The Benefits or Risk of fast food consumption
In our rapid moving society that functions at a rate which continues to move faster and faster each day, in this high tech age we live in, fast food has quickly been adopted as the no.1 food of choice. As advertisements have premiered on billboards throughout our neighborhoods, schools, and of course the billion dollar business of television. Burger king promotes its famous whopper and Mcdonalds its Big Mac. Each item on the menu for decades has defined the expected American diet.
As the corporate goals aim to make these American fast food chains much more of a household name in our homes than the word of God. The media takeover in our communities, mostly the poor communities takes control of our minds, and stomachs; Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken to name a few. Their success comes from the fast pace of each parent or single parent in the home working with no time for the togetherness of family dinners.
So they offer consumers a quick, cheap, convenient meal Thus, our delicate bodies become deteriorated by improper eating habits. But let’s never fool ourselves. Sin and Satan’s desire that we all lose sight of Christ saving grace lies at the door. Thus, allowing the door to become our mouth and what we consume each and every day. Which is all too often high in fat, salt content and low in fiber and calcium. But what they don’t tell you is that.
Fast food is a major contributor to rising state of Obesity; Calorie-laden fast food meals can contain nearly a full day’s worth of calories and fat, and if eaten regularly, increases your chances of obesity. According to CBS News Health Watch, almost one-third of U.S children between the ages of 4 and 19 consume fast food, which, depending on the regularity with which fast food is eaten, can cause a 6-pound weight increase per year.
Also Fast Food increases Diabetes; Consumption of fast food has been linked to an increased chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes. In Type 2 Diabetes, either your body is unable to regulate blood sugar with insulin, or is unable to produce insulin. Increased body fat, along with a high-sugar and high-carbohydrate diet, can increase your body’s resistance to insulin, which monitors your blood sugar levels. An article published by the US Department of Health and Human Services states that people who ate fast food two or more times per week were twice as likely to experience insulin resistance.
Fast food is also typically very high in Sodium. A large order of fast food french fries can contain as much as 30% of your daily value of sodium. While important to consume in small amounts, excess sodium builds up in your bloodstream. Your heart must work harder to pump blood successfully, which can cause hypertension and high blood pressure. Also excess salt consumption is associated with strokes. A chronic consumption of excess sodium may lead to edema or water retention.
In addition, some studies have shown that calcium competes with sodium. In other words, as the intake of sodium increases, there is an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium. This increased excretion of calcium may be responsible for reduced peak bone mass and increased bone demineralization. Which, in turn, increases the risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures among women. This concept is extremely important when thinking in terms of children who are in the critical stage of developing bone density.
The recommended limit for sodium is 2,200 mg. On average, exceeding these recommendations in our fast food culture is quite easy since a Burger King Whopper contains 870 mg of sodium and a large order of McDonald’s fries contains 290 mg, making it possible for individuals to reach more than half the limit in one meal.
Fast Food is Low in Nutrients such as Hamburgers served on white bread, french fries, high-fat meats, and other high-carbohydrate which lack important nutrients. Such as, vitamins found in fresh produce, fiber found in whole grains and protein served without added fat. Foods which are high in sugar and carbohydrates but low in nutrients are also often less filling than healthier options, and can lead to overeating. Furthermore, non-nutritious fast food several times per week can impact your energy levels and mood, and may put you at risk for vitamin deficiency.
So we see, these diets that are high in fat with no nutrient dense foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, are also typically low in fiber. Because of the lack of complex carbohydrates which are often high in fiber, and lower cholesterol levels, which brings about an improved digestive function, which usually decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
Decreased in physical activity also plays a major roles in the the fast food epidemic; As the Technological age has fewer children getting any physical activity, as idol time is spent surfing the net instead of hitting the net on the basketball court. The temptation of fast food is great because the fast foods are easily available, convenient and cheap. But as parents, educators and churches we must forever set examples and councils on diets and foods. And since many food patterns begin during childhood, parents, teachers, and our churches should avoid using fast foods as rewarding meals.
But to attempt to educate our children on healthy food choices. While advocating nutrient dense diets, that are rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables along with an increase in physical activity. And as we draw closer to Christ’s soon return we must continue to focus our attention on Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Mrs. White also tells us in Ministry of Healing “In order to know what are the best foods, we must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food.”
“Behold,” He said, “I have given you every herb yielding seed…., and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food.” Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. Because they impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that prepares us for God’s pure and holy kingdom. Remember my friends “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2