Fast Food

There have been hundreds of debates over fast food in the past decade and how they affect people. Majority of people know that eating this food is not good for your body at all, and yet they continue to go back and have it numerous times per week. A survey done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that kids between the ages of 12 and 19 ate around 12.4% of their daily calories from fast food. The study also found that close to 34% of these kids ate fast food in a given day. This makes me raise the question, how does fast food really affect the body? This is the hypothesis by which I completed my research. Some of the results I found I was not expecting at all.


The first study I found tested the link between fast food and depression, and if they were actually directly linked with each other. This study observed a whopping 8,964 people and looked at this contnection. All of the participants were told to write down every time they ate fast food and other baked goods over the course of six years. The researchers monitored who was showing signs of depression, and the results were quite mind blowing. In the end, the results showed that people who ate fast food are 36% more likely to form some sort of depression than those who did not eat these harmful foods.

The next study I observed was used to show the link between eating fast food and having asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema. The study was done at The University of Auckland, and was done by giving participants a large number of questionnaires, which asked if they ever had thy symptoms associated with these diseases. There were also questions which asked about the peoples food intake over the past 12 months. These questionnaires were completed by 13-14 year old children and parents of 6-7 year old children. There were numerous patterns that were found from this study. One of them is in both the children and parents, there was an increased risk of severe asthma if the participants were to eat fast food 3 or more times per week. Along with asthma, there was also an increased risk in severe forms of the other two illnesses. This to me is a reason to give up fast food, as it clearly has no health benefits.

6 thoughts on “Fast Food

  1. Dominik Wlodarczyk

    Jonathon- Interesting post! I enjoyed reading about the scientific evidence that link the negative side effects of consuming all too popular fast food items. With a Mcdonalds, Burger King and Chick-fil-A all within walking distance to campus, students are easily lured into stopping by and purchasing an inexpensive (yet extremely unhealthy) meal. I find it alarming that 34% of the surveyed kids eat fast food on a daily basis, and that over an extended period of time, the kids who choose to indulge in fast food were 36% more likely to acquire a form of depression than those who didn’t. However, I’ve seen research connecting junk food with depression before. What really surprised me was the increased risk of asthma in those who consumed fast food 3 or more times per week. I had no idea that routinely eating fast food could potentially lead to long term breathing problems. Attached is a popular documentary titled, “Supersize me”, where a man sets out to eat solely off the Mcdonalds menu for an entire month. The results are alarming!

  2. Emanuel Gabriel Mitchell

    I agree with the comment made by Taylor. Since the first study was only observational, confounding variables, and reverse causation can’t be ruled out. The results showed that fast food eaters are 36% more likely than other group to become depressed. I believe that this could be due to reverse causation: people who are depressed are more likely than those who are not to eat fast food. Also, your conclusion at the end was a bit extreme, saying that fast food has no health benefits. I think it’d be more accurate to say that, fast food is more harmful than beneficial and personally the costs of eating fast foods outweigh the benefits (in your case at least). This blog could definitely use more research in order to better emphasize your point. On the other hand, not all fast food is bad. Many times there foods with health benefits on the menu, but then people pair them with harmful/unhealthy foods making it seem like all the food is detrimental to one’s health. Here’s an article to support my argument.

  3. Michael Bliss

    This post does show a strong link between fast food and these conditions. However, scientists need to look deeper to find the mechanism that actually links these factors together. We know that fast food usually contains high amounts of fat. Do people who eat more fast food typically become obese? And if so, is being obese the condition that causes asthma and depression? Or could these be caused by harmful chemicals or unsanitary preparation conditions? There are many possible mechanisms that could link these. Also, the results of the studies you mentioned seem as if they could possibly be the result of reverse causation. Could depression or cause people to eat more fast food? Further experiments with ways to eliminate this possibility should be implemented in the future for this important topic.

  4. Hung Chieh Wang

    Interesting post! I thought fast food only link to obesity, but it actually connect to depression and some disease. Everyone know fast foods are bad for them, but most of the time they still eat fast foods. They think they don’t have enough time to sit down and have a proper meals, or they think fast foods are cheaper. There are more fast food restaurants than other restaurants, and it became a culture. I think eating fast foods is okay, but we can’t eat them too often. I find a source talking about how fast food can effect our body parts healthline, Having healthy meals are important to our body!

  5. yvy5242

    This is an interesting article, since I am a person who loves fast food such as five guys! However, we both know fast food have serious negative effects on our bodies, but some people still cannot resist it. Then, our governments ought to take some actions. A few years ago, I heard a news about restrictions of advertising about fast food on television. In many countries, ads of fast food are banned to be broadcasted on children’s channels, since fast food is a major reason causes childhood obesity. The following link is an associates article about this topic:

  6. Taylor Leigh Mitchell

    I have heard people talk about this topic all of the time and I never know what to believe. Without thinking about I automatically believe that fast good is bad for you and that seems to be proven by both of the cases you presented in your blog. I think that you need to look further into researching and look at overall health of people who eat fast food vs. not eat fast food and make sure that there are no confounding variables. In both of the studies you mentioned in your blog there is a change that the results could be due to confounding variables such as exercise amounts or social events that people attended. I think that since the study was poorly controlled that we are unsure exactly what causes the depression. After reading this blog it also made me wonder if fast-food has gotten worse over time.

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