Nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food on a daily basis, which will likely result in them gaining about 6 extra pounds each year.
“On average, nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food on a daily basis. Over the course of a year this is likely to result in a child gaining six extra pounds every year. In a research experiment done by Pediatrics, 6,212 children and adolescents ages 4 to 19 years old were examined to find out some information about fast food. After interviewing the participants in the experiment, it was discovered that on a given day 30.3% of the total sample have reported to have eaten fast food. Fast-food consumption was prevalent in both males and females, in all racial/ethnic groups, and in all regions of the country.
Children who ate fast food, compared to those who did not, tended to consume more total fat, carbohydrates, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Children who ate fast food also tended to eat less fiber, milk, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables. After reviewing these test results, the researchers concluded that consumption of fast food by children seems to have a negative effect on an individual’s diet, in ways that could significantly increase the risk for obesity One of the top sellers in the fast food industry are beef hamburgers. The cows slaughtered for the meat are sick steroidal animals that are fed grain rather than grass. During this process, the cows are abused and put through factory farming. Factory farming is the practice of raising overcrowded livestock in a confined space (otherwise known as “confinement at high stocking density” or “CAFOs”). CAFOs are designed to produce the highest output for the lowest cost by relying on “economies of scale” (the cost advantages that a business obtains due to expansion), modern machinery, biotechnology, and global trade (6, 9). A typical day for one of these livestock is sitting in their own manure on top of one another with no space to roam, while occasionally getting beat and forced to eat antibiotics. These antibiotics keep the livestock alive by killing intestinal bacteria long enough for them to be sent to the slaughterhouse (6). Cows are fed grain because it speeds up their developmental process, generally ready to be slaughtered and sold by twelve to fourteen months (9). This is a big convenience for the fast food companies purchasing these animals because it lowers their value. Growth hormones, antimicrobial agents, and breeding programs produce animals more suited to the confined conditions, but less suited for the dinner table (6). To save money on feed, some factory farmed livestock are trained early on to eat only genetically engineered (GMO) corn by locking them into pens and feeding them nothing else. Either they eat the GMO corn or they starve. Cattle do not have the genetic ability to digest corn which ferments in at least one of the four stomach compartments. GMO corn feed is one of the root causes of the bacteria, E. coli. Many scientists argue that mad cow disease also derives from the feeding of GMO corn to cattle (6). These inhumane conditions are used with many other animals such as pigs and chickens. Chickens are cooped up in cages for most of their lives, while also being fed growth hormones, some chickens grow so large that their legs don’t keep up with their fast paced development so they break (2, 7). Pigs are also victims of abuse; newborns are neutered with no medication or proper tools. Premature babies who have no chance in being big enough for slaughter are killed brutally by workers taking them by their hind legs and slamming their heads on the ground ”