Fast Food Industry: Besides Good or Bad, What is it?

The annual income for the fast food industry has increased dramatically from $6 billion in 1970 to $200 billion in 2015.

As a continual growing business nationally and globally that is expected to have a 2.5% increase over the next several years , what does this mean for the public? That's a lot of numbers, so let's break it down.

To start off simple, fast food is defined as:

  1. of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly a fast–food restaurant

  2. 2:  designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to quality or significance fast–food TV programming -Merriam Webster

"A type of mass-produced food that is prepared and served very quickly. The food is typically less nutritionally-valubale compared to other foods and dishes." -Wikipedia

So fast food is just that; fast and easy to make. Now lets delve further into what makes it so taboo.

An issue people have concerning the realm of fast food is the health side affects. There are links to obesity, heart disease, and other health issues that are cause of concern. The calories in singular items alone can leave room for concern. 

Another leading cause that makes people wary is that the ingredients and overall freshness of fast food is not good quality. To make their products last longer food is pumped with preservatives and chemicals, which is a benefit to the food companies but the side affects of those types of ingredients arent exactly beneficial.

Finally, it becomes a financial issue to eat out. While fast food is cheaper than going to a full service restaurant, there are options at the grocery store that make people think twice before stopping by the local McDonald's for dinner.

While there is negativity surrounding fast food, it can be beneficial.

Many of the popular chain restaurants have 4 items for $4, and Burger King recently came out with the 5 items for 4$ deal. So while it may be cheaper to buy in bulk at the grocery store, fast food is the best option for limited time and low prices.

An issue many people have is that fast food ins't healthy, and you don't know what you're putting into your body. With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, restaurants are now required to put calorie information on their menu boards. There are also plenty of healthier options at fast food restaurants now, like salads or "lighter" meal options.

Although there is a stigma with eating fast food, that has not slowed sales for the restaurants in any way. 

"McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers every second." -University Hospitals

There are other statistics that prove the fast food industry has no intention of slowing down and consumers have no plans of drastically cutting off the funds they supply to them.

And while people usually don't go for fast food for exceptional customer service, recently customer satisfaction increased overall from the 2015 year and is up 2.6%.

With ample evidence to support or be anti-fast food, the decision has to be personal. 

Click through below to see some of your favorite fast food items and their nutritional value.