Arguments for and against the fast food industry in the U.S

Arguments for and against the fast food industry in the U.S

Argumentsfor and against the fast food industry in the U.S

Argumentsfor and against the fast food industry in the U.S

Thefast food industry has been growing rapidly following the increase indemand for fast foods by the busy members of the society. However,consumption of fast foods is currently a controversial issue whereone camp basis its argument on the negative effects of fast foodswhile the other camp holds that the fast food industry has manybenefits. The term fast food is used to refer to different types offoods that are easy to prepare and takes less time to get them ready(Diaz, 2015). Therefore, the fast food industry is composed of allfood outlets that offer fast foods to their customers. This paperwill present an argument for and against the fast food industry andoffer a decision on whether the industry is beneficial to the societyor not.

Argumentsagainst the fast food industry


Playersin the fast food industry claim that they have managed to employ morethan 3.5 million people. Unfortunately, the industry produces thelowest paying jobs that are done by unskilled and semi-skilledimmigrants. It is estimated that more than 90 % of the peopleworking in the fast food industry do not receive any employmentbenefits besides the minimum wages that they get from theirrespective employers (Wilsdon, 2013). Most importantly, 90 % of thesejob vacancies do not have opportunities for advancement, such aspromotion or salary increment. These employment-related challengeshave caused numerous strikes, which mean that the fast food industryhas intensified labor conflicts, instead of solving problems in theemployment sector.

Negativehealth effects attributed to the fast food industry

Mostof the products offered by the fast food industry are considered tobe unhealthy. Research has shown that people who live closer to fastfood restaurants are 5.2 % more likely to suffer from excessiveweight gain and the disorder of obesity than the general population(Lee, 2014). The same study also revealed that consuming fast foodsfor several years increases the risk of suffering from insulinresistance, which culminates in type II diabetes. Similarly, peopleliving in regions with a high concentration of fast food restaurantsare 2.62 % likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases than peopleliving in areas with a lesser concentration of these food stores(Lee, 2014). This empirical evidence is a confirmation that the fastfood industry has affected the population health in a negative way.

Argumentsfor the fast food industry

Employmentand economic contribution

Thefast food sector has received a lot of criticism, but in reality, theindustry has opened thousands of investment opportunities andmillions of jobs. Currently, fast food restaurant is considered amongthe easiest businesses that one can start in the U.S. given the factthat its supplies as well as premises for lease are readily available(Nath, 2015). In addition, the fact that the large fast foodcompanies (such as McDonalds) allow people to franchise with themgives an opportunity for new entrants to succeed in fast foodbusiness by using the names of established companies. Althoughcritics claim that the 3.5 million employees serving in the industryare lowly paid, the fact is that not all Americans have attainedtertiary education (Wilsdon, 2013). This means that the fast foodindustry has opened a new avenue where unskilled, inexperienced, andsemiskilled Americans can earn a living.

Convenientand reliable supply of food products

Economicand professional conditions have forced people to become busier thanever as they try to earn a living or pursue opportunities forinvesting and professional progress. The busy society has no time tocook, which makes fast food restaurants a viable option for thecurrent generation. Fast food restaurants offer convenient servicesand they are easily accessible, even along the busy streets (Stein,2015). These restaurants offer ready-to-eat meals to their customers,which mean that people working in busy offices along the busy streetscan eat at their convenient time without the need to travel for along distance to look for a hotel. Therefore, the fast food industryis the best option for the conventional working environment andgeneration. This means that the fast food industry has an indirectcontribution towards economic efficiency, which is achieved byhelping the working class and busy investors save time that theywould have used to look for food in distant hotels.


Althoughmany health concerns have been raised in relation to the fast foodindustry, trends show that fast foods are continually integratinghealthy options on their menu. For example, established fast foodrestaurants has started offering healthy meals, such as vegetables,yogurt, milk shakes and other products that have more health benefitsthan risks (Diaz, 2015). Moreover, consumers of fast foods havenumerous healthy options, such as ordered boiled meals instead of thefried options, and asking for a mixture of small portions that willhelp them eat a balanced diet. In addition, consumers can avoid mealswith unhealthy ingredients. Therefore, it is clear that the decisionto consume unhealthy meals lies with the consumer and not with theconsumers. People who criticize the fast food industry on the groundsthat it offers unhealthy meals need to change their perceptions andstart believing that “healthy an also be fast”.

Availabilityof cheap food options

Thefast food industry has given consumers an opportunity to accesscheaper foods than what they get from conventional hotels. Forexample, whole pasta, brown rice, peanut butter, tuna, and seasonalproduce are cheap food options offered in the fast food restaurants(Stein, 2015). In addition, it has been proven to be cheaper for asmall family to eat from a fast food outlet than cooking at home.Cooking at home becomes more expensive because one has to travel tothe market, buy ingredients, and take time to prepare the meal. Ifall these factors (including time) are monetized, it can be shownthat buying ready-to-eat fast foods is cheaper than cooking at home.


Althoughmany concerns have been raised against the fast food industry, it isevident that the industry has more benefits than demerits. The majorconcerns raised against the fast food industry include low wages andnumerous negative health effects that are associated with theconsumption of foods with high calories. However, the fast foodindustry has many benefits, such as the creation of the millions ofjobs to unskilled and semiskilled Americans, who would otherwise findit difficult to earn a living. Moreover, the fast food industrysupplies a wide range healthy food types, offers more convenientservices, cheap meals. Therefore, the fast food industry should beallowed to continue growing since its benefits to the society exceedits shortcomings.


Diaz,K. (2015). Advantages and disadvantages of eating fast foods eating.Academia.Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Lee,M. (2014). Statisticsof health risks from eating fast foods.Santa Monica: Demand Media.

Nath,T. (2015). Fast foods versus fast casual. InvestopediaLLC.Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Stein,N. (2015, April 22). What are the benefits of fast foods? LiveStrong.Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Wilsdon,T. (2013). The economics of the fast food industry. SocialistAlternative.Retrieved September 19, 2015, from