Impact of Fast Food on Children


Impactof Fast Food on Children

Impactof Fast Food on Children

Debatespertaining to the efficacy and appropriateness of fast foods havealways elicited immense controversy among varied parties. This may beattributed to the fact that the debate touches on the heath of thepopulation and, subsequently, its wealth-creating capabilities inboth the short-term and long-term. In determining the appropriatenessof fast food consumption by children, it is imperative that oneexamines both the negative and positive effects.

First,fast food consumption increases the intake of food among children.This is recorded as a positive effect given the fact that a largenumber of children have a problem consuming food particularly in theearly stages of their lives (Rosenheck, 2008). According tostatistics, fast-foods form the main source of food for about 29-38percent of children, with young kids aged between 4 and 8 consuming6% more food in the course of the day compared to their counterpartswho never consumed the same (Rosenheck, 2008). This is bound to havea positive impact on the growth of children.

Inaddition, fast foods are known to be packed with high amounts ofsugars and calories that are necessary for the highly active livesthat young children lead. On average, fast foods incorporate 15percent more calories and sugars than other types of foods(Rosenheck, 2008). This comes in handy in meeting the high demand forenergy by young kids particularly in school where physical activitiesmay require that they be extremely active.

However,fast foods come with quite a number of negative effects. Key amongthem is the negative effects that fast foods have on the health of anindividual as a result of the ingredients or composition. More oftenthan not, fast foods have high amounts of sugar, oil, cheese,mayonnaise, salt, fried meat, soya, fat and, with no doubt, calories(Rosenheck, 2008). These ingredients have been found to be harmful toan individual’s body causing ailments such as obesity, low bloodpressure, and asthma. The high amounts of carbohydrates in fast foodsmay modify the normal insulin response, the frequent spikes fromcarbohydrates come as a contributing factor to insulin resistanceand, subsequently, type 2 diabetes (Krebs &amp Jacobson, 2003).Similarly, the added sugars incorporate no nutritional value butcontain high amounts of calories, which add up to more weight,thereby contributing to heart disease.

Onthe same note, fast foods incorporate higher amounts of unwantednutrients such as additives, fat and salt and, in some cases, harmfulbacteria (Rosenheck, 2008). It is often the case that the poorlycooked nature of these foods, coupled with the concoction of itemsincorporated in the same result in high flatulence rates and stomachdiscomfort among young children.

Onthe same note, the manner in which fast foods are made may result inthe destruction of nutrients thereby making them just filler materialrather than having any nutritional value. More often than not, fastfoods are produced through frying (Krebs &amp Jacobson, 2003). Thisresults in the destruction of a large proportion of essentialnutrients in foods.

Inconclusion, debates pertaining to fast foods are often controversialwith different parties underlining their pros and cons. Nevertheless,it is evident that the negatives are much weightier than thepositives. As much as there are easier to fix and cause individualsto consume more, fast foods usually incorporate high amounts ofcalories and sugars that can result in ailments such as diabetes andcardiovascular ailments. Similarly, their preparation destroys thenutrients making them simply filler material rather thanincorporating any nutrients.


Krebs,N.F. &amp Jacobson, M.S (2003) “Prevention of Pediatric Overweightand Obesity,” Pediatrics,2003, 112: 424-430.

Rosenheck,R. (2008). “Fast Food Consumption and increased caloric intake: asystematic review of a trajectory towards weight gain and obesityrisk,&quot ObesityReviews,pp. 1-13.