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Americans Attitude Towards Food

Americans attitudes towards food could be said that it varies towards different groups such as: race, age, lifestyles, etc. one thing could be said that at a point they all eat fast food for different reasons. Even though some might eat more than others fast food has became a part of the American culture. As it was mentioned in ‘Super Size Me’, in the American culture, Americans like everything big. “We have the biggest cars, biggest houses, biggest companies and now the biggest people”, seems that we like it so much that we ourselves are becoming bigger than we have ever been.

Statistics have shown that the united States is one of the fattest country’s in the world, nearly 100 million are over weight or obese, that’s more than 60% of all adults (Super Size Me, 2004). The reason its gotten to this point has to do a lot with our way of living and our poor health choices. The reasons Americans have certain attitudes toward food is because we are always on a move trying to get places quicker, trying to find the best deals that will save us money, just plainly becoming lazier by finding the easiest way out and one of the most important I think would have to be greed from big companies.

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All those factors play a big role on Americans attitude towards food. Even though different races eat different food than usual Americans it doesn’t mean they are not jumping on the bandwagon of eating fast food. Fast foods companies are growing all over the world, with McDonalds in more than 119 countries and growing (McDonalds. com). As a Mexican American I grew up eating homemade food all the time, as a kid I remember my father would take me out to eat at McDonalds but the reason being was because my mother would be at work and there was nothing to eat.

When my mom would get home she would get mad at my father for taking me to McDonalds when he could have just made me something at home. Ever since I could remember my mother hates and is against fast food, to this day as a young adult my mother still yells me at when I eat fast food. Even though I try to avoid as much as I can there are still a lot of moments when my mother isn’t there and I choose to go grab a bite at a fast food joint.

About two months ago my mother actually went on vacation to Mexico for two months which meant no home cooking so I would eventually turn to fast food because between school, work, homework and hanging out with friends. I found fast food as an easy, quick and cheap way of getting fed, I guess you could say I went through the same experiment as Morgan Spurlock did on his ‘Super Size Me’ documentary. Even though it wasn’t just a McDonald’s diet, it was different sorts of fast food restaurants that I ate at.

At first I was enjoying it and after week I realized that I was getting lazier and actually wanted more junk food, it seemed as if I was hungrier than I usually am. I took notice of it and drastically changed my diet I decided to go shopping for fruit and vegetables. My girlfriend and I eventually looked up recipes to cook healthy meals at the house, when it really came down to it you could actually save yourself some more money by buying your own food you make and it will be ten times healthier. I could understand why people do go to fast food restaurants, it is really convenient, quick, and cheap.

Big companies like McDonalds have done many things to attract more customers since they opened, of course with the whole self serve concept that was new and it worked out for them. Today you could see them aiming to attract mostly little kids by offering them happy meals that contain a free toy with each meal. We see more advertisements on television and on the radio for McDonalds than we see for fruits and vegetables, so much that McDonalds spent 1. 4 billion dollars for advertisement worldwide while the fruit and vegetable campaign only spent 2 million dollars in one year (Super Size Me, 2004).

It has gotten so bad that kids know the McDonalds mascot, Ronald McDonald instead of knowing historic people of the United States. Obesity has doubled for kids in the past 25 years and companies have done a great impact on reeling in kids through advertisements. Big companies don’t care what they are selling to our kids, they only care about how they could make more profit of their business and even though it’s mostly aimed to attract younger kids it also has ways of attracting other age groups by putting in games that makes anybody win such as monopoly.

They will use different techniques to reel in more people by putting dollar menus, expanding their menus with new items such as slushy’s, and coupons with discount to their food. Coupons give an easy reason for customers to go in, and once inside they usually end up buying more than what they just had on their coupon. It isn’t a surprise that children know Ronald McDonald more than historical people, because you basically see a McDonalds in every corner that you go. With 31,000 restaurants world wide and employing 1. 5 billion people (McDonalds. com).

McDonalds has put a stamp on the American culture it’s impossible of avoiding unless you lived under a rock. It’s so easy and convenient to go grab some McDonalds with your family, rather than just staying at home and cooking something up. This brings me to how Americans like having things done for them because we are getting lazier, and the fast food that we are putting in our bodies isn’t making it better but rather its making us lazier and fatter. Americans attitudes towards food could be said that it is anything that could be ordered quick and found easily.

With so many fast food restaurants, big companies have done their job right by providing us their services and advertising it very well to reel in all sorts of people just to make profit. The reason Americans just choose to eat a fast food joint rather then eating at home, is because we could find it right around the corner and it will take no labor on our side to have the food done, with restaurants offering dollar menus it makes it even better for the customer because they feel they save money.

Even though the Americans that are always on the go by grabbing something quick to eat, they still have the choice of picking something healthy instead of eating fast food. Everyone in general has the choice of what they consume in their body. It’s just that we are all making the wrong choice and it’s affecting our health. Even though big companies do things to attract us to eat at their place, we still have the choice of deciding weather we want to eat there or not.

It just seems that everyone “accepts” that eating McDonalds is ok because everyone does it, it could said that fast food has brain washed us to choose it over healthier foods. How often do we see a restaurant with healthy choices at a low price, rarely. If this proceeds with our bad choices of picking fast food over healthy food I see no change within the next 25 years, except the obesity rate just getting higher. We need to take action and start choosing the right things to eat by not being lazy and just going to the closest fast food restaurant that’s on the corner.

Movies and Books like ‘Super Size Me’ and ‘Food Nation’ should be read and watched in schools because it does open up eyes of anybody that eats fast food. Fast food shouldn’t control our lifestyle, or us but rather we should control it. References Super Size Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Kathbur Pictures, Inc. , 2004. DVD. McDonalds FAQ. McDonalds, 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www. mcdonalds. ca/en/aboutus/faq. aspx>.


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