Fast Food and Obesity – Is There a Relationship?

Fast food is not the only culprit increasing obesity rates but it is one of the biggest factors. There have been a number of studies that have found that areas with new fast food chains moving in, in situations where there were none in the past, the obesity level increased.

A Canadian study found that for each additional fast food restaurant for every 10,000 people, a city’s obesity rate rises three per cent A map was plotted on the density of the top ten fast food chains. Those top ten were Tim Hortons, Subway, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, A&W, Dairy Queen, Harvey’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza. The next step was plotting a map of obesity rates. Combining the two maps proved the relationship between numbers of fast food restaurants and obesity.

The amount of dollars spent on the fast food industry is staggering. It was reported in McDonald’s latest financial statement that there revenues were in excess of 23 billion (billion with a “b”). Total fast food revenues for 2007 were brought in at just under 170 billion dollars and that my friend is a lot of burgers, fries and shakes. With almost three hundred thousand establishments in the U. S., there is lots of opportunity to eat their products.

Its isn’t hard to see the connection between obesity and fast food when you look at the nutrition facts for major chains.

Wendy’s – Big Bacon Classic 580 Cal
Burger King – Double Whopper/Cheese 1,060 Cal
KFC – Large Popcorn Chicken 660 Cal
McDonald’s – Deluxe Breakfast 1,190 Cal
Now I must qualify the above figures by stating they are the top items relating to calories in the associated companies, but the figures serve their purpose of showing the nutritional facts. Most fast food companies load their products with salt. A lot of the products are steeped in carbohydrates and saturated fats. While no one in their right mind would try what was attempted in the movie “SuperSize Me”, the fact remains that the average family spends more and more of their food budget in these restaurants.

If you Google “nutrition guides for fast foods” you will see the massive amounts of calories these chains have in their products. The grand champion for amount of calories in a serving goes to Dairy Queen for their Chicken Strip Basket-4 piece Wild Buffalo with a staggering 1,340 calories and 870 fat calories. Numbers like these will naturally contribute towards obesity.

So it really isn’t that hard to extrapolate fast foods and obesity. For the sake of conveni

Comments are closed.