Fast Food Articles Article 1

Fast Food Accounts For More Than 11% Of Americans` Daily Calories
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Article 22 Feb 2013 – 0:00 PST
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Fast Food Accounts For More Than 11% Of Americans` Daily Calories
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As lifestyles become more hectic, fast foods feature more frequently in
the daily American diet. The latest national figures for 2007-2010 show
that on average, adults in the US get more than 11% of their daily
calories from eating fast food. Although this is lower than the nearly
13% of a few years earlier, federal officials say it does not
necessarily indicate a downward trend.
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), published their findings online in a National Center for Health
Statistics (NCHS) data brief on Thursday.
After examining data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey (NHANES), they found that during 2007 to 2010 US adults on
average consumed 11.3% of their total daily calories from fast foods,
such as pizzas and burgers bought in chain restaurants. This compares
with 12.8% for 2003-2006.
NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and diet of
American adults and children through physical exams and interviews. One
of the interview questions asks participants to recall where they got
the food they`d eaten in the previous 24 hours. The researchers counted
responses like “restaurant fast food/pizza” as fast food.
The researchers found that the proportion of fast food in the American
diet rapidly fell with age, in both men and women, with adults aged 60
and over consuming the lowest percentage (6.0%) of their daily calories
from fast foods.
There was little significant difference between men (11.8%) and women
There were, however, racial differences. For instance, non-Hispanic
black adults got more of their calories from fast foods than
non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults.
And among young non-Hispanic black adults aged 20 to 39, more than
one-fifth (21.1%) of their calories were consumed from fast food.
Across income groups, the percentage of daily diet that came from fast
foods was the same: of all adults, the wealthier ones got as many of
their daily calories this way as poorer ones.
However, when they looked at young adults only, the researchers found
there were disparities by income group: the wealthier ones consumed less
of their daily calories as fast food than poorer ones.
They also found that the proportion of calories from fast food went up
with weight, with obese adults getting more of their daily calories from
fast food than normal weight adults. The largest figures were for obese
adults aged 20 to 39, for whom 18.0% of their daily calories came from
fast food.
More than one third of adults in the US are obese, and the authors note
that frequent fast-food consumption has been shown to contribute to
weight gain.
In January 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
published their Xtreme Eating 2013 list, that shows HYPERLINK
“” many major
restaurant chains across the US serve meals that have calorie counts far
exceeding the daily recommended amounts .
Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, said some restaurant
chains “are scientifically engineering these extreme meals with the
express purpose of promoting HYPERLINK
p” o “How Much Should I Weigh?” obesity , HYPERLINK
“” o “What is Diabetes?”
diabetes , and HYPERLINK
“” o “What Is Heart
Disease?” heart disease “.
Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
“tab4” Additional
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(Annotation below)
Paddock, C. (2013, February 22). Fast food accounts for more than 11 %
of Americans daily calories. Medical News Today. Retrieved April 8,
2013, from
Paddock writes the article “Fast Food Accounts for More Than 11% Of
Americans` Daily Calories” to critically analyze the past research
findings about consumption of fast food among in the United States.
Paddock starts by suggesting that the 11.3 % of the calories sources
from the fast food (from 2007-2010) by the people of the United States
is still high despite its reduction from nearly 13 % in 2003-2006. The
author relied on the data collected through interviews and physical
examination. The commonly consumed fast food in the United States
includes Pizzas and burgers, which are offered in the chain restaurants.
The author suggests that the tendency to consume fast food declines with
advancement in age for both gender cases. This is indicated by the
finding of the research, which shows that people aged 60 years and above
source their dietary calories from fast food compared with the average
value of 11.3 5 for the total population. Additionally, the author
suggests that the consumption of fast food is influenced by race. This
is because the non-Hispanic black adults were found to source calories
from fast food compared to their non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adult
counterparts. However, the effect of race on the consumption of fast
food among the youths depends on their economic backgrounds, where
youths from poor families source their dietary calories from fast food
compared to the youths from wealthier families. Paddock concludes by
attributing the one third of the obese adults (20-39 years) in the
increased consumption of fast foods.
Article 2
Fast food phenomenon
With the major players making a big push and local upstarts carving
their own niche, Montreal is a haven for those who want a quick,
inexpensive meal
By Mike Gutwillig, Special to The Gazette April 5, 2013
HYPERLINK “javascript:void(0)” Story
HYPERLINK “javascript:void(0)” Photos ( 1 )
While the Montreal fast food market is a bonanza for several of the
major North American chains, it also has proven to be a springboard to
success for some creative local independents.
Photograph by: Susan Ferguson , The Gazette
MONTREAL – Despite the plethora of superb restaurants in Quebec offering
tasty alternatives, the fast food industry in this province is
burgeoning and has become a focal point for the major players. The offer
of an inexpensive, quick meal where children are welcome is an obvious
selling point. The ubiquitous nature of the big three of Subway,
McDonald’s and Tim Hortons and the millions spent in advertising also
help explain their popularity.
“Quebec is a key market for Tim Hortons,” according to Michael
Nadeau, the company’s vice-president of Quebec & Atlantic Canada.
“In fact, it is our fastest-growing region.”
The same holds true for the other major fast food marketers, including
McDonald’s and Subway.
“While there are more players to slice up the pie, the big three
continue to grow,” says Guy Laframboise, president of Subway Quebec.
Laframboise oversees 607 Subway outlets in Quebec, including 330 in
Montreal. In 2012, Subway added 31 stores in Quebec — 26 in Montreal
and five in Quebec City.
“Quebec has one of the highest ratios of fast food outlets in
Canada,” Laframboise said.
With its competitive pricing and heavy investment in its promotion,
Subway seems destined to remain one of the top three. And while
Laframboise concedes there’s an extra cost in working in French —
“everything needs to be translated … so, of course, it cuts into the
bottom line” — he says the market’s appetite makes it worth it.
McDonald’s is using a different strategy to grow its market here, with
campaigns offering free coffee and a promise of transparency.
“We’ve doubled our coffee business,” reports Jason Patuano,
McDonald’s communications manager for Eastern Canada. “We pride
ourselves on transparency. We have a team of 12 people to answer any
questions about our food and its origins how we prepare food.”
Patuano reports that McDonald’s has been going through major
renovations of all its restaurants. That includes restructuring kitchens
with two side kitchens and more comfortable seating. Of its 80,000
employees across Canada,
15,000 are in Quebec. McDonald’s is one of the biggest employers of
youth in Quebec.
To maintain a dominant position in Quebec, Tim Hortons works closely
with its restaurant owners to tailor their menus to the needs of local
“We have adapted our Quebec menu to better appeal to the local market
— items such as cretons, and beans and toast for example,” Nadeau
said. “Tim Hortons’s very popular ham & cheese croissant sandwich
was created in Quebec. And we also first introduced soup to our menu
offerings in this province.”
Tim Hortons celebrated the opening of its 500th restaurant last summer,
located in Ste. Adèle.
“We see strong future growth opportunities here and, as such, we are
investing in both people and resources to ensure the momentum
continues,” Nadeau added. “Our Quebec locations, including those in
Montreal, continue to outpace the rest of the country in same-restaurant
sales. Next to Ontario, La Belle Province is our strongest market.”
The hustle and bustle of today’s world also helps explain why the
consumption of fast food continues to grow.
“We are often distracted and busy,” says Thea A. Demmers, a
dietitian at Concordia University’s PERFORM Centre. “We don’t
remember what we ate for our last meal, which, if we did, could
encourage us to make other choices, and we need to eat on the go.” She
said people need to be more attentive to how they eat: “It seems we
have a disconnect between what we want and know is good for our health
and what we need to do in the moment when we are hungry.”
While the Montreal fast food market is a bonanza for several of the
major North American chains, it also has proven to be a springboard to
success for some creative local independents. A prime example is the
growing chain of Basha Lebanese food outlets, the majority of which are
owned by Abdallah Akkouche. Together with an associate, Fadl Issa,
Akkouche opened his first store in 1981 on the second floor of Capital
Centre, at the southeast corner of Mansfield St. and Ste. Catherine St.
W. Basha was the first to feature the shish taouk chicken sandwich that
quickly became a show-stopper for the Montreal palate. Together, they
opened a second one on Guy St. in 1981.
Akkouche currently operates eight stores on his own under the Basha and
Aqua Lunch (a seafood operation) labels. Two of his children — son
Adel in the Alliance Industrielle (Simons) food court, and daughter
Nadine in the Eaton Centre food court — contribute to the Basha
success story. Akkouche would like to expand Aqua Lunch on a franchise
basis. The first Aqua Lunch franchisee is in the Côte Vertu complex.
What does it take for an independent entrepreneur to succeed where the
majors fear to tread? In his first operation, Akkouche started working
19 hours a day — from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. He did everything himself:
buying the basic ingredients, preparing, cooking. He takes pride in that
all the ingredients — beets, carrots, cabbage, turnips, etc. — are
fresh, nothing canned. His culinary training started at the hotel school
in Beirut, where he received his diploma in 1970. He first became an
assistant chef and than head chef for Albert Company, which serves the
British air force.
Akkouche came to Montreal in 1981. “Quebec seemed open to Lebanese,”
Akkouche says, “and I was familiar with French. So I soon felt at
Another local success story is Stanley Ma’s MTY, which continues to
flourish with its diversified brands — 27 in all — and especially
with such leaders as Thai Express, Sushi Shop, Tiki-Ming, La Crémière
and Vieux Duluth. Of its roughly 100 units in Quebec, about 75 are in
downtown Montreal. Ma prides himself on MTY’s Montreal focus since he
started here 35 years ago and feels the Montreal patron is largely
responsible for the company’s growth. Fast food courts such as Eaton
Centre contribute generously to MTY’s revenue, although the company
aggressively seeks opportunities elsewhere in the Montreal area.
MTY prides itself on the support if offers its franchisees: “When you
join the MTY team, you tap into a source of professional support,
expertise and know-how that has ensured the success of hundreds of
franchises over the years. “We offer continuous support and
professional guidance throughout the franchise process, from the
development of your restaurant through to opening day and beyond.”
So whether it’s one of the major North American goliaths or a local
success story, it doesn’t appear that the curtain will fall anytime
soon on Montreal’s fast food show. Expect the existing players to
introduce new wrinkles and new product lines in their effort to grab
market share and for new players to try their hand in seeking a slice of
an ever-expanding fast food pie.
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(Annotation below)
Gutwilling, M. (2013, April 5). Fast food phenomenon. The Bazette.
Retrieved April 8, 2013, from
Gutwilling introduces the article by stating that the fast food industry
has encountered significant growth in Quebec despite the existence of
the restaurants, which offer a wider variety of food in the province.
Gutwilling attributes the rapid growth of the fast food industry to
aggressive advertisements and widespread of the fast food shops
especially residents’ crowded regions. The most popular fast food
shops in Quebec include the Subway, MacDonald, and Tim Hortons.
According to Gutwilling (2013) the three fast food shops have been
growing at a fast rate despite the entry of a large number of players in
the fast food industry as a result of effective marketing strategies.
For instant, Gutwilling suggests that Subway have adopted the low priced
fast food products to increase its market share in Quebec.
MacDonald’s, on the other hand, offers free coffee and promises its
clients transparency in order to attain customer loyalty and attract new
customers. In addition, the MacDonald’s have been on the move to
restructuring its infrastructure to make them more appealing to
customers. Tim Hartons have majored on collaboration with local
restaurants and gain an understanding of the preference of the fast food
customers. Gutwilling quotes Thea Demmers, a dietitian at Concordia
University who claims that people are too busy to bother what they eat
and the effect of their eating habits on health. Moreover, Gutwilling
suggests that creativity, effective entrepreneurial skills, and
franchising of the fast food shop owners have contributed to the rapid
growth of fast food industry. Gutwilling exemplifies this using Abdala
Akkouche, whose fast food shops have been growing at a fast rate in
Quebec. Gutwilling concludes that the fast food industry will continue
growing with aggressive competition among the key stakeholders working
hard to introduce a new product lines and advertising to increase their
market share.
Article 3
New York fast-food workers turn up heat on pay demands
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By Lisa Baertlein
Thu Apr 4, 2013 2:23pm EDT
(Reuters) – Hundreds of fast-food restaurant workers in New York City
turned out for protests on Thursday in what organizers said would be
their largest rally yet for better pay.
Employees from familiar chains such as HYPERLINK
1″ McDonald`s Corp , Burger King and Yum Inc`s KFC are seeking to
roughly double their hourly wage to $15. They also say they want the
right to form a union without interference.
Winning such concessions will be an uphill battle. Low-wage, low-skill
workers lack political clout and face significantly higher unemployment
than college graduates.
“It`s a long fight. We have to stick together if we`re going to have a
chance,” said Joseph Barrera, 22, who has worked at a Brooklyn KFC
restaurant for the past 10 months.
Organizers estimated that there are 50,000 fast-food workers in New York
City who earn $10,000 to $18,000 per year
Events kicked off at a McDonald`s in midtown Manhattan, where roughly
100 people – including supporters bused in from Washington, DC –
rallied. Roughly the same number of protesters clogged the entrance of a
Wendy`s restaurant near Penn Station at noon.
As many as 400 workers from more than five dozen HYPERLINK
nt_mb_1001″ restaurants around New York City have committed to turn
out for protests planned at various locations throughout the day, said
Jonathan Westin, director of Fast Food Forward, which organized
Thursday`s actions and is backed by labor, community and religious
That turnout would be twice as large as in November, when the city`s
fast-food workers also walked off the job, Westin said.
“It`s going to be difficult for these businesses to operate this time,”
said Westin.
That claim was in dispute, though. Protesters said their walk-out
prevented a Burger King restaurant in Brooklyn from opening, but the
company said it was only delayed 15 minutes.
The nearly $200 billion U.S. fast-food industry long has been known as
an employer of teenagers and students.
But the 18-month “Great Recession” that began in December 2007 forced
more adults to seek part-time, largely minimum wage work flipping
burgers and manning fryers.
Burger King and McDonald`s said in statements to Reuters that most
nt_mb_1001″ restaurants in their chains are independently owned and
operated, and offer compensation consistent with industry standards.
U.S. President HYPERLINK
“” Barack
Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage in his State of the
Union address as a way to help lift some workers out of poverty.
Critics, including the restaurant industry, say such a move would kill
jobs by burdening small businesses with higher costs.
The state of New York recently passed a budget that includes plans to
raise the state minimum wage to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.
But even with that hike, New York`s minimum wage would remain below the
roughly $11 hourly pay needed to lift a family of four above the poverty
“Anywhere where the cost of living is very, very high, $9 is not enough.
Everyone should be able to make a living wage,” said Barrera, who is
paid the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
(Additional reporting by Lucas Jackson and Phil Wahba in New York
Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Leslie Gevirtz)
Related Quotes and News
(Annotation below)
Baertlein, L. (2013, April 4). New York fast-food workers turn up heat
on pay demands. Reuters. Retrieved April 8, 2013,
Baertlein introduces the article “New York fast-food workers turn up
heat on pay demands” by stating that claim for double hourly wage and
right to form a union, are the key grievances that resulted in the
demonstration of the fast food shop worker in New York. However, the
author of this article asserts that granting of the three appeals by the
owners of the fast food shops in New York will be hard. This is because
the workers are less skilled, face high rate of unemployment, and lack
of political support among this category of workers. The large number of
protesting workers were from popular fast foot out-lets including
MacDonald’s, Burger King, and Yum Inc’s. Baertlein attributes the
success of protest to proper organization, support by the labor right
organizations, religious, and community groups. It was estimated that
the concerted efforts would attract over 400 workers who would
demonstrate their grievances in a different part New York City for a
whole day. However, the estimated turn-out was relatively small compared
to the large number, over 50,000, people working in the fast food
industry in New York City alone. Baertlein suggested that the fast food
industry has been providing employment mainly to the young and students
in the city. However, many adult workers joined the fast food labor
force following the economic hardships that resulted from the Great
Recession, which started in December 2007. This attracted the attention
of the president of the United States, Barrack Obama, who proposed to
raise the minimum wage to $ 9. However, the article concludes by stating
that the rise in the minimum wage rate will reduce job entries in
especially in the fast food industry as a result of increased cost of
Article 4
Fast food and takeaways linked to surge in child asthma and allergies
Teenagers more likely to have severe asthma and eczema if they eat fast
food more than three times a week, study shows
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Monday 14 January 2013 22.09 GMT
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Fast food was the only type of food associated with asthma and allergies
across all ranges and countries, the study shows. Photograph: Martin
Godwin for the Guardian
A diet of HYPERLINK “”
o “More from on Fast food” fast food and takeaways may
be behind the steady surge in children`s HYPERLINK
“” o “More from
on Asthma” asthma and HYPERLINK
“” o “More from on Allergies” allergies affecting the UK and other
developed countries, according to a study.
An international collaboration of scientists has found that young
teenagers in particular are nearly 40% more likely to have severe asthma
if they eat burgers and other types of fast food more than three times a
week. Children aged six to seven had an increased risk of 27%. Children
eating fast food were also more likely to get severe HYPERLINK
“” o “More from
on Eczema” eczema and rhinitis – a condition where the nose blocks
or runs and the eyes are itchy and water.
The scientists, from New Zealand, Spain, Australia and Germany as well
as Nottingham in the UK, say their study could have “major public health
significance owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally” if
the link they have found turns out not to be coincidence but causal.
The good news was that eating fruit appeared to protect HYPERLINK
“” o “More from on Young people” young people from asthma and
allergies. Eating three or more portions a week reduced the severity of
the symptoms by 11% among teenagers and 14% among younger children.
“” o
“” The research, published in the journal Thorax, part of the BMJ group
, came out of a large collaborative project called the International
Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), which involves
nearly 2 million children in more than 100 countries, making it the
biggest of its kind.
The fast food study involved a relatively small proportion of the
children taking part in ISAAC, from two age groups: 319,000 13- to
14-year-olds from 51 countries and 181,000 six- to seven-year-olds from
31 countries.
The children and their parents were sent questionnaires about their
eating habits over the previous 12 months. They were asked how often
they had eaten specific foods, including meat, fish, fruit and
vegetables, pulses, cereals, bread and pasta, rice, butter, margarine,
nuts, potatoes, milk, eggs, and fast food/burgers. They were also asked
whether and how often they suffered from specific asthma and allergy
symptoms – and if so, how severe they were and whether they stopped
them sleeping or interfered with daily life.
Fast food – the authors specifically mentioned burgers only because it
was the reference to fast food that most people would understand – was
the only food type associated with asthma and allergies across all age
ranges and countries. The authors said that “such consistency adds some
weight to the possible causality of the relationship”. But they said
more research would be needed to discover whether fast food is
definitely a problem.
The fast food link was stronger among teenagers than among the young
children, which the authors suggest may be because adolescents have more
independence, money and control over what they eat.
The paper says a link between fast food and asthma and allergies is
biologically plausible. It could be “related to higher saturated fatty
acids, trans fatty acids, sodium, carbohydrates and sugar levels of fast
food and possibly preservatives”. Fast foods have high levels of
industrially hydrogenated vegetable fats such as margarine, which can be
a source of trans fatty acids – “and there is some evidence that
dietary intake of trans fatty acids is associated with asthma and
allergy”, say the authors. In the teenagers, eating butter, margarine
and pasta was also associated with asthma symptoms.
Studies which involve asking people about their diet can be problematic,
because people either forget or tailor the truth. Professor Hywel
Williams, from the centre of evidence-based dermatology at Nottingham
University, said recall over the 12 months of the study was more likely
to be inaccurate than biased and this would tend to dilute any
association between fast food and asthma, rather than the reverse.
“Now if there was a widespread belief already out there that fast foods
are `bad` for allergies, then you could say the data was simply
reflecting such prior prejudices/beliefs. But we are not aware of any
such widespread prior belief. People often believe fast foods are
associated with things like acne, obesity and hyperactivity, but not
allergies, and severe allergies at that. And even if one country had
such a belief, how could you explain such consistency across so many
countries and cultures and socio-economic groups?”
The study did not differentiate between types of fast food. “Our
question simply asked, `In the past 12 months, how often, on average,
did you (did your child) eat or drink the following: meat seafood
fruit vegetables (green and root) pulses (peas, beans, lentils)
cereal pasta (including bread) rice butter margarine nuts
potatoes milk eggs and fast food/burgers?`,” he said. “So we could
analyse each of these categories, but not split them down any further.
“And before we put the boot into burgers specifically, it does not mean
they are always “fast” as some of us (including me) make very nutritious
“slow” burgers at home – but it seemed like a well understood anchor
for fast foods since burgers are one of the commonest types of fast food
sold around the world.”
Malayka Rahman, from Asthma UK, said: “This research adds to previous
studies that suggest a person`s diet can contribute to their risk of
developing asthma, and indicates the benefit of further research to
determine the effects that particular food groups can have on the
chances of developing asthma or the impact it may have on severity.
Evidence suggests that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh
fruit and vegetables have a beneficial effect on asthma, therefore
Asthma UK advises people with asthma to eat a healthy, balanced diet
including five portions of fruit or vegetables every day, fish more than
twice a week, and pulses more than once a week.”
Previous research
Cornish pasties hot from the oven. Photograph: foodfolio/Alamy
Many parents of children with asthma and allergies will already be
watching carefully their child`s diet since certain foods –
notoriously nuts – are known to trigger allergic reactions.
With news that studies show apparently bland burgers, nuggets, pasties
and similar fast foods could contribute to the risk, they will be keen
to know what research suggests are the safer options for family dinners.
One better bet appears to be a Mediterranean diet. Asthma UK cites
research HYPERLINK “” o “”
into diet and asthma arried out in Athens in 2011 by Grigoropoulou and
colleagues , which compared school children in the city with those in a
rural part of Greece. They found that the urban children were more
likely to get asthma, but eating a Mediterranean diet, rich in
vegetables, fish and oils, appeared to protect them.
Fish oils on their own, however, did not do so well in HYPERLINK
“” o “” a study from
Edinburgh University published in 2009 . This was a review of a number
of studies where children had been given omega 3 and omega 6 supplements
in the hope of preventing allergies, while other comparable children had
been given placebos – dummy pills. The researchers found no clear
evidence that the supplements had any protective effect.
“Contrary to the evidence from basic science and epidemiological
studies, our systematic review and meta-analysis suggests that
supplementation with omega 3 and omega 6 oils is probably unlikely to
play an important role as a strategy for the primary prevention of
sensitization or allergic disease,” they concluded.
Trans fatty acids have been linked to asthma and allergies before, in
addition to raising cholesterol levels and the NHS advises people to
reduce their intake. The fast food study suggests that the best advice
for parents wanting to protect their children from asthma and allergies
is to try to ensure they have a generally healthy diet, with plenty of
fruit and hopefully some vegetables, and to steer clear of fast food
• This article was amended on 15 January 2013 to clarify that the
study found that children aged six to seven had an increased risk of 27%
of having severe asthma, if they eat burgers and other types of fast
food more than three times a week.
(Annotation below)
Boseley, S. (2013, January 14). Fast food and takeaways linked to surge
in children asthma and allergies. The guardian. Retrieved April 8, 2013,
In the article, “Fast food and takeaways linked to surge in child
asthma and allergies” Boseley attribute the increasing rate of asthma
and allergic reactions among children in the United Kingdom and other
developed countries to consumption of fast-food. Boseley drives the
argument by critically analyzing the scientific studies about the
effects of fast-food and takeaways on children’s health. According to
Boseley (2013) scientific studies have proved that children are more
vulnerable (by 40 %) to asthma compared to adults who consumes
fast-foods. Similar studies conducted in Germany, Spain, New Zealand and
Australia has raised a public health alarm following the increase in the
rate of fast food consumption in different parts of the world. However,
researchers have suggested that consumption of fruits is an effective
strategy to counter the effects of fast food among teenagers and younger
children. Burgers are the main type of fast food associated with asthma
and allergies in all stages of human development. However, the most
affected group is the adolescent who have financial freedom and decide
on what to eat. The scientific analysis of the studies suggests that
most of the fast foods have high contents of fatty acids, sodium,
carbohydrates, sugars, and Tran’s fatty acids that are responsible for
asthma and allergic reactions among children. The author of the articles
raises some doubts on the research works that associate fast food with
severe allergies and asthma by quoting the statement made by professor
Hywel Williams. According to Hywel, the incorrectness of the past
studies arose from the fact that they were conducted by asking people
what they have been eating, but people are likely to forget or lie about
their eating habits. Boseley concludes by put more emphasis on the role
of parents in preventing the allergic reactions and asthma among their
children by ensuring they eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and
attend clean fast foot out-lets.
Article 5
“” Food  :  What to eat.
What not to eat.
The Fresh Wars
How the five-letter word became a fast-food mantra.
VanAirsdale |Posted Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at 5:15 AM
Tortilla wraps with meat and vegetables.
Photo by Olga Miltsova/iStockphoto/Thinkstock
One afternoon last fall in New York, walking toward the subway at Union
Square, I decided to lose the tortilla.
For months, Taco Bell had been urging America to drop by for a taste of
its Cantina Bell menu. TV commercials featured celebrity spokeschef
Lorena Garcia touring dewy fields of cilantro and welcoming viewers into
a kitchen where she and her associates lovingly ladled black beans over
rice. She laid oblong medallions of grilled chicken atop beds of romaine
lettuce, roasted corn, and vermilion slivers of pepper and tomato.
“Making a burrito bowl, I think, made Taco Bell a little bit
nervous—mostly because they`re used to wrapping everything in a
tortilla,” Garcia explains HYPERLINK
“” “_blank” in one spot .
“But I said, `Guys, lose the tortilla and share these beautiful
ingredients with the world.’ “
“Beautiful ingredients” aren`t the first things one associates with Taco
Bell, a chain that last year enjoyed record-shattering success with its
Doritos Locos Taco, a $1.29 fistful of garbage dusted in neon-orange
sodium that tasted vaguely like cheese and synergy. They certainly
weren`t the first things I saw when I sat down with my Cantina Bowl,
from which pale green guacamole and a lumpy tuft of grated Monterey Jack
stared back at me from a valley of rice, romaine, and meat as if to
croak, “Ta-daaaahhh.”
Yet despite its unremarkable appearance, the Cantina Bowl was remarkable
for what it signified. It was a shot across the bow to competitors like
Chipotle, a company that had based nearly two decades of rapid growth on
wholesome, sustainably raised ingredients prepared in-store before Taco
Bell ever enlisted Chef Garcia for an offensive of its own.
In essence, it was the latest salvo in the Fresh Wars.
The Fresh Wars have advertisers, marketers, and chefs embroiled in a
battle for the title of freshest American fast food—and for the
business of an increasingly sophisticated and conscientious populace of
eaters. Taco Bell vs. Chipotle is just the start. The tagline “Eat
Fresh” has helped Subway eclipse McDonald`s as the world`s largest
fast-food chain. But Arby`s crusade to “Slice Up the Truth About
Freshness” aims to sow doubts about Subway`s food sourcing while wooing
customers with meat sliced on-premises. Meanwhile, Domino`s Pizza has
spent more than three years and untold millions reinventing its pizza
and its image as models of quality and transparency, a gambit that has
at least two high-profile competitors following suit.
The skirmishes emphasize the extraordinary value of one abstract concept
for an industry desperate to capitalize on health and sourcing trends
without actually having to invest in high-quality ingredients. Fresh
doesn`t have to be low-calorie or even especially nutritious—a burrito
with ingredients prepared on-site at Chipotle may pack three times the
calories of a burger. Nor does fresh require pathologically locavorian
supply-chain standards: As Arby`s has revealed, a sandwich from Subway
might contain cold-cuts processed, packaged, and shipped from a
centralized facility in Iowa. Better yet for retailers like Taco Bell,
Domino`s, and Arby`s, the mere implications of freshness can be sold at
a premium to new customers who otherwise might have avoided those
chains` wares altogether. The only unabashedly pure thing about the
concept of fresh is its subjectivity.
“I think it`s meaningless, almost, now,” says Mark Crumpacker, the chief
marketing officer with Chipotle. “You could claim that something very
heavily processed was fresh, I guess. I don`t think there are any rules
around `fresh.` You can just say it with impunity. And I think lots of
people do.”
So maybe “Is it fresh?” isn`t the question we should be asking ourselves
as we lose the tortilla, slice up freshness, and muddle through the
trenches of fast-food trends. Instead, amid the varying strategies, we
have a much more basic and far more crucial determination to make: What
does fresh even mean?
Most of us can probably agree that the concept of fresh, in its
quintessence, implies a meal or ingredient consumed as few degrees
removed from its source as possible. Believe it or not, such a
common-sense definition of fresh once actually existed in the fast-food
marketplace, at Taco Bell in the late 1970s, when it had a few hundred
restaurants nationwide and was known as the Fresh Food Place:
You can find sentimental Taco Bell consumers and employees from this era
HYPERLINK “” “_blank”
“” l
“comment-888757” “_blank” the Web recounting the Fresh Food Place`s
qualifications with pride: Ground beef arrived at stores daily,
unfrozen. Lettuce, tomatoes and onions were cleaned and chopped up on
site. Cheese was grated and tortillas fried into taco shells each
morning. Refried beans were prepared in store from whole pinto beans
also delivered daily. (One Taco Bell alum HYPERLINK
“” l “6724848” “_blank”
cites a hazing ritual in which new employees would be assigned to
“count the beans that went into each batch.”) Thirty years ago, it
seems, fresh actually meant the same thing in commercials as it does in
Today, the fast-food universe’s usage of fresh has nothing to do with
the textbook definition of the word. In most ways, fresh has nothing to
do with food at all. It`s become a convolution, tied up with
manufactured images of authenticity, transparency, and even
morality—the fleeting ecstasy of doing what consumers are persuaded to
believe is the good, right thing.
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(Annotation below)
VanAirsdale, T. (2013, February 11). The fresh wars: How the five-letter
words became a fast-food mantra. Slate. Retrieved April 8, 2013, from
VanAirsdale, author of the article “The fresh wars” begins by giving
a personal experience on how the fast food restaurants have been
increasing their competition in the New York’s food industry. He
narrates about the negative initial attitude of the residents about the
television adverts made by the fast food shop owners before they
established roots in New York City. However, the fast food shops
continually gained acceptance among the city residents, thus resulting
in the rapidly gained popularity. This was followed by the industrial
entry of other competitor, which increased the business wars in attempts
to dominate the fast food market. Some of the competing fast food outlet
business includes MacDonald’s, Taco Bell, Domino’s Pizza, and
Chipotle. VanAirsdale trivializes the assumption that the high calorie
content of the fast foods has negative health effects by stating that
the freshness of foods is valuable. However the stakeholders in the fast
food industry have differed about the definition of the freshness of
fast food. Some of them suggest that the freshness should be determined
depending on the length of time taken to move the food from the source
until they are consumed. Others argue that fresh foods are those with
minimally removed ingredients from the original product. This depends on
the degree to which the food product has undergone industrial
processing. VanAirsdale asserts that the current definition of the word
freshness in commercials has utterly deviated from the dictionary and
textbook definition. He concludes by stating that the freshness of fast
foods is highly dependent on consumers’ perception, authenticity, and