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Fast food or junk food is food that does not have the right nutrition’s for our bodies. According to Ashakiran and Deepthi R (2012), fast food contains excessive amounts of flour, sugar, fat, salt, and food additives. They also mentioned that it is widely popular, probably because it is easily accessible. Examples of fast food chains are McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, and even Starbucks. Other than fast-food not having the right nutrition, studies have found dangerous chemicals in this type of food.
This essay will discuss those dangerous chemicals and conclude if fast food should be banned. Firstly, if we all know it is not healthy, why are so many people still eating fast food? There are a few advantages to it.
It isn’t called fast food for no reason, junk food is often made and served quickly. If someone has a small lunch break, it’s an easy decision to stop and get something fast. Another reason is all the added salt and sugar make the junk food taste good.
They also add food additives and colors to make it look appetizing. In addition to making the food look better, the packaging is usually quite colorful and appealing as well. The chain restaurants also spend money on ads to bring in more people. For example, Mcdonalds’ has “happy meals” that are for children. This meal includes a toy and I remember wanting to go just for that toy.
Some Mcdonald’s restaurants also have playhouses where kids can run around and climb in tubes.
Do these goods outweigh the bads? There is still a list of dangerous chemicals in these foods. One chemical that is put into the food is called butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). This chemical is supposed to make the food last longer. BHA has some interesting characteristics. One characteristic is BHA is insoluble in water but soluble in fats and oils. Since there are excessive amounts of fats and oils in fast food, BHA dissolves right into it. This is dangerous to eat because BHA is a carcinogen. This means that it has a risk of causing stomach cancer.
This has been tested with animals which is why this chemical is believed to be dangerous. Another additive that can cause cancer is the addition of artificial trans fats. Hydrogen is added to unsaturated fat to make trans fats in fast food. This process also makes the food last longer. Other than being linked to causing cancer trans fats have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart problems. Trans fat can also increase the chances of stokes and diabetes (“Dangerous”). This is only two chemicals that are added. There are many more that are found. Some of the chemicals found are not even directly put into the food. Many fast food packaging is coated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
The PFCs help the grease from the food not soak into the packaging. These compounds have recently been deemed dangerous because it’s possible these compounds can get into the food were eating. Once they’re in our bodies, PFC breaks down into perfluorooctanoic acid, called PFOA. PFOA was found in the drinking water of 75,000 people in West Virginia. These people were looked at and seven risk factors were concluded from the effect of PFOA. These include, higher cholesterol, pregnancy- induced hypertension, ulcerative colitis, two types of cancers, and two different diseases. PFOA is especially dangerous for children because their bodies are still developing. Fortunately, people are taking action to lessen the risk of these dangerous chemicals.
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