As the name suggests, the term ‘Fast food’ refers to a meal that is easily accessible, cheap and convenient alternative to a home cooked meal (Peterson, 2011). In spite of the alarm raised regarding its health value, there was a significant increase in the consumption rate of fast food. Nevertheless, this had far reached consequences on the consumers, illustrated by increasing in lifestyle diseases, obesity and other effects like high stress levels. Examples of commonly thought fast food include burgers, French fries, pizza, and other processed food.
Studies have revealed that most fast food that comprise processed meat products contain nitrates and nitrites as meat preservatives. According to Peterson, these elements are used by the food processors to keep away Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes food poisoning. The nitrates are harmful for the body since they increase blood flow, which can lead to migraines and high blood pressure. Further it was pointed out that the most of fast food rely on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to sweeten a wide variety of fast food. The quantity used there surpasses the amount in normal home-made meals by far and in turn increase the normal triglyceride levels and cholesterol in the body. Fast food is also linked to increase stress levels. It was pointed out that “people who regularly eat processed foods that are high in fat and sugar are 58 percent more likely to suffer from depression than those who eat a more balanced diet” (Mann, 2011).
To curb the negative effects of fast food, nutritionists advise consumers to be cautious with the composition of their meals in order to sustain a balanced diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables are considered to be a perfect remedy for stress reduction due to their high supply of essential minerals and vitamins. A well balanced meal comprises small portions of the essential food groups. Although, consumers are advised to watch their diet carefully to avoid the adverse effects of fast food.