases, asthma and liver diseases affects a good number of children. On the other hand, stroke, cancer and heart diseases are commonly found among adults.

Impacts of fast foods on the economy

Fast food industry is one of the successful industries in America since it has been able to generate much income. Culturally, eating fast food is a common trend among Americans who find it appetizing regardless of the effects. Noticeably, this type of food is not only prepared in restaurants but also in social places where people meet. Even in homes, there are some Americans who would rather make fast food but not any other foods (Schlosser 87).

Since fast food is highly consumed, this has also reflected on America’s economy. In terms of revenue, America can get income tax from fast food industries that are substantially spread in the country. The industry has been performing tremendously despite the effects of globalization that is affecting other industries. Economically, the fast foods industries are playing a major role of employing millions of previously jobless people. As such this has led to the reduction of unemployment among Americans (Nestle 102). The advantage of food industry is that individuals do not have to obtain basic skills for them to be employed.

Moreover education is not a compulsory issue for those who are working within the industry. The industry is employing a big number of teenagers who are waiting to join universities or have no enough money to further their studies. Positively, this has helped to eradicate criminal activities among the youth (Kessler 42). Another factor is that American women are also working in the industry instead of just sitting at home. Earlier on, women were left at home to cook and take care of their children while the husbands were out working. During those days, the economy was not doing so well because out of the big population, there were only opportunities for men.

However this has changed as industries like fast food are employing people and contributing positively to the industry. A good example of a fast food company is the McDonald which very popular in America. McDonald is growing drastically with many restaurants that are situated in most parts the country (Nestle 73). Approximately McDonald is having more than 10,000 restaurants that usually sell hamburgers.

With many of its restaurants in different parts of the country, McDonald can the serve needs of Americans who like eating fast foods. Amazingly, it is a cultural trend for millions of people who eat in restaurants owned by the McDonald Industry. In this case, millions of Americans can not have their fast foods in any place apart from the McDonald (Sinatra 52). Despite its achievement in the fast food industry, McDonald Company is not reluctant at all. The industry is very competitive and so McDonald has to watch out for its rivals. Progressing in the industry therefore calls for regular marketing and advertising of products.

Through various advertisements, the American economy has been able to rise gradually (Kessler 37). Mc Donald needs to advertise itself even though it is a leading company in the fast food industry. Advertisement is essential because it helps to maintain customers and attract many people who are not customers (Sinatra 70). Because of its significant to the market, there is usually a lot of money spent on advertising products. Virtually advertisement is another contribution to the economy of America. The fast food industry has also had an impact on the economy in such a way that prices of food are usually increased (Spurlock 57).

Since there is high demand of the fast food it is more logical for restaurants increase their food prices. By doing this, the economy acquires extra revenue from fast food industries that raises prices (Lewis 53). This also helps the fast food industries to budget enough for millions of customers who crave for fast foods. Surprisingly, Americans will never seize to eat fast foods even if the prices are increased. Most of them are ready to spend dollars even if they have to cut costs on other expenses. There other factors which have led to dramatic price increase in fast foods (Spurlock 98). These factors include high prices in both electricity and oil sectors that provide their services to the fast food industries. Consequently, some fast food industries have suffered a lot from the increment of electricity and oil prices.

Fortunately the price increment does not affect McDonald which is exposed to international markets (Zinczenko 104). In addition, McDonald has been able to escape the twin hurdles of price increment that affects several restaurants. While the fast food industry has contributed positively to the American economy, it has also led to negative effects to the economy. Seemingly, the fast food have negative effect on people who are in employment sectors as they tend to waste much of their time eating in restaurants. Some of them even lose concentration when they have not eaten any fast food. In this case, such employees often cause negative effects to the companies that they work for.

With poor performers from these companies, the country is also bound to be affected economically (Zinczenko 81). Another way in which fast food industries have impacted negatively on the economy is through death of many people. In every year, there are millions of people who die out of diseases caused by too much consumption of the fast foods. As a result of this, the economy is affected because these are individuals who were probably working and had very high qualifications in their respective professions (Sinatra 43).


Schlosser is right about the addictive nature of eating fast foods by Americans who are already addicted to this diet (Schlosser 214). It might even be impossible to eradicate the culture of eating fast foods from American people. Eating fast food is a phenomenon that will still continue from one generation to the other without any stop. This is because a very big number of Americans are addicted to the fast food that they can not afford to quit.

Most of them are aware of the consequences yet they still crave for fast foods (Lewis 48). As a result of this, the fast food industry is making lot money from their sales. With good income from fast food industries, America has been able to improve economically. The fast food industries are also a source of employment to very many Americans who were previously jobless. Unfortunately, eating of fast foods has led to several death cases of Americans who were previously contributing to the economy by paying taxes.

Works Cited

BBC News. Fast food for thought BBC News. 2010. Web.

Lewis, Lynn. Fast Food. London: Murdoch Books, 2009. Print.

Kessler, David. The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. Oxford, UK: Rodale Books, 2009. Print.

Nestle, Marion. Food Politics: How the Food Industry influences Nutrition and Health. California: University of California Press, 2007. Print.

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal Is Doing to the World. New York: Penguin Books Limited, 2002. Print.

Sinatra, Stephen and Punkre, Jim. The fast food diet: Lose weight and feel great even if You’re too busy to eat. N J: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Spurlock, Morgan: Don’t Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America. UK: Berkley Books, 2006. Print.

Zinczenko, David and Goulding, Matt. Eat This Not That! The Beat (& Worst!) Foods in America: The No- Diet Weight Loss Solution, 2009. Print.

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