Availability of fast food impacts student eating habits

By alinadhanani

Nationwide, fast food has become a bad habit that can affects one’s health, energy levels, and money, yet many underestimate its impact on lives because of how portions have grown four times larger since 1950s.

“Fast foods are not adequate enough because portions are too big, the nutritional value is poor, but they’re cheap and there’s a lot of it,” Coach Robert Ondrasek said.

These dead calories, artificial ingredients, sugar, fat, and salt are the reason why people are drawn to fast foods. One simply cannot receive enough nutritional value from them, so if one does not put enough nutrition in, then one’s brain will not work as well, which can affect other organs.

However, time is also another constant that should be a factor in the debate of whether fast food is a pro or a con because fast food is convenient.

“Eating healthy requires more time to cook, and it’s also more expensive. I mean, you go to buy healthy food and that’s very unfortunate because our social economic population probably cannot afford to eat healthy,” Nurse Sicilio said.

Within this society, people want things fast, easy, and cheap because it seems very efficient.

“Most of the fast food addictions come from teenagers. They get hungry quickly and make up a good majority of customers,” Taco Bell employee Michelle Castro said.

Additionally, teenagers are likely to work at such places and may get a discount. From this, they may find it convenient and cheaper. This relates also to how the social economic population may not be able to afford to eat healthy and thus unhealthy behaviors are more prominent.

“The portion distortion is also a massive factor and is just not good. You’re getting a lot of calories and not a whole lot of nutritional benefits,” Ondrasek said.

People do not realize that when people increase portion size and consumption, they also dramatically increase body size, and thus portion size is a major component in the obesity epidemic.

Similarly, portion sizes increase the fat and sodium content. The global population must change their eating habits, before it affects them in the future.

“With any dietary habit, you can’t just give up something, so you have to limit and especially stay away from the field foods. Once you fry something, you change it chemically. Limit how many times you eat out,” Ondrasek said.

To prevent unhealthy food habits, teenagers can educate themselves on the nutritional components of what they are eating. Knowledge is power and the more students know about the food that they are eating, the healthier choices they can make.

“Fast food is a balancing act and everyone has a choice on what they’re putting in their body,” Sicilio said.