Commentary: My Generation's Fast Food Addiction
Healthy eating initiatives like Michelle Obama's Let's Move and chef Jamie Olivers Food Revolution are popping up everywhere. But Radio 101 commentator, Juan Alvarado, says the message isn't getting to his peers.
A lot of Juan's friends, like Ben Knight, even seem to pick the least healthy option on the fast food menu. Ben says he likes a good cheeseburger with bacon on it, but he is adamant that "vegetables don't belong on a burger."
Researchers at the Unversity of California at Berkeley found that living near a fast food restaurant causes a 5% increase in obesity. Juan acknowledges that fast food is convenient to students at Reynolds High School, because it is close to Thruway Center and an array of fast food options. He adds that the delicious taste of fast food is also a big factor in teens' eating habits.
Juan himself got into what he calls "a Chick-Fil-A phase." He was eating there four or five times a week. This pattern continued for two months. During that time, Juan says he felt fatigued and unhealthy.
He came to a realization one day when he almost passed out while working out. Juan believes eating out once in a while won't be detrimental to your health, but repetitive, long-term fast food binges can have a negative effect. A 2004 study found that regularly eating fast food doubles your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Since his epiphany, Juan has started going to the grocery store and cooking more often. He doesn't get stomach aches and has more energy. He still gets his 12-piece, but only occasionally.