What Are the Harmful Effects of Fast Food?

Subject: Nutrition
Pages: 4
Words: 889
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: School


Fast food is a food trend that emerged and became globally fashionable in the post-industrial era. There is a widespread belief in society that fast food is unhealthy. The scientific community also thinks so, and numerous academic studies and researches confirm the statement. However, more and more people, including those around the author of this work, such as family and friends, love and rely on it. Therefore, the question arises of what the harmful effects of fast food are on people’s health care. That is why the author of the essay decided to use this article to discuss fast food hazards.

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In this essay, the author will explore the trend and reasons for the rapid development of fast food. The writer will identify and describe the hazards of fast food to human health here using a scientific and rigorous method. Moreover, the author will also present advice on how to reduce and control the consumption of fast food by changing their eating habits and lifestyle.

Reasons for the Popularity of Fast Food Nowadays

The big question is why fast food is so popular right now, and why many people are willing to pay for it even though they know that fast food is harmful to their physical well-being. One of the key reasons is the change in the human lifestyle from industrial to post-industrial. Past people used to eat healthy, freshly prepared food with their families, mostly at home. Nowadays, most people, particularly young ones, prefer to eat hamburgers, fried chicken, shawarma, or pizza. According to Hamzelou (2020), “more than a third of children in the US eat fast food on any given day, according to survey results compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)” (para. 1). Another cause of the popularization of fast food is advertising. It is a fast-developing modern era with various forms of media such as the Internet and satellite TV. People are encouraged to try new products. As a result, they like to try diverse kinds of fast food. People also believe that it is very convenient and saves a lot of time in this constantly accelerating life. It can be said that two factors contributed to the popularization of fast food despite its harm, namely the gradually changing lifestyle and diversified advertising.

Harm, Dangers, and Risks of Fast Food

As noted above, fast food negatively affects the physical health of people. It is essential to identify and describe the specific hazards of fast food to the human body. Scientific research shows that fast food has many hidden dangers to many inner human functions (Stoddard, 2020). For example, the study by Joel Fuhrman shows that fast food and fast-processed food have significant safety risks. The chemicals in fast processed foods are the leading cause of obesity, chronic diseases, etc. (Fuhrman, 2018). It is essential to mention that the same harmful chemicals are also found in “white flour, sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave nectar,” which often accompany fast food products (p. 375). More scientific reports analyzed in great detail what kind of damage fast food has to people’s health. The research report conducted by Ann Pietrangelo (2018) and reviewed by Natalie Butler showed that fast food has severe effects on people’s digestive system, cardiovascular health system, central nervous system, and skin. They also argue that fast food harms society as rising obesity rates in the US population could lead to a health care system crisis (Pietrangelo, 2018). It is seen from scientific research reports that fast food and fast-processed food have substantial safety hazards and significant negative impacts on the human health system.

How to Avoid Negative Side Effects of Fast Food Consumption

There is a scientifically proven harm of fast food to human health, but people continue to consume it. The author of this work believes that it is crucial to describe measures needed to reduce or control fast-food purchases and consumption. Most of this advice is personal so that everyone could practice it. People could prevent and reduce the frequency of eating fast food by improving their living habits and eating patterns. For example, formulating a reasonable schedule of work and rest, put differently, a daily plan, or a standardized diet, etc. At the right time, people also could educate friends and family on how to eat correctly and in a standardized manner to prevent as many people as possible from the health problems caused by excessive consumption of fast food. Governments and countries could take public measures to control people’s dietary health, such as the “sugar tax” in the United Kingdom and other EU countries (Birchall et al., 2019, para. 1). Many European and North American countries have introduced “sugar tax” measures in recent years, imposing higher taxes on some high-sugar and high-calorie beverages to reduce people’s frequency of buying unhealthy beverages. The fact that the governments paid attention to the negative impact of fast food once again confirms its harm.


It was found that the rapid development of fast food is mainly due to the improvement of people’s life rhythm and various advertising effects. However, scientific research has shown that fast food has high eating risks and hidden health hazards, which can cause serious health problems. The author of this essay hopes that this work will encourage others to establish good and healthy eating habits.


Birchall, G., Cambridge, E., Fruen, L., & De Vaal, D. (2019). Sugar tax 2018 explained – what is it, when did it start, how much is the new fizzy drink tax and is Coke now more expensive? The Sun. Web.

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Fuhrman, J. (2018). The hidden dangers of fast and processed food. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 12(5), 375-381. Web.

Hamzelou, J. (2020). Fast food consumption is on the rise among US children and adolescents. New Scientist. Web.

Pietrangelo, A. (2018). The effects of fast food on the body. Healthline. Web.

Stoddard, G. (2020). 17 seriously scary side effects of eating fast food. Eat This, Not That! Web.