For those who are unaware, fast food can cause immense weight gain along with many other complications. The problem is, it’s so stinking convenient and can sometimes seem like a cheaper option.
But is it, really?
Is fast food really fast? Well, not if you hit Chick-Fil-A during lunch time. Apparently I’m not the only one who likes their chicken with a side of Jesus followed by a heaping mound of polite manners and smiling faces. Studies show that wait times at your drive-thru windows continue to increase. My last trip to McDonald’s left me waiting nearly 20 minutes for a couple of Happy Meals. I could have put that time towards cooking the kids a healthier, and tastier, option at home. One that could’ve been used for more than one meal as well.
Convenience is key. Sure, you can usually order, wait, and receive your meal while continuing to sit on your bum in your car without exerting strenuous effort. I get it. But for me, unless I’m actually in town, it’s quite the hassle. We live in the boondocks and your local fast food restaurants don’t sit on every corner. Cows do, but burgers don’t. So, if I decide to be lazy for dinner whilst at home, it’s quite the pain-in-the-butt to load everyone up and drive 20 minutes to wait another 20 minutes for a bag of heart disease. But, if you want to get down to it, the sole factor that we tend to choose convenience is probably the main reason for the ever rising obesity in our country. We are lazy creatures, folks. We also live in a world that is money-based. Think what you want, it’s true. So supply in demand makes a large impact on the quantity and price of what is available to us. If the population finds it easier to demand unhealthy food instead of fighting for more healthy options, we will continue to see an abundance of cheap junk instead of a bounty of affordable nourishment. Supply in demand doesn’t change overnight. But we are capable of making it change eventually.
It’s cheaper to eat unhealthy. Now, this is sometimes hard to argue. When you have places offering a full menu of items that cost $1 or those value boxes/deals, you can sometimes rack up an abundance of food without breaking the bank. However, when you go down to your local grocery store, your healthier options tend to be a bit more pricey upon first glance. But, that doesn’t mean all of it is. It may even mean we are looking at it incorrectly. If you compare your price to portions, you may find that a Big Mac or Cola may appear cheaper. But, if you compare the price to the nutrient content, it is obvious that you get a better bang for your buck when you choose you fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains. These are going to be packed with the good-stuff your body needs and keep you feeling fuller, longer. While the unhealthy counterparts are chock full of fat, simple sugars, simple carbs, sodium, etc. I also know, if I look at my vegetable options (especially fresh), and make proper use of them, you can make them go a long way. Not only that, but look down the road. Let’s think long term. If you continuously eat Whoppers for lunch each day, your buns to suffer the consequences in the form of hypertension, diabetes, or elevated cholesterol levels. Now you’re also having to pay for doctor visits and medications to treat these issues. Is it worth it?
You are what you eat. So don’t be FAST, CHEAP, EASY, or FAKE.
I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy a chicken nugget or French fry every once in a blue moon. I’m not saying you’re going to make-or-break it by eating one fast food meal. I’m not saying there aren’t healthier options offered at some fast food chains. What I am saying is, as a whole, the benefits of FA(s)T food do not outweigh the cons for me. And I’m sure, if we are honest, it doesn’t for most of us.
So, how do we make it happen? Make it a point to look further into changing the supply in demand by choosing your more nutrient rich foods while shopping. Buy your fruits and veggies while they are in season, buy frozen produce if you need to, buy non-perishable items in bulk if you can, use coupons, check out the store brands, visit your local farmers market. Meal plan and prepare your foods ahead of time so that you don’t feel as though fast-food is your only option. We can make the choice to eat better, we just have to do it! The bottom line is that, although healthy meals may seem like the more expensive and less convenient option, in the long run, it’s the better option. Health risks related to fast food consumption can cause serious impact on your daily life and bank account. The simple fact is that the nutrients and other ingredients found in healthy foods that can help prevent health complications are lacking in those meals. Besides, isn’t it just as easy to grab a fruit bowl as it is to order a wait for fries? And wouldn’t you be more pleased with that decision?