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Does Fast Food Restaurants Contribute To Obesity?

1501 words - 7 pages

Does Fast Food Restaurants Contribute to Obesity?
Business Research Methods 642
Donna Wall
September 10, 2012

Within the scope of this research paper I will present the contributions that fast food restaurants have on obesity. The paper will identify some of the causal effect that were discovered through surveys and research of recent studies that were related to obesity. A definition of obesity will be present as well.

Does Fast Food Restaurants Contribute to Obesity?
Obesity has become an epidemic in America. Fast food restaurants are everywhere you look. We hear fast food restaurants advertisements on the radio, on billboards along the highways, in magazines and ...view middle of the document...

According to World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) were overweight, at least 400 million adults were obese, and at least 20 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight globally in 2005.
Fast Food Restaurants Statistics
The average distance from a fast food restaurant in the US to a school is half a mile. The density of fast-food restaurants within 1 mile of a school is three to four times the average distribution throughout a city.
Over the last 35 years sales in the US fast-food industry has grown by almost 1000%. In 1975 sales equaled $16.1 billion and in 2009 sales were about $160 billion.
The National Restaurant Association reports that there are around 280,000 fast-food restaurants in the States of which around 200,000 are strictly fast-food and 80,000 casual-dining.
The US Fast-food industry serves more than 50 million Americans every day and generates $65 billion annually.
Half of the average American's yearly food budget is spent at fast-food chains.
Research Process
So as I began my research, I was reminded of some studies and cases that were made against fast food chain in regards to obesity such as “Super-Size Me” documentary and “Pelman vs. McDonald’s” case. Let’s assume that there is a fast food/health link; does this make fast food companies responsible for the increase of obesity in America? Some would argue “yes!”, that fast food restaurants are knowingly providing unhealthy choices that encourage weight gain that eventually turns into obesity. Others would argue that people choose to eat fast food, and claim that responsibility lies with the individual’s choices. The truth perhaps, lies somewhere in between. People do choose to eat fast food, but it's also true that advertising and convenience make it difficult to avoid fast food and its effects on obesity in America.
I began with two small samples sizes in a survey that asked working and non- working parents (1) how often they eat at fast food restaurants a week and a month, (2)what menu items they were most likely to choose, (3)why do they choose fast food opposed to a home cooked or balanced lunch or dinner, (4)are they considered obese and if so do they feel that the fast food restaurants contribute to their obesity. In my first sample of 11 people at my church I asked each of them to write there response like wise my second sample included answering verbally by the raising of hands the same set of questions which included 13 people. A total sample size of 24 people was surveyed.
Survey Results
The survey results showed for both sample groups a percentage total for each question.
How often would you say that you or any member of your household eat at a fast food restaurant? With the answers ranging (0-1), (2-3), (4-5), More, for weekly responses 25% stated (0-1) times weekly, 58% stated (2-3) times weekly, 12% stated (4-5) times...

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