Big Business is Bad for One’s Health Essay
A delicious food is not necessarily a healthy one in the same way as nutritious food is not essentially delightful to eat. Food nowadays is taken on its quality to fill and satisfy one’s palate and appetite. Getting into food business could be as easy as thinking of your most favorite food. With this, it is very easy to penetrate the food industry because of its flexibility and wide chances of making it big. This has opened doors for the birth and growth of the fast food business or industry.
With the present attitude and lifestyle of modern and fast-paced people, a potentially big business such as fast food store is very easy to market and advertise. However, every advantage entails responsibility. As food is a basic and vital need of human, food providers should be duty-bound to ensure the quality and nutrition of their products. As an analysis of the effects of a big business such as the fast food industry, this paper will present and argue on its deceptive marketing ways that have apparently betrayed and robbed its customers of their health. Fast Food History
Fast food refers to the fast service or provision of food items which are typical
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The coming or birth of the McDonald’s in the 1940s indicates the emergence of the fast food dine-in and drive-thru restaurants. Like the other restaurants during that time, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald initially started their restaurant business in the old or traditional dine-in style of using glassware, dishes, and silverware, but they switched to paper and plastic instead for faster service. Instead of offering several kinds of dishes, McDonald’s concentrated on making and serving burgers, French fries, and drinks at the shortest time possible.
The success of McDonald’s fast service eventually revolutionized the restaurant business. Over the years, McDonald’s has definitely lived up to its name as a fast food store with its “speedee service system” (Schlosser). The Big Business of Fast Food According to Schlosser, Americans spent around $6 billion on fast food during its booming years in the 1970s (qtd in Eriksson). After two decades, they have spent more than $110 billion (Schlosser qtd in Eriksson). Researches showed that Americans are now allotting more money on fast food than on purchase of brand new vehicles, computers, computer software or even college education (Eriksson).
The said online paper added that the fast food sales are higher than the combination of sales of videos, published books and magazines, movies and recorded music (Eriksson). Citing a specific fast food store such as the McDonald’s, a review by Miffin of Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” stated that the McDonald’s company operates approximately around 28,000 restaurants around the world. According to Miffin, McDonald’s is now considered the biggest buyer of beef, pork and potatoes in the United States and the biggest retail property owner worldwide.
The company is also one of the top toy distributors and the largest private operator of playgrounds in the United States and even in other parts of the world (Schlosser qtd in Miffin). Not only does McDonald’s penetrated the business sector, its boom has actually escalated and enabled the fast food franchising as a big business opportunity. A proof of McDonald’s popularity, close to a hundred percent of schoolchildren not only in the United States but also worldwide can associate with its main character, Ronald McDonald.
Miffin added that one of every eight working students, including the professionals in the United States, has worked or spent time at the said fast food restaurant. McDonald’s has not only boomed in terms of store sales but also as a brand that is the most famous and the most heavily advertised worldwide. McDonald’s has infiltrated and continued to dominate various business components such as the sales, marketing and advertising (Miffin). McDonald’s Marketing People living in today’s modern era are surrounded with advertisements and other promotions, all of which aim to entice the target market to buy the promoted products or services.
For the fast food business such as McDonald’s, these promotions are designed to get customers to consume, continue to consume and to consume more. According to Spurlock, the outbreak of overconsumption created by the McDonald’s marketing has resulted in making the United States as the fattest country worldwide. Statistics or figures have shown how Americans have become overweight and how this condition has doubled over the years. However, the sensational part of the fast food marketing style, specifically McDonald’s marketing techniques, is that the children were taught and allowed to be fat (Spurlock).
An analysis by Spurlock of the McDonald’s marketing unveiled its underlying deceit agenda. This is because people were imparted with the idea that it is alright and only natural to eat fast food items. As long as fast food items fill one’s stomach and satisfy one’s appetite, the nutritional value that these food lack can be disregarded. Spurlock also presented the modification of McDonald’s marketing for the past decades. Its icon Ronald McDonald was introduced to attract the attention of the children and allure them in eating more and more burger, fries, shakes and soda.
Noting the negative impact of a mascot who seems to be eating much of the company’s food, an enterprising and later a caring Ronald McDonald was then presented. Spurlock said that the soft-hearted icon has resulted in McDonald’s company housing various charities. Nowadays, McDonald’s has a lot of promotional and advertising techniques that include its ever-famous McMeals or the Happy Meals (meal plus toys) and McBirthday parties. Despite these marketing efforts, McDonald’s has actually earned the ire or come under fire from various consumer groups and health-conscious people and organizations.
These critics have presented the health issue encompassing the McDonald’s business and specifically argued on its eating-related illnesses (Spurlock). McDonald’s is Bad for Health The apparent negative health and social contributions of the fast food industry and the likes of McDonald’s have resulted into a number of lawsuits against the company and other related stores. According to a legal article by Pinchuk, there have been actually a number of judicial proceedings against the big business of fast food and the McDonald’s company in particular that have prospered.
Pinchuk added that this is because most of these successes in obesity-related cases are all about mislabeling or consumer fraud that are unlikely to gain compensation (Pinchuk). Pinchuk cited a particular case where the complainants sued McDonald’s because it allegedly engaged in deceptive exercises that violated provisions of the New York’s Consumer Protection Act. Pinchuk identified the specific case of Pelman v. McDonald’s Corp. in 2006. The plaintiff further complained that McDonald’s was careless in merchandising and promoting their foods items that allegedly contain high fat, sugar, salt and cholesterol.
Pinchuk also quoted the complainants who shared that McDonald’s did not properly inform its customers regarding the contents or ingredients of their food items. Lastly, Pinchuk cited the same complainants who testified that McDonald’s marketed addictive food products, disregarding their customers’ health in the process. Thereafter, the complainants’ claims were first dismissed, but after several appeals and amendments, only three claims were left (qtd. in Pinchuk). Additionally, the Harvard School of Public Health gained success in exposing the actual bad implications of trans fats that are lurking in every fast food items.
This has also resulted in food labeling where “trans fat must be listed on food labels along with other bad fats (saturated fats) and good ones (unsaturated fats have actually)” (Harvard School of Public Health). The said article defined trans fats as “a type of mostly man-made fat that the food industry loves, but our hearts and blood vessels don’t” (Harvard School of Public Health). The Harvard School of Public Health added that these components are famous among fast food companies.
Its negative effect on one’s heath is manifested over time when portions of hydrogenated oils stayed in margarines, commercially baked goods, and snack or junk foods. These saturated fats contribute to high cholesterol that fast food companies particularly McDonald’s reportedly use (Harvard School of Public Health). Conclusion With the above health and legal implications of advocating fast food and McDonald’s in particular, it could be concluded that such big businesses really do not contribute to the welfare of people and the society in general.
In addition, the deceptive marketing strategies as well as the blinded satisfaction derived from patronizing fast food chains are unethical ways of promoting one’s business. It is sad to note that the negative health implications or ill-effects of unhealthy food items provided by the fast food stores such as McDonald’s are totally disregarded—all in the name of profit. However tough the challenge be to defy what these big businesses have imparted on the lives of millions of people, it is not yet too late. So before eating those mouth-watering burgers and fries, people might as well think first of the many fats that they can possibly get.
Works Cited Eriksson, Lisa. “American Eating Habits. ” 12 January 2004. Umea University. 11 March 2008 <http://www. eng. umu. se/E3ht03/manchester/Lisa/index. htm> “Food Labeling: Trans Fatty Acids in Nutrition Labeling. ” 1 January 2006. Government Publishing Office. 11 march 2008 <http://www. hsph. harvard. edu/nutritionsource/transfats. html#references> “Hidden Trans Fat Exposed, New Food Labels List Trans Fats. ” 2007. Harvard School of Public Health. 11 March 2008 <http://www. hsph. harvard. edu/nutritionsource/transfats. html#references> Jakle, John. Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age.
Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. MiffinMiffin, Houghton. “Review of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser. ” 21 January 2001. New York Times Book Review. 11 March 2008 <http://www. robwalker. net/html_docs/fnation. html>. Pinchuk, Lianne. “Are Fast Food Lawsuits Likely to Be the Next ‘Big Tobacco’? ” 28 February 2007. The National Law Journal. 11 march 2008 <http://www. law. com/jsp/article. jsp? id=1172497091272> Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. Spurlock, Morgan. Don’t Eat This Book. New York: Putnam Adult, 2005