How does the fast food impact on Australia?快餐是如何影响澳大利亚的？
The importance of high efficiency is further emphasized to keeppace with this rapidly developing era.Numerous innovations were thus made to speed up our daily life. Originating from the US, the fast food exhibits significant impacts on plentiful countries worldwide because of the convenience it brings to the consumer. In this essay, the effects, which the fast food has on Australia, will be analyzed in details from three aspects, namely, health, environment and society.
Negative effects on health对健康的负面影响
Although there are thousands of fast foods we can access to fulfill various demands, a large portion of them are in agreement to the following characters. Firstly, overdose sugar, fat and other additives are added to create the delicious taste. Secondly, for the sake of time saving, fast foods are usually cooked in advance, especially the frozen foods, such as microwaveable pizzas, which might have been stored for several weeks before they are consumed. Last but not the least, for the convenience of storage, preservatives are widely used while fresh fruits and vegetables are seldom utilized.Because of these traits, the fast food always has more negative effects than positive ones on our health conditions.
Due to the high amount of calories and addicting ingredients, the fast food is usually recognized as an inducing factor to overweight, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and potential liver damage. (MD-Health, 2014) Additionally, though it is not frequently discussed, researchers have discovered a relation between the fast food and depression. Comparing to people seldom eating fast food, regular fast food consumers are 51% more likely to develop depression. (Morris, 2012) The researchers even concluded,“the more fast food you eat, the greater your risk of depression becomes”. There are also possibilities for the fast food being addictive, although the assumption has not been proven yet. (Morris, 2012)
According to the Nutrition Program Manager at Cancer Council NSW, “more than 60% of Australian adults and almost a quarter of Australian children are currently either over weight or obese”. (Cancer council, 2012) Therefore, more attention should be paid to the fast food industry to achieve daily convenience with healthier quality.
Influences on environment
The fast food industry influences the environment fromat least three aspects.
Firstly, the production process is highly resource consuming (MD-Health, 2014). To be specific, the amount of resources required for providing the meat for fast food products is creating resource shortages worldwide. To produce one pound of hamburgers, we need as a minimumof 2500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain, which is merely a conservative estimate without taking the occupied land and other essential productive factors into consideration.
Secondly, the addictive chemicals during the raising procedure will have long-time accumulative side effects to the environment. As a result of the poor diet offered, animals raised to make fast food meat are often fed with antibiotics and growth hormones to avoid being underdeveloped. These additives may pass on via the food chain and exert side effective after accumulating to a threshold amount.
Thirdly, the applied non-reusable materials will exert negative impact on the environment.To fulfill the goal of time saving, fast foods are usually packaged to take away. The plastic tableware and polymer outside packaging materials are difficult to be degraded and hence will leave pollution to the surroundings even though great financial and labor forces are invested to deal with that.
Impacts on society
The research data of Australian Bureau of Statistics exhibits that the average weekly expense on takeaway items, including fast food, of Australian households is more than $30 during the period of 2009 to 2010 (ABS, 2011). Comparing with the data of 2003 to 2004 (ABS, 2006), the weekly increase of over $7 is quite significant. As the disadvantages of fast food are spread widely, councils begin to realize the insidious impact on the local people and environment. The case from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is a representative example, where McDonald’s opening an outlet in Tecoma was objected (Thornton, 2012). For the sake of national health and environment, monitoring for the increase as well as the related production industry should be further enhanced.
A national food and nutrition monitoring and surveillance system is consisted of four main parts, namely, food supply, food purchasing and acquisition, food and physical activitybehaviors and nutritional status (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012). For healthier choice, consumers should be offered more about the nutrition information of the fast food. For macroscopic monitoring and control, researches about producers and consumers should be conducted for larger scale to attain more information.
The fast food does bring convenience to our daily life to a large extent, while the negative effects cannot be neglected as well, especially for the environment and people’s health condition.More efforts should be put in related frontiers to avoid potential negative impacts.
ABS. (2011).Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10. [Online] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6530.0/. (Accessed on 6 September 2011)
ABS. (2006).Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Detailed Expenditure Items, 2003-04. [Online] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/PrimaryMainFeatures/6535.0.55.001?OpenDocument (Accessed on 15 February 2006)
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.(2012). Australia’s food & nutrition 2012. Cat. no. PHE 163. Canberra: AIHW.
Cancer Council. (2012). Exposing the Truth on Fast Food Restaurants.
MD-Health. (2014). Disadvantages of Fast Food. [Online]
Morris, I. (2012). How Fast Food Affects You Negatively.
Thornton, L. (2012). Fast food v councils: the battle for hearts, minds and bellies.