Fast Food and Obesity – The Cause and Effect Relationship - Pathway Genomics
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Fast Food and Obesity – The Cause and Effect Relationship

Did you know that 75¾% of the American population is likely to be overweight and obese by 2020? According to the Centers for Disease and Disease Control and Prevention, 36% American adults and 17% of the under 19 American youth is obese. Obesity has taken the shape of an epidemic in the USA and is leading to major health complications such as premature deaths and illnesses like heart diseases, diabetes, fatty liver, arthritis, gall bladder diseases and joint disorders. You must have heard that one of the leading causes of obesity is junk food. Junk food and obesity are considered to go hand in hand.

Let us take a look at this cause and effect relationship between junk food and obesity.

Obesity and Calorie Intake

Increase in calorie intake and inadequate physical activity are the leading factors of obesity. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the intake of calories in the US population is increasing every passing year. The numbers have risen alarmingly in the past decade.

Why Does Fast Food Cause Obesity?

There are four basic reasons why fast food is linked to obesity.

Unhealthy Ingredients

Most of the fast food contains a large amount of sugar, fats and carbs and less minerals and vitamins. This means that you are taking in large amount of unhealthy calories in the shape of fast food which leads to weight gain and ultimately obesity. Most of the fast foods have exceeding levels of sugar and fats which are directly associated with increasing weight.

Larger Portions

The unhealthy ingredients of the fast food are further aggravated with increased portion sizes which have grown parallel with the average body weight of a person from the 70s to date. While the portions have become large, the person will still eat the complete meal regardless of feeling full or not. This means that people are eating bigger portions of junk food leading to abnormal weight gain.

Lower Cost

One of the main reasons people cannot stop eating fast food is the low costs it is available in. As per a research conducted by the University of Washington, a diet containing 2000 calories of fast food costs much less than a diet with 2000 calories of healthy food. This makes it more affordable than going for healthy food and is a leading cause of obesity in lower-income classes.


Fast food restaurants offer convenience. You can always find one in close proximity of your home and can also get food easily delivered to your house. This makes it a convenient option than making food at home using healthier ingredients.

According to studies, the consumption of fast food has increased over the past four decades at an alarming rate. This increased calorie intake is a leading cause of obesity in the USA. If it is not controlled, health issues are going to rise in the coming years as more people will become obese eating unhealthy fast food.

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