Should We Regulate the Fast Food Industry?

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Should We Regulate the Fast Food Industry?

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Nikko Doughty, News Editor

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Fast food is popular among many people due to the fact it is quick and affordable. Companies are aware of this and use it as a tactic to sell more unhealthy food. One thing, government officials should consider is a program where unhealthy food is taxed  along with the establishment of a program helps people that are not able to afford healthy choices to purchase them for a discounted price as well as making healthy choices more accessible to the public.

According to a news site called Rare.us, there are approximately 1,492 McDonald’s in California alone selling hundreds of meals to its customers each day. The average person eats 3-6 meals and snacks per day if someone went there for each meal of the day they would have a significantly higher chance of getting diseases.

Every once in a while your body will be able to digest the unhealthy and processed food, but you have it every single day it will start to affect your health. For example, 7th-grade science teacher Ms.Traylor said “Short term your body can probably process it, but long term you are looking at health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance.” This is true and this could be the cause of multiple health issues worldwide.

Another problem with fast food is trans fat. Unlike natural fats such as milk and meat products, trans fat is an artificial fat created in an industrial process where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower your good cholesterol (HDL). This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and your chances of getting a stroke. It’s also claimed to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. You may be wondering why companies use trans fats if they have negative effects on our health. But the answer is simple, its cheap. These companies want to save money so they purchase cheap trans fats that last a long time instead of buying natural fats.

Some may argue that fast food is fine as it is because some people might need cheap options. This could be an issue for low-income areas and families because they might disagree with the tax because they don’t want to pay because it will make it more expensive. A possible solution to this problem is to have a program where if your income is less than a certain amount, healthy food prices will be deduced to avoid eating junk food. Along with this, they should build less fast-food restaurants and more grocery stores with fresh organic food to make eating healthy more accessible.

In California, there is a tobacco tax where when you buy tobacco there is an extra tax so people might stop buying them due to increased prices. Should this be the case with fast food as well? If they create taxes on unhealthy food it could very well decrease sales and make people stop eating at these places. This option could work.. Another viable option is that fast-food chains should be required by law to write on the box or in the restaurant what the food could possibly do to your body. This could help the people who are unaware of how the food they eat impacts them.

Fast food has been around for decades and has been raising health issues for years now without any regulation or control. This should stop because the diseases caused by fast food are killing tons of people, costing people money,  and there is still no way to make people stop. Let’s do something about it.