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Is Fast Food to Blame?


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#1    Disinterested

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:40 PM

Debate suggestion by Deaths Hand.

Is fast food to blame for the obesity epidemic? Is their constant advertising, low prices and convenience to blame for expanding waistlines, or are other factors to blame?

I'm looking for two members to debate this topic. One member will debate that fast food is not to blame for obesity, and one will debate that it definitely is.

This is a formal, 1 vs 1 debate. Each debater will post one introduction, five body posts and one conclusion. Posts will need to be made within 7 days of the last reply.

Any questions, please send myself or Lottie a PM. thumbsup.gif

Edited by AztecInca, 29 December 2005 - 07:55 AM.


#2    Lottie

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:37 PM

The debate has re-opened!  original.gif Thanks UniversalMind for your participation.

Joc will be debating that fast food IS NOT to blame for the obesity epidemic.
UniversalMind will be debating that fast food IS to blame for the obesity epidemic.

Each debater will post one introduction, five body posts and one conclusion.
Posts will need to be made within 7 days of the last reply. If there is a problem with this please let Disinterested or myself know. Remember to source all quotes, no flaming or foul language.

Any problems or queries feel free to PM AztecInca or myself.

Good luck and have fun!  thumbsup.gif

Edited by Lottie, 21 October 2005 - 11:13 PM.


#3    joc

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 02:05 AM

I wish you well in your Football Adventures TaintedDoughnuts!  And I look forward to the debate in the coming days and/or weeks.  And so I will begin:

There is a huge number of Fast Food Chains to be found on virtually every corner of Suburban America.   The reason is that Fast Food is a much needed and wanted commodity in this day and age of instant gratification.  There is also an Obesity Epidemic that seems to be growing day by day.  Everyone knows or should know that Hamburgers and French Fries are not the healthiest lunch choices one can make…and most realize that this Food is high in calories.   It may seem easy for some to conclude that the Reason for the Obesity Epidemic is indeed Fast Food.  It is everywhere.  …and so convenient.  And what about all those Obese Individuals that you see at the Fast Food Restaurants?  

But is it really that simple?  Is there another reason or reasons for the Obesity Epidemic that may have little if anything to do with the Fast Food Chains on every corner?  I believe there is.  I have done a considerable amount of research on the subject and in the coming posts I will illustrate for the readers exactly what IS causing the growing number of Obese Individuals in the United States….and it isn’t Fast Food!  Stay tuned….

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#4    joc

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Posted 26 August 2005 - 11:15 AM

QUOTE
For an average 2,000 calorie diet, in one meal you're getting almost half the calories one needs in a day, almost 3/4 of the fat one needs, 5.5 grams of trans fat(I'll explain what that has to do with anything later), and a little over half of the needed sodium for the day, all in one meal! Keep in mind this is without a drink. 



True.  But is that enough to make one obese?  If a person ate at McDonald’s three times a day, every day,  perhaps they might become obese.  But even that is in question.  Would a person who ate at McD’s everyday, three times a day live long enough to become obese?  

No my friends…fast food is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to obesity.   The underlying cause is found in the average persons cabinets and refrigerators.  Ice cream, potato chips, cookies, snacks, snacks, snacks of every variety.   Carbonated sodas of every flavor imaginable.

The big brother of unhealthy snack foods is ‘little to no physical exercise’.   If a person who is going to become obese eats at Wendy’s and takes in over half of their normal 2000 calories, what do they do when they get home?  They at least double or triple their 2000 calorie diet by gobbling up snacks of endless variety.  

The big secret:   High Fructose Corn Syrup

In my next post, I will explore the High Fructose Corn Syrup link to obesity.

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#5    Lottie

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Posted 21 October 2005 - 11:10 PM

UniversalMind,

Joc has already made an Introduction and first post so you will also need to make both to catch up. Good luck  thumbsup.gif  

Lottie




#6    UniversalMind

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Posted 24 October 2005 - 09:45 PM

Introduction:

To claim that the fast food industry is entirely to blame would be unjust and inaccurate, yet the fast food industry is partially to blame.  A convenient comparison is cigarette smoking: As cigarette smoking is not responsible for ALL cancer, it is indeed responsible for SOME or MOST cancer.  Allow me to superimpose this comparison: Fast food is not responsible for all obesity but is responsible for some or most obesity.

Now allow me to elaborate upon the word "blame."  One is blameworthy if he knows he is doing something immoral or irresponsible yet continues to perform the action.  It is a possibility that the decision-makers in the fast food industry(of hamburgers and fries), once, early on, approximately thirty years ago, did not know how harmful the food was to one's health; but today, indeed, they do know and continue to propagate their good.  In this manner, they are continuing to serve a substance that is detrimental to the consumer; distinctly this is the manner in which they are worthy of blame.  As a moral stand, I personally, have refused to work at a fast food restaurant under the premise that I do not want to personally prosper from an activity that slowly kills those that I would be serving.    

It seems that in the beginning, some thirty years ago, fast food did not know of the detrimental health aspects, yet, they grew large and powerful and internationally influential.  Now that they know that enough fast food can destroy a consumer's liver or clog the arteries, rather than capitulate their efforts and walk away from their power, they enjoy their power too much and try to find philosophies and beliefs to fit their lives so that they can deny their own personal responsibility for slowly killing their consumers.  Or, they are foolishly passionate consumers of a good that is going to kill them too; and they try to defend that they only sale what indeed they also consume --- meaning they are trying to convince others to be as foolish as they are being.  

Matters of life and death are easy matters to judge; those that contribute to the death of others are intrinsically responsible.  Together along with many other industries the fast food industries has its finger on the trigger and is slowly pulling that trigger over the lifetime of its consumers.  

As these industry leaders are obviously intelligent individuals, for they have ascended the corporate ladder, they must have some inkling or great assumption that many people are "addicted" to the taste and the fast food experience.  Rather, than take a moral stand and back away and say, indeed, we are slowly engorging these people until their hearts stop, instead, they put up another commercial.  "I'm lovin' it."

Fast food is not singularly responsible, yet it is the mastermind accomplice in a great crime against the health of the United States and consequently the world.  




#7    joc

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Posted 31 October 2005 - 01:55 PM

“May I help you?”,  “Uh, yeah, I’d like a #3 with Coke”.   “Do you want to ‘large size’ that?…it’s only 49 cents more..”.
“ Yeah, sure.”.  “Please pull up to the next window…your total is $5.75.”

$5.75!? For a hamburger, fries and a coke!  $4.00 for breakfast, $6.00 for lunch, $6.00 for supper?  That’s a whopping $16.00 per day for meals.  Extrapolate that over a month and it would cost  $480.00. Yes, it is somewhat pricey to eat fast  food.   The vast majority of obese people simply do not consume ALL of their food from fast food restaurants.   Demographic studies show that  the majority of obese people simply do not have the funds to lead such an expensive eating life style.

"Our research suggests that obese individuals persistently earn lower
wages than non-obese peers in each of these groups…”


Source


The real villain is not Fast Food, but Junk Food.  Cookies, crackers, potato chips, ice cream, cokes, snacks, snacks, snacks.   Have you checked the ingredients of the foods you eat lately?  When is the last time you had pancakes with syrup?  Look at the ingredient list on the Syrup; it is almost 100% High Fructose Corn Syrup the same ingredient found in cokes; it is found in almost everything, from peanut butter to Arizona Tea.  What is High Fructose Corn Syrup?  It is a sweetener made from corn.  It is much sweeter tasting and is produced  more cheaply than cane sugar.  It is also completely different in chemical analysis.   HFCS is processed differently by your body than is ordinary cane sugar.  It is processed more as a fat. The result is: the more you eat, the more you crave…the more you crave, the more you eat….

Yes friends…the dirty little secret no one wants to  talk about: High Fructose Corn Syrup…the main ingredient to Obesity.  Combined with little to no exercise, the junk food industry is helping to create a segment of society known as The Obese.  But it goes way beyond just HFCS.  Look at the ingredients on a bag of potato chips and pay close attention to the caloric intake.  16 chips = 160 calories.  16 chips is barely a handful.  Junk food doesn't 'fill you up'.  It merely satisfies a compulsion to indulge momentarily.  Depression is also a key factor in becoming obese.  It doesn't matter how many cookies you eat, it doesn't make the depression go away.  When consuming junk food, it is quite easy to increase that 2000 calorie a day intake to 4000,  6000 or more.  The body stores the excess as fat and the metabolism of obesity begins.  Suggesting that Fast Food makes one obese is simply skirting the real truth of the issue.

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#8    UniversalMind

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 01:00 AM

Quote


“May I help you?”,  “Uh, yeah, I’d like a #3 with Coke”.   “Do you want to ‘large size’ that?…it’s only 49 cents more..”.
“ Yeah, sure.”.  “Please pull up to the next window…your total is $5.75.”

$5.75!? For a hamburger, fries and a coke!  $4.00 for breakfast, $6.00 for lunch, $6.00 for supper?  That’s a whopping $16.00 per day for meals.  Extrapolate that over a month and it would cost  $480.00. Yes, it is somewhat pricey to eat fast  food.   The vast majority of obese people simply do not consume ALL of their food from fast food restaurants.   Demographic studies show that  the majority of obese people simply do not have the funds to lead such an expensive eating life style.


Your main assumption which is principally flawed is ... as you seem to be indicating ... that people must eat fast food EACH meal to experience a health penalty .... whereas, the experts proclaim that a health penalty will be experienced for eating merely more than 1 meal a week of fast food; while some contest that 1 meal a week of fast food is sufficient to deteriorate one's health.  You attempt to play the extreme merely shows a lack of empirical knowledge as to the health woes caused by fast food and from what extent of fast food.  

Using your own math of $6.00 for supper provides that one may only spent $12.00 a week on fast food and still create health problems, as in 2 meals at $6.00 each.  

Yet your are using another basic flaw in your assumptions.  If a person wants to go out to eat and has a go out to eat budget, that person can then experience the convenience of going out and not having to cook or clean up more often, because a meal at McDonald's, as you state is $6.00, whereas a meal at a restaurant is typically more.  

You are mixing too many variable to make a meaningful statement.  At McDonald's, a meal is (as you say): $6.00.  At a restaurant, a meal is: $6.99 for a chicken salad, $1.49 for a soft drink.  1.99 for a side dish.  This becomes $10.47.  

On the same budget of $1500, I could go out to a Restaurant (non-fast food) and consume 150 meals in a year or go out to McDonald's and consume 262 meals in a year.  Your statement that obese people don't make enough to eat at McDonald's is monumentally short-sighted and tremendously lacking in any real analytical ability to see that on a modest "Go out to eat" budget, one can eat far more times at a fast food restaurant than at a traditional sit down and eat restaurant.  AND ... $1500, is a modest budget that any full-time working person could budget themselvess.  Definitively, at a rate of $1500 a year, that would mean eating at McDonald's 5 times a week, clearly a rate perceived by experts to be detrimental to one's health.  And common-sensically one would gain weight if they ate McDonald's five times a week.  

(To be continued ...)



#9    joc

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 11:49 PM

Quote

Your main assumption which is principally flawed is ... as you seem to be indicating ... that people must eat fast food EACH meal to experience a health penalty .... whereas, the experts proclaim that a health penalty will be experienced for eating merely more than 1 meal a week of fast food;



The flaw is in your perception of my statements.  We are not debating  whether or not there is a ‘health penalty’ for indulging in Fast Food.  If a person were to eat Fast Food 3 times a day, every day, I have no doubt that over a period of time they would become obese.  The fact is that most obese people don’t do that and the reason they have become obese is not because they ate at McDonalds every day.   The reason people become obese is Two Fold.  First, a lack of exercise, and secondly ingesting far more calories than their body  can deal with.  It isn’t an enigma really.  It is a matter of numbers.  If the average caloric intake is say, 2000 calories, and if the average persons metabolism, with moderate exercise, can burn off 2000 calories, the end result is no gain in weight.   If however; one consumes 8000 calories and the body only burns off 2000, there is a net caloric intake of 6000 calories that the body has to deal with.  The body only has one way to deal with all those excess calories and that is to create fat cells and store the energy there as fat.  Obese people become obese because they consume too many calories without the adequate exercise to burn them off.   Obesity doesn’t happen over night.  And it doesn’t happen because one eats French Fries.

This debate is about whether or not Fast Food is too blame for one becoming Obese.  I say it is not.  One cannot assume that just because one is obese that one is stupid and lazy.  On average most people go to the grocery store where they can get the most for the money they do have to spend.   And at the grocery store is where the bad choices that lead to obesity are made.   Cookies, crackers, potato chips,  cokes, the list is endless.  It is the gorging on ‘these’ products that ultimately leads to the high caloric intake of people who become obese.   And depression does play a significant role.  Many who are depressed  mistakenly believe that they can ‘eat’ their depression away.   Example:  I feel bad now but if I eat a couple of cookies I’ll feel better…and a couple of more and a couple of more and then a bowl of ice cream and on and on and on.

Lack of exercise and the consumption of too many calories.   This is what causes obesity.

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#10    UniversalMind

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:46 PM

Quote

Demographic studies show that the majority of obese people simply do not have the funds to lead such an expensive eating life style.


This above statement, Joc, is yours.  I am saying that it is principally flawed.  In summary, from my above statements, those that desire to go out to eat (meaning they don't want to cook and do dishes) have two choices: a traditional restaurant and a fast food restaurant.  I am claiming, common-sensically, that a meal at fast food restaurant is less expensive than a traditional restaurant meal.  To claim, as you did, that fast food is too expensive for people to gain weight is very short-sighted.  Simply, in my own experience I have heard people say: I don't have enough money to go to King's (a family restaurant) but I have enough for a big mac or two double cheeseburgers off the dollar menu.  One of McDonald's main marketing mechanisms is being affordable for every one.  If they don't have enough for a whole meal, hey, there's always the dollar menu (a menu created so that 'less-than-wealthy' consumers can frequent McDonald's more often.

In general, people are wealthy enough to afford enough fast food to make themselves gain weight.    

Quote

The real villain is not Fast Food, but Junk Food. Cookies, crackers, potato chips, ice cream, cokes, snacks, snacks, snacks. Have you checked the ingredients of the foods you eat lately?


Again, this is logically flawed.  You are mixing SNACKS with MEALS.  In our society, meals are supposed to be considered healthy, nutritious and balanced.  SNACKS by their very nature are deemed to less healthy, but more enjoyable, as a treat.  Here's the consideration: one eats a healthy meal and then has something for dessert (one of those snacks you mentioned).  The majority of what was consumed would be healthy and nutritious and the snack would be minimal.  YET, the meals that McDonald's serves are themselves unhealthy, not the snack afterwards.  The SNACK companies are selling snacks which by the concept are consumed infrequently and as a treat; the companies are not selling "cookies as a meal."  BUT, McDonald's is selling high-calorie, fat-laden, artery-clogging "food as a meal."  You argument is categorically flawed in that you are comparing SNACKS to MEALS.  If people are over-consuming on snacks, well, they just aren't using the snacks correctly.  YET, if people eat McDonald's food as a meal, that is EXACTLY what McDonald's is intending that they do.  It is essential that you keep your argument aligned correctly.  

By stating health penalty, I am meaning a combination of detrimental health aspects, all of which will lead to obesity.  1.  Consuming fast food will put a heavy burden on the liver because of the high concentration of substances that the liver has to process 2. fast food has been observed to create depression it self by lowering the level of functioning of the body; in other words, the body is so clogged with fat and calories that body functions more inefficiently and causes a slow down in energy levels 3. Much of the food at a fast food restaurant is high in calories which causes weight gain.  4.  Weight gain causes a slow down in the processes of the body and contributes to depression.  

When I said Health Penalty, I was referring to a combination of organ complications, psychological side-effects AND weight gain.

Allow me to proceed onward:

96% of Americans eat at McDonald's within a year: 96%.  The main reason given as to why 96% of Americans eat at McDonald's: 1.  They are on every street corner.  (People see them so much that they stop in and eat, maybe because of being in a hurry.) 2.  They're ads are appealing and "make me want to try the food."  

McDonald's is considered to be a mastermind marketing company, praised high and low throughout business schools as a company that is brilliant at marketing its product.  Philip Kotler at Northwestern University regards McDonald's as the prime model of marketing genius.  Being a supreme marketing genius is a great injustice to the health of the customer.  As they so adroitly market their good, another person classifies as obese.  

No SNACK company is considered to be brilliant at marketing accept the makers of Oreo cookies.  

Being brilliant at marketing means that McDonald's is excellent at shaping your mind, altering your opinion of them, inducing desire in you, increasing your appetite with images, even altering your vision of them through their hiring practices: "McDonald's employs more low-pay minorities than any other company in America."  There primary concern is to gain customer trust and present an image of being a happy, fun place to visit.  With this attempt to gain customer trust, they then serve a product that contributes to health problems in the customer and considerable weight gain.  

Though 96% of people have eaten at McDonald's in a year, the majority of their customers are low-income families with children.  That is their marketing niche.  Market to the kids and the parents come in also.  Pretty clever considering parents tend to eat more and therefore pay more.  

Let me build this model of what is going on:  first, under-educated people are more obese than those that are more educated.  And under-educated people are more obese for a combination of reasons.  Being less educated, they have lower paying jobs and don't have enough money to eat healthy. And being less educated they know less about what is good for them.  McDonald's feeds on both of these facts: first, it offers a more affordable good and even has a "dollar" menu, a "low-income" menu (McDonald's is able to offer those meals at inexpensive prices because the food is cheap and the food is cheap because it is unhealthy.  Lean, prime, grade A beef is expensive.  McDonald's beef is very inexpensive, and very unhealthy. And, secondly, it markets to the less-educated people.  It presents happy and inviting messages and images to bring in those that don't realize how truly unhealthy the food they are eating is.  To summarize, McDonald's is serving an under-educated class of people a food they are too foolish to realize is killing them, and those under-educated people return to McDonald's the next time they hear a happy jingle on television, a continual reminder.

Now to turn to the depression issue.  McDonald's must know WHAT YOU KNOW, JOC, that people get depressed and seek "happiness" in a big mac.  JOC, if you can understand that, they can understand that.  AND, indeed, McDonald's knows that so well, that that is part of the brilliance of their marketing.  "I'm lovin' it."  They are trying to sell happiness and smiling faces, so that depressed people will get a momentary thirty minute morale boost from the big mac, but...... but...... when that big mac happy moment wears off, they'll just have to come back and buy another big mac, and if they can't afford the big mac, how about a double cheeseburger off the dollar menu... the "low-income" menu.  How truly cruel is it that a company would attempt to profit off the depression of its customers. They are merely selling a momentary fix, a short term boost until the person is depressed again and comes back for more.

Other difficulty surrounding fast food is their positioning, which they will obviously not give up.  There are two positions that they have occupied in American reality: 1. the position on highly travelled roads and streets, which gives the fast food company an advantage to increased sales by being conveniently located.  2. Positioning in the mind as happy and pleasant, friendly and inviting, comforting and entertaining ... (to ease away that depression you speak of Joc).  When people think of the fun place they went with their parents, the place with cartoon-like characters, toys and even a playground, when they imagine happy moments of childhood, they think of ... McDonald's.  This marketing master has cleverly carved out a chunk of the American childhood, it has grasped the pleasant memories of spending time with our parents as kids, so that when we need comfort, when we are down, when the food can pick us up ... there's always McDonald's, that fuzzy warm concept of enjoyment.  McDonald's will not give up this territory in our minds, and we, as a people, cannot evict these memories from our minds.  McDonald's knows that it occupies so much emotional real-estate in the American mind that the people will not betray it, cannot discontinue visiting, that America always comes home ... to McDonald's.  In this fashion McDonald's has mixed our childhood yearning with comfort in with a substantial dose of fat and calories.  

We return to McDonald's, that entity which destroys us, the same way that a person returns to an abusive household.  As the abused person yearns for the good-times to return, those good-times collectively known in the home so too do we continually return to McDonald's to stir up the emotions that McDonald's marketed us to feel, as they engorge us with the fat and calories that will contribute to our early deaths.  We quench our depression by consuming the almighty burger (even you understand this joc).  And the executive minds and the marketing masters smile from way up high as they realize that ... "these people can't stop eating our food even if they wanted to; it just means too much to them."  As they grow wealthier each year with million dollar salaries, I am sure the top executives are thinking... "I'm lovin' it."

Edited by UniversalMind, 08 November 2005 - 06:44 PM.


#11    Lottie

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Posted 12 November 2005 - 10:48 PM

Joc we are waiting for a reply.  thumbsup.gif


#12    joc

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 04:16 AM

Quote

Quote

QUOTEThe real villain is not Fast Food, but Junk Food. Cookies, crackers, potato chips, ice cream, cokes, snacks, snacks, snacks. Have you checked the ingredients of the foods you eat lately?


Again, this is logically flawed. You are mixing SNACKS with MEALS. In our society, meals are supposed to be considered healthy, nutritious and balanced. SNACKS by their very nature are deemed to less healthy, but more enjoyable, as a treat. Here's the consideration: one eats a healthy meal and then has something for dessert (one of those snacks you mentioned). The majority of what was consumed would be healthy and nutritious and the snack would be minimal. YET, the meals that McDonald's serves are themselves unhealthy, not the snack afterwards.


There is nothing unhealthy about a McDonald's meal, apart from the grease that is high in polyunsaturated fat.  A Big Mac with Fries and a Coke is a nutritious meal.  It isn't the most nutritious meal that could be eaten but it is nutritious.  The fact of the matter is: If a person takes in more calories than they burn they are going to get fat.  It isn't really that hard of a concept. If a person consumes a Big Mac with Fries and a Coke and has a Chocolate Shake for dessert...there is nothing really unhealthy about that.  It is no more unhealthy than a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a slice of Cherry Pie at home.  Neither is going to make you fat.  You are only going to become fat if your caloric intake exceeds what your body can burn.  There is an enormous opportunity for caloric intake.  Chocolates, cookies, potato chips, cokes, ice-cream, Big Macs, Fries, PanCakes with Syrup, the list is almost infinite.  One becomes Obese primarily because of a sedentary lifestyle coupled with bad food choices.  Snacks are food, meals are food, anything you put in your mouth and swallow (apart from medications) is food.  Bad Choices are responsible for Obesity.  To blame one of the choices for an epidemic problem is just silly.  No one becomes obese because they eat alot of Fast Food.  They become obese because they indulge in the consumption of any number of high caloric foods with little or no physical exercise over a period of time.
People who only eat snacks as treats and do so  infrequently DO NOT become obese.  Those who habitually graze on snack foods inbetween their Big Mac attacks are the ones at risk.

Quote

96% of Americans eat at McDonald's within a year: 96%. The main reason given as to why 96% of Americans eat at McDonald's: 1. They are on every street corner. (People see them so much that they stop in and eat, maybe because of being in a hurry.) 2. They're ads are appealing and "make me want to try the food."  


Americans are in a hurry at lunch time...fast food fills that 'time gap'.  The above quote would only be valid in this debate if 96% of Americans were obese.  They aren't.

In summary:

People who become obese tend to live sedentary lifestyles coupled with a very high caloric intake.   Fast food is but one of the sources for their caloric consumption.   Fast Food in and of itself will not make you obese.  You are at risk for becoming obese if you: perform little or no physical exercise and routinely consume more calories than your body can burn.  
If you take in more calories than you burn and don't exercise your body will begin to create fat cells.  If you continue in this manner for a long period of time you will become obese.  It isn't the fault of Fast Food.  It isn't the fault of the Snack Companies.  It is your fault.  Somewhere along the way, people are going to have to stop blaming the rest of the world for their own personal failures.  When people begin to accept responsiblity for their own well being obesity will begin its decline.

One final word:  Obesity is  epidemic in this country.  It isn't because McDonalds is on every street corner. Child Obesity is experiencing an alarming increase.  Why?  Not because of Fast Food, rather because of Mothers.  Throughout the animal kingdom it is the Mother that teaches her young to hunt and eat.  Is it any wonder that kids are becoming obese when their parents take no responsibility for their own eating and exercise habits.
Obesity is not a problem because of the Fast Food industry.  It is a problem because Mothers teach their kids bad eating habits and allow them to graze on doughnuts, cakes, candy, cokes, and yes Big Macs.

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#13    UniversalMind

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 12:23 AM

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If a person consumes a Big Mac with Fries and a Coke and has a Chocolate Shake for dessert...there is nothing really unhealthy about that.


      There are some things that once said are so monumentally flawed that one cannot believe it was even uttered.  People who have not eaten McDonald's food for a considerable amount of time have reported throwing up because their bodies are trying to reject the food, mostly vegetarian-style consumers.  Upon reading this I truly raised my eyebrows.  
      Singularly, the thing that is wrong with the meal is the tremendous amount of calories.  If a person consumes that meal, that's it, that's all the calories for that day.  I have placed in these items to be calculated nutritionally(yet, because of lack of data, I substituted a McFlurry for a cholate shake).  The results, what you mentioned above comes to: 2100 calories.  For one single meal!!!!  That is supposed to be the calorie load for an entire day, not one single meal.  Using your own example, and using you consideration that high-calories lead to weight gain, your own submission of a McDonald's meal yields 2100 calories ... and that is just one meal. Consider, this conglomeration of fast food consists of 33% fat content, whereas, experts proclaim 15% fat is excellent and 30% fat is the max.  Your own food submission is above the 30% fat standard.  The nutrition information even claims that the food you have provided would equate to 122% of what is recommended daily allowance of fat, and 82% of the daily allowance for Saturated trans fat ... NOT TO MENTION, 79 grams of sugar, Atkins just winced in his grave.  79 grams of sugar equates to 15% of calorie intake for this meal, not including other carbs.  
     The meal you have submitted as being well and nutritious, loses on fat content, loses on percentage of fat as BEING HIGHER THAN THE DAILY ALLOWANCE, loses on saturated fat (82% of the daily allowance), loses on sugar intake and loses on over calorie content ... a grand total, astounding 2100 calories.  
     And, again to use your prior argument, on the expensiveness of McDonald's food, as if it is SO EXPENSIVE.  This meal you have described would cost less than $7, and IT'S ONLY ONE MEAL.  The person that would consume this meal would not be able to eat anything else for the day, because this meal has brought the person to their caloric limit.  ALL FOR LESS THAN $7.

      That 96% of the population in a year eats at McDonald's gives considerable credence to McDonald's dominance as a marketing master.  96% are not yet obese, yet 60% are at least classified as over weight, with about 30% being classified as obese.
      Let me explain McDonald's and fast food's role.  McDonald's set the standard as how to entice, draw in people, paint a picture of happiness and delight.  McDonald's figured out a way to grab people by the emotions, and never let go of that grip.  It took McDonald's a while to figure this out in the early eigties, but marketing strategies perpetuated by Northwestern university and namely the master of modern marketing Philip Kotler gave McDonald's some of the marketing niche ideas they needed to become the marketing master that they are today.  What this did?  It taught others who produce a tasty good how to dig deep into the psychology of the consumers so that other companies could mimic the marketing methods of McDonald's and also become as dominant.  McDonald's was the first producer of food to figure out all the right marketing ingredients to thoroughly entice its consumer audience, all from the toy in the happy meal (appropriately named the "happy" meal), the playground equipment on premises, the catchy jingles, the contests.  All these marketing MOVES (As Kotler calls them) have taught others food producer what actually works.  AND it works so well that 96% of people are influenced and enticed  --- 60% have become over-weight, and 30% of them have become obese.  McDonald's is the patriarch in a family of food producers and sellers, who look up at McDonald's, as if it were a Czar, a modern Caesar, and attempt to mimic its marketing majesty so that they too one day can have over a billion sold.

       Here also is an interesting point.  There are many well admired companies in the United States.  Let me name the ones that are the most admired.  Dell, General Electric, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, 3M, Wal-Mart, Fed-Ex, Intel, Procter and Gamble, Hewlett-Packard.  All of these companies are highly used by the American population.  So, as they are highly used, they are highly admired, by the public.  Yet McDonald's is not one that is highly admired, though it is highly used.  EVEN THOUGH the people don't claim to admire McDonald's, they still frequent it, yet why?  The only answer is the one proposed by the Marketing mines themselves.  McDonald's is so ingrained in the experience of American, such a symbol of America internationally, that people cannot give it up, or betray it, or discontinue to visit it.  McDonald's is the liquor the american people cannot stop drinking.
      
And McDonald's is the astute professor that is teaching is food-producing, food-selling peers how to position their good warmly in the American mind.  McDonald's does not do this directly; it merely leads by example, as the rest of the food industry follows suit.

Edited by UniversalMind, 22 November 2005 - 12:54 AM.


#14    joc

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 05:19 AM

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Quote

If a person consumes a Big Mac with Fries and a Coke and has a Chocolate Shake for dessert...there is nothing really unhealthy about that.


There are some things that once said are so monumentally flawed that one cannot believe it was even uttered.


A meal consisting of the above is not poison.  It isn't the 'healthiest' meal you can eat...but it isn't unhealthy.  If that is all you eat, then it becomes nutritional suicide.  Again, the debate is not over the 'health' quality of the Fast Food meals.  The debate is whether or not they are responsible for the large number of obese people.  Saying that Fast Food is to blame actually does two things.  One, it relinquishes responsiblity for one's own eating habits.  Two, it totally iignores the high caloric snack foods and drinks market.  If anyone is to blame for a person becoming obese...it is that particular person.  Blaming Fast Food, blaming Snacks, blaming TV or the Computer is nothing more than an excuse.  Tast Food isn't the problem.  Snacks aren't the problem.  The problem is the complete and total lack of action on the part of the obese.
There is just too many choices for bad consumption to name any particular high calorie marketeer as 'responsible' for the problem.

However, it is clear that they all play a part in the puzzle of obesity.

Let me offer an analogy:  There is a fork in the road...to the left the road is smooth.  To the right the road is full of glass and barbed wire.  You have a choice which road you take.  If you choose the road of glass, are we to blame the glass for your cut feet?



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#15    UniversalMind

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 02:21 PM

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A meal consisting of the above is not poison. It isn't the 'healthiest' meal you can eat...but it isn't unhealthy. If that is all you eat, then it becomes nutritional suicide.


Your own comments are logically flawed.  YOU CLAIM: "It's not poison ... but, it becomes nutritional suicide."  Let's examine that a moment.  Any poison in a small enough dose, is not lethal, but enough poison is indeed lethal.  As to say: Enough poison will kill you, and you said enough fast food is "nutritional suicide."  Then, you are logically saying it is poisonous if enough is consumed(as even you claim.)  THEN ... OF COURSE, it is unhealthy, by deduction from your own terms.  
Simply, you said "It isn't unhealthy" ... but "it becomes nutritional suicide."  Doesn't nutritional suicide mean UNHEALTHY.  

In other words, if all you ate was fruits and vegetables, THAT WOULD NOT BE nutritional suicide.  But (if as you say) one only ate fast food THAT WOULD BE nutritional suicide.  

You absent-mindedly made statements that support my position, not yours.

Quote

Again, the debate is not over the 'health' quality of the Fast Food meals. The debate is whether or not they are responsible for the large number of obese people.


I believe you are failing to see the inter-locking relationship between unhealthy and obese.  Let me explain the relationship:

If a person consumes a considerable amount of unhealthy food, such as the 2100 calorie conglomeration of fast food you mentioned before, the body often fails to process all of the elements of the food.  In particular, the liver often fails to remove toxins.  As a result, the immune system must help destroy those toxins that the liver could not.  A complication which arises from this is that the immune system is now doing two difficult things: fighting toxins on the interior, while still having to maintain defense against infections on the exterior (such as nasal infections, ear infections, or wound infections.)  With this overload in responsibility, the body kicks up the functioning of the immune system which drains energy from the brain and the digestive system (which slows the metabolic system, a reaction to slow the presentation of toxins to the liver).  Because of this transfer of energy from the brain and digestive system to an increased effort to rid the body of toxins and to maintain infection defense, the person feels drained, tired, depressed, weary.  The person does not feel like moving, let alone exercising.  

So, what would a person do in a condition like this.  Most often this ...

As a remedy this person decides to go get a pick-me-up by taking a drive to the nearest McDonald's to get another Big Mac, which contributed to the down feelings in the first place.  

Yet, let us also indicate this: high saturated fat and cholesterol challenge circulation of the blood, reduced circulation of the blood reduces oxygen supply to the body and brain, reduced oxygen supply and reduced blood supply both contribute to low mood, low energy levels and general lazy feelings, all of which stand in opposition to the mood and energy needed to be active and exercise.  PLUS, the fat and cholesterol's effect on the heart and circulation make exercising and activity even more challenging and burdensome.  Thus, high fat and cholesterol content contribute to obesity in two ways: one by mood reduction, two by causing added strain while trying to exercise.  

Again, this is a simple way to see the interplay between unhealthy and obesity.  And again if the person is down, they may seek out the fast food as a mood enhancer.  

Do you see now the circular relationship that fast food plays in first being unhealthy, then slowing the metabolism of the body, then causing a generally down, blase sensation, then evoking the person to seek mood enhancement by seeking out that very thing, the fast food, which contributed to the down feelings in the first place.  

This cycle may be a one to two day cycle.  A person locked in this cycle, who does not realize that it is the nutritional overload in the fast food that is causing the down mood, may continue this process for ... weeks ... months ... years, ultimately, resulting in obesity.

The cruelest part is when the person that is in the down state caused by toxin overload in their body sees a happy, playful, McDonald's commercial and thinks, "Wow, that will cheer me up."  BUT THAT FAST FOOD IS THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF THE DEPRESSION.

"I'm lovin' it."

This intertwined relationship was portrayed perfectly in "Supersize Me."

Morgan Spurlock had been weeks into his all McDonald's diet.  He was laying on his couch, his newly grown belly bulging, as he sat in a non-chalant manner lacking posture or poise.  His eyes were half open, he looked lethargic, lazy, weary, drained, down ... simply blase, in a manner that seemed to lack all desire or concern.  He mentions to the camera of how down and weary he feels.  The next scene, moment laters ........ OH BOY, WOW, he comes to life, he's smilin', he looks happy, he's sitting up MCDONALD'S FOOD IS HERE.  He's cheery and eating a mouthful of that McDonald's goodness.  YET ..... in just a few hours he will be back to that lethargic, lazy, weary creature, again, as his body battles that UNHEALTHY food.  

It is easy to see how the unhealthiness of the food causes the body to slow its functioning and sets in a low mood, which invokes a desire for mood-enhancement from that foot which caused the down mood in the first place; creating an ultimate vicious circle, which leads to obesity.

Edited by UniversalMind, 29 November 2005 - 03:36 PM.





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