If we all look back into the past, how much has changed within our nation? As our population grew, we felt that it was necessary to expand our resources.
At this point in time, many of the resources we have available now are overused, such as fast-food. Some people are intrigued by the advertisements they see on television screens and want to order fast-food after that. Other people around our country, including me, find fast-food more convenient than many other options/alternatives because it is cheap and convenient.
Even so, we do not often realize the consequences that come with it. Fast-food franchises have gained popularity throughout every community, leading to many consequences in the future. Along with popularity, marketing strategies and the health effects caused by fast-food have changed as well. Clearly, fast-food has negatively changed the way our nation is eating.
The beginning of this American empire started in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. According to USA Today, they state that hamburgers were previously thought of as “low-quality” and “spoiled meat”. Companies such as White Castle wanted to change that impression. White Castle opened on September 13, 1921. The company later opened up other restaurant locations throughout the country. Following the success of White Castle, other franchises such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Jack-In-the-Box have multiple locations across America as well. But, everything that those companies worked for, went away in a second.
“The fast-food industry faced many challenges during the Great Depression—a worldwide economic slump in the 1930’s—and throughout World War II. The industry grew rapidly in the 1950’s and 1960’s” (Funk and Wagnalls). During their comeback in the 50’s and 60’s, the more well-known companies such as Burger King and McDonald’s began to advance throughout the nation. Fast-food franchises added more chains in the city, competing with restaurants that were already there. Later on, fast-food chains will have dominated and replaced many of the older restaurants. Since then, “The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) reports that the number of fast food restaurants in America has doubled since 1970” (Pietrangelo). For this reason, “the average American is spending $1,200 annually on fast-food” (Ketler). There are a few reasons why this statistic is alarmingly high, and one of those reasons are the marketing strategies that fast-food franchises use.
Fast-food franchises are very skilled in advertising and marketing. “Moreover, if the increase in obesity is caused by fast food, it is still possible that the increase in fast food consumption is simply due to good marketing” (Frazier). Many companies such as McDonald’s use toys to appeal to their younger crowd. I think that many of the toys featured on television link to childhood obesity, and our country’s overall health as well. “Seemingly confirming the familiar warnings of pediatricians and other researchers that fast food commercials featuring toy giveaways led children to ask their parents to take them to the restaurants. And the more the children saw the fast-food commercials, the more frequently they ate fast food” (Frazier). As a nation, we need to be more aware of the problems we are bringing to the next generation.
But, it is very difficult to be aware, if we do not always have control over the things we want to fix in the future. We are in 2017, and technology has clearly advanced. Also, I believe that kids growing up in this “era” are used to having technology as part of their everyday lives. We may not know that fast-food marketing can subtly pop-up in television shows. “The study, performed by researchers from Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, focused on the advertising of Burger King and McDonald’s, the two major fast-food brands on ad-supported children’s networks, such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network” (Clark).
This proves that many of the advertisements we see are way beyond our control. No, it does not mean that advertisements you see on a screen are the main reason why our nation is becoming so unhealthy. But when children see something that interests them on television.