Category Archives: Fast Food

Why You Love Junk Food

Asked by the Pew Research Organization why they choose to eat so much junk food, the respondents overwhelmingly say it’s due to its convenience.  The second most common reason is junk food’s good flavor, and the third reason is because it is so heavily advertised.  Fourth is its affordability, and the final reason why people eat so much junk food is “ignorance of food values.”  Yeah, I really believe that last reason!

Since approximately three-quarters of the respondents eat junk food out of convenience, it seems a good time for them to re-work their lives so that breakfast and dinner are family meals at home, and lunch is considered a lighter repast to keep the engines going during the day.

Want to really relieve stress?  Take off your figurative plate all the overscheduling – running around with too many activities and piling on too many responsibilities.  Two-career homes leave little time for the lovely, “home-y” amenities.  Rethink your lives and you’ll probably live longer, while being healthier and happier.  Having lots of personal possessions and living beyond your means is a disastrous recipe for stress that leads to all kinds of self-destructive behaviors.

The Government is Making Me Eat Healthily!

All those who don’t follow the guidelines for good eating and no smoking are just going to have fewer choices available to them.  Free will to be self-destructive is about to managed by the government.

The Los Angeles City Council approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South Los Angeles, an area plagued by above-average rates of obesity:  30% of adults, as compared with about 21% in the rest of LA.  Nationally, 25.6% of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When you look at the realities, an intact family with a homemaker mom or dad (versus a two-career, busy, busy, busy set of parents) generally results in everyone eating less fast food, and more nutritious at-home meals.  But promoting marriage and a division of responsibilities is politically incorrect, isn’t it?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law ordering that, as of 2010, no California restaurant will be able to serve foods containing a harmful form of fats called trans fats.  Baked goods containing trans fats will be banned in California as of 2011.  If a product’s list of ingredients contains the words “partially hydrogenated,” the product contains trans fat, which is used to harden vegetable oils into shortening and margarine to help extend product shelf life.  Trans fats lower “good” cholesterol (HDL) and contribute to other health problems.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, eliminating artificial trans fats from the food supply “could” prevent between 6 and 19 per cent of heart attacks and related deaths each year. 

Do you think there’ll be an underground market for trans fat products?

San Francisco is ready to become the first city in the nation to ban sales of tobacco products at pharmacies, which last year accounted for almost 20% of U.S. tobacco sales.  The logic is that pharmacies are places people go to get healthy, so cigarettes ought not to be on the shelves as they are a known health hazard. 

Since trans fats are going to be off the supermarket shelves because they’re unhealthy, shouldn’t supermarkets stop selling cigarettes too?

I am all for healthy habits.  I work hard at eating as healthily as possible, generally ordering fish without sauces in restaurants and salad without dressing.  As sauces, gravies, and dressing are very high in calories, perhaps they should be banned from restaurant recipes, or ordered only under a physician’s approval…assuming you already have a very high HDL level.

Lastly, restaurants around the country will soon have to post on menus the exact calorie count of a meal.  It will blow your mind to see what you thought was healthy is actually loaded with hidden calories.  There’s a terrific book, called “Eat This, Not That” which will make your head explode when you find out where calories are hidden in some of your favorite meals.

How About Putting a “Sin Tax” on Fast Food?

We already have taxes levied on cigarettes, purportedly to pay for education to stop smoking.  So, what’s so wrong with a tax on fast food to subsidize education about “eating less and moving more,” considering that two-thirds of the American population is fat or obese?

Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering such a tax, and planning to use the revenue from it to fund struggling hospitals.  Obviously, the old hat argument comes out that condemns such a tax as specifically aiming at the poor. When you want to budget money for eating, why not consider eating at home and brown-bagging it for lunch?  Everyone knows that this is a cheaper and more nutritious alternative.

As one taxpayer pointed out, “It costs $12.86 for fries and this little chicken wrap….” This taxpayer was complaining about adding a tax.  Yipes.  This taxpayer should have been complaining about how much money he’s wasting on such a menu.  He did also comment that “if they raise it [i.e., the price with a tax], I’ll stop buying it.”    Brilliant!  If it’s unhealthy, he’ll eat it.  If it has a “sin tax,” he’ll stop.  I think that’s a good enough reason for the tax.