The Junk Food Syndrome

Filed Under (The HELL You Say!) by admin on 07-01-2010

In 1954, a fifty-two-year-old milk-shake machine salesman saw a hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California, and envisioned a massive new industry: fast food. Raymond Kroc, the founder and builder of McDonald’s Corporation, proved himself an industrial pioneer no less capable than Henry Ford. He revolutionized the American restaurant industry by developing a sophisticated operating and delivery system. This insured that the French fries customers bought in Topeka would taste same as the ones purchased in New York City. Such consistency made McDonald’s the brand name that defined American fast food.  By 1960, Kroc had opened 200 McDonald’s restaurants and the dynasty had begun.

Today, fast food restaurants represent one of the largest segments of the food industry with over 200,000 restaurants and $120B in sales in the U.S. alone.  It has also created, albeit by accident, a cultural way of life for millions of these Americans.  It is a microcosm of America today that is all too scary to consider.

Why would the average American family load into their car and drive to one of these restaurants for dinner instead of cook at home?  That’s an easy one.  Convenience.  Mom doesn’t want to cook—maybe she’s too tired from working all day—so, for $20, she can make everyone happy, including her picky-eating children.  So why not?  No cooking, no cleaning, no fuss.  Everyone’s happy.  Seems like a good compromise.  And certainly, the food is filling and has a decent taste.  But have you analyzed what’s in most fast food?  I can tell you, it’s fat and salt.  Let’s say you order a Big Mac, fries and a vanilla shake.  You will consume 1,680 calories and 74 grams of fat.  Now, compare that to a meal prepared at home—1/2 a roasted chicken breast, medium-sized baked potato, ½ cup of green peas and an 8 ounce glass of 1% milk.  Total – 441 calories and 5 grams of fat. Mom is compromising a healthier food option for the convenience of junk food.

Another potential problem is the financial hit that families take in order to eat out.  While it may seem inexpensive enough, those costs of eating out quickly add up, and if you’re not careful, you can soon find yourself overdrawn at the bank because you spent too much on eating out.  That same $20 spent on just 5 of the 21meals in a week is still $100 out of the weekly food budget.   Mom has compromised the family budget for the ease of the fast food fare.

So, let’s see where we are so far.  We have substituted the very best for something of lesser quality.  I call that the Junk Food Syndrome.  And it is costing Americans in a lot of ways.  We are unhealthier, more overweight, have more diet-related health problems than the previous generations experienced.  Yet, we continue to allow the Junk Food Syndrome to destroy us.

The fast food industry has started to create “healthier” options for us, but honestly, if you had the choice, what are you gonna choose, a salad or a Big Mac?

That brings us to Uncle Sam or the fast food restaurant owner. He wants to substitute the very best for something of lesser quality and make you like it so much, you continue to come back for more.  He doesn’t care about your health although he offers a health care option on his menu board.  He doesn’t care about the air you breathe although he talks about going green.  The only green he really wants is in your pocket.

But Uncle Sam is smart.  He knows that Americans are lazy and will pay for the convenience of the fast food rather than actually cooking the meals at home.  So he keeps offering it.  And Americans keep buying it.

The junk food of entertainment.  I have Verizon FIOS at my house.  I can watch any one of 150 channels and DVR 4 shows at the same time.  Amazing!  So, what do I find myself doing most of the time?  Channel surfing while sitting in a chair that reclines.  I call it relaxing, but it’s really wasted time.  And while I’m wasting my time, the program in which I am watching is “reprogramming” my mind with more and more junk food.  I laugh at things that used to make me mad.  I tolerate language and behavior on the TV that would have infuriated me when I was younger and I would have never allowed from my children.  I am being reprogrammed and I don’t even know it.

And while I’m channel surfing, I’m eating.  And not the baby carrots or celery that is in the fridge.  Nope.  I’m eating cookies and potato chips and left over pizza.  I’m adding on calories and consuming even more unhealthy foods while I’m sitting there doing nothing.

Welcome to America today.  We have been reprogrammed by the junk food junkies.  We are being told that the government owes us something, and we are buying into it.  We are being told that God shouldn’t be allowed into the lives of normal people, and we are scarfing it down like left over pizza.  The junk food syndrome being programmed into our minds by society says that everyone should have what everyone else has.  So, that means that Joe, down the street, deserves the same car, job, health care and house that I have even though Joe hasn’t worked since the Clinton administration.  Sorry.  Too much junk food makes me sick, and I’m about to hurl my guts out!


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