Junk food is eaten by a significant proportion of the global population, and the figure is growing as the global population increases. The growth in the urban population has necessitated the manufacture of fast foods. This is the basic justification for fast food restaurants. In fact, this market niche thrives and was discovered on this aspect.
Factors Contributing to the Increase in Junk Food Consumption
The number of people who eat fast foods is large due to these factors; an increase in global population, the global food shortage, the fast pace in which these foods can be prepared, the modern lifestyle, preference and advertisements (News-medical.net).
Increased Global Population
Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 7 billion humans on the planet (Roser and Ortiz-Ospina). By contrast, there were less than 1 billion people on the planet around 200 years ago. As a matter of fact, some statistics indicate that 6.5 % of the people ever born are alive today. These statistics show that the global population has exploded and is still on the rise. This explosion was unprecedented and required the government s to catch up in terms of food supply. As such, this is simple mathematics. An explosion in population results in an increased demand for products and services. In this case, one of the products and services is the junk foods.
Global Food Shortage
Due to the explosion in the global population and the subsequent increase in population growth, a lot strain has been put on the resources of the planet. This strain has resulted in shortage and projected future shortage of resources such as agricultural supplies, petroleum, forests, water and food. This example clearly shows that resources are at a premium now. As such, to keep up with the global population growth, companies came up that can produce some resources fast enough to alleviate demand on the traditional resource base. As such, these companies came up with foods that can be grown fast, cooked fast and potentially sold fast. This is essentially how the fast food market was established. Since this market was created to cater for the surplus, it follows that several people are catered for by this market. As a matter of fact, several people are the surplus (Worldhunger.org).
When the fast food niche was explored, the surplus individuals benefited a lot. As a matter of fact, several of the people, have abandoned regular means to concentrate on the fast foods. This is due to the efficiency the means offer to the individual. The general population was attracted to these foods due to the fact that they were easy to make and were essentially ready to go. They became preferred over the traditional foods that had to be prepared at home. Junk foods and fast foods can be eaten on the go; they can be eaten on the job, on the road, bought on the fly and even packed as take away. To make matters even more convenient, they are often cheap due to the large number of people that buy them.
Speed, Efficiency and Convenience
These three factors are big contributors to the attraction that exists between people and fast foods. In the modern world, fast foods have provided an option that is fast and efficient to the global citizen. It is natural for most people to avoid a hassle when they can and opt for simple and convenient things when possible. Fast foods tend to provide this for the global population. As such, people have opted to buy rather than cook.
The lifestyle of the modern individual is characterized by routine. This routine is largely comprised of the house, where the individual lives, the place of work and some recreational activities. The largest component of this routine tends to be the job. Having said that, it is important to note that, the job often leads the individual away from the house. This means that the individual is not able to prepare meals for him/herself. As such, the individual must find an alternative source of food or starve the entire day. Usually, the source of food is junk food. He does not have t wait for it to cook, he simply has to take a brief lunch break and he/she shall find a ready to eat meal (Youngmenshealthsite.org).
Craving and Hard to Satisfy
People eat more fast food than regular food these days. This is due to the fact that junk food often has highly processed substances and sugars. These processed substances rarely satisfy an individual. As a matter of fact, they leave an individual feeling hungry. As such, the cravings, combined with the inability to quickly satisfy an individual make the individual eat a lot of the junk food. This large consumption often goes unnoticed by the individual.
The rise in junk food consumption has had a number of side effects on the population of the world. Such undesirable effects include susceptibility to disease and obesity. This has had an impact on the children that have been born in the era of this junk food spree. Statistics indicate that junk food is one of the largest contributors in cases of child obesity. This is due to the increase in the intake of junk food by children. Statics indicate that the proportion of food that children consumed from fast food joints increased by nearly 300% between 1977 and 1997. These statistics are an indication that junk foods are being consumed in large amounts (St-Onge, Keller and Heymsfield).
The junk food industry was necessitated by the rapid rise in the global population. There was need to find a means of producing food fast in order to meet the population explosion. However, the rise in the consumption of these foods has been unprecedented. As a matter of fact, it has become a course of concern for several scientists and people in the society. This is largely due to the associated disease and health conditions that are caused by it. However, it is hard to deny that that these foods have eased the strain on the agricultural supply and averted several Malthusian crises.
News-medical.net. Junk food consumption on the rise among U. S. children. 3 March 2010. 26
Roser, Max and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina. World Population Growth. 2017. 26 January 2017
St-Onge, Marie-Pierre, Kathleen L Keller and Heymsfield B Heymsfield. Changes in childhood
food consumption patterns: a cause for concern in light of increasing body weights. 2003. 26 January 2017
Worldhunger.org. 2016 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. 2016. 26 January 2017
Youngmenshealthsite.org. Fast Food Facts. 17 December 2015. 26 January 2017