Fat Food Nation: or, why we want it fast —

As of late, I’ve been noticing just how much advertising there is for fast food joints, especially on television.  Every third commercial is for greasy, processed foods.  I think it’s really tragic, and, frankly, rather annoying…

First there is a commercial for Arby’s.  They tout something like, “People say there’s a limit to how much meat you can stack on one sandwich.  Well, we found the meat limit…and then added moreand then added more.”  Wow, awesome, Arby’s!  It’s wonderful to see you putting your stacking skills to good use.  But is there some reason that a normal sandwich is not enough?  Is there some reason that a normal, “healthy” serving of processed, sliced meats is not enough?

Do we really have to propagate the idea
that you shouldn’t be satisfied
unless it’s super-sized?

Shortly thereafter, a spot for Checker’s.  They’ve been advertising something called the “Garlic Parm Fries & Stix” (excuse me if I’m misquoting) that’s basically a basket of the standard, Checker’s deep fried french fries tossed together with fried mozzarella.  Because obviously one fried side is not enough.  And as if that weren’t horrifying enough, they douse the whole basket in some sort of liquid, processed garlic parmesan sauce.  Checker’s, are you trying to kill me?

A truly intimidating attempt

to market me

an Italian-American heart attack

in a checkered paper basket.

Do not even get me started on Taco Bell.  First of all, a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla!?  Are you kidding me!?  I can appreciate them trying to branch out, change their menu and reach new markets (such as with their new breakfast options), but I cannot understand the potato burrito.  Or soft taco.  Or whatever they call their carbs wrapped in carbs with a healthy sprinkling of saturated fats (bacon – I mean, well, I think it’s bacon…).  Yes, I have fallen victim to Taco Bell in a drunken stupor, but that’s all it’s good for – soakin’ up that liquor!

(I mean, come on, for real,

who else is going to eat

a taco wrapped in a cheese chalupa

at 3AM!?)

Now, Wendy’s, I have to hand it to you.  Yes, I’m sure you are also chock full of fattening, offensive menu items, but it was encouraging that you dedicated great effort to a full marketing campaign for your summer salads.  However, I have to say that, as one of the more expensive fast food joints, I would much rather have a salad or a chicken sandwich at a small, sit-down business for virtually the same price.

But I do respect the positive influence
and healthier menu options.

Now, there are, of course, more.  There’s a Burger King commercial for getting two of their biggest sandwiches for $5 as well as one for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeyes, McDonald’s… well, the list goes on.  But I think I have provided enough examples to substantiate my frustration.

As a person who has always struggled with my weight (though never frequented these places), I find the fact that I can’t enjoy a TV show before bed time without the barrage of negative influence.  Like I said, even as a person that doesn’t crave these unhealthy foods, these commercials are sort of a mindf*kc.  You’re laying there, satisfied, not thinking about food – and then these commercials make you wonder whether or not you should go stuff your face with whatever you have in the fridge.

On a more worldly level, I can’t imagine the subconscious influence that this advertising has on people that do frequent these places.  And, perhaps, what’s even more saddening is that our impressionable future generations are being brainwashed by this advertising.

The consequence

is obesity

We are living in a world where the mass media launches major advertising campaigns that warn of the dangers of smoking.  And that’s really great.  I wish those scary commercials had been around when I was younger and more impressionable.  According to the CDC, tobacco use and obesity are two of the leading causes of death and/or disability in the US.(*)

Chronic diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems in the United States, but they also are among the most preventable. Lack of physical activity and poor nutrition—two modifiable risk factors for obesity—and tobacco use are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and death related to chronic diseases.“(**)

If obesity is so comparable to tobacco use in terms of health and risk, why are these grease-slinging corporations allowed to poison our mass media, our citizens, and our children with this destructive advertising?  I doubt any of them dine in their own establishments with any amount of frequency.

Yes, I know I have the capacity to “just say no.”  Of course, everyone does.  And, more often than not, I do – but that doesn’t mean the commercials disgust me any less.  But what of the kids who don’t know any better?  What of the adults who don’t know any better because that’s just how they grew up?  What of the people with health issues that are trying to better themselves?

For our nation’s own good, 

shouldn’t we stand by OUR BRETHREN

and not make it so hard

 to resist temptation

and get healthy?

I can only imagine 
it’s like putting images
of someone shooting up
in front of an addict — 

And we don’t do that, do we?  We don’t put advertisements for cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, ecstasy, etc, on television.  Hell, we don’t even put advertisements for cigarettes on television.  So, why then, I ask you, do we flood our channels with these greasy, processed images of injected beef-meal, plastic chicken, and liquid cheese?

I don’t have any problem with these “restaurants” existing.  Absolutely not.  Everybody should have the liberty to choose whether or not to frequent them.  But that’s exactly it – choose.  But that choice should be about one’s own health, not about whether or not they can resist being bombarded by those images on television.

As long as this marketing is allowed to go on, 

our country will not even be able to begin 

to fight obesity — 


4 thoughts on “Fat Food Nation: or, why we want it fast —

  1. Completely agree with you here. I think that when you have record high obesity rates all over the world, it is no longer a case of people needing to exercise more restraint. We are in many ways the same society we were 50 years ago, you can’t argue that an entire generation is now weaker willed. I find it sickening that corporations can argue that people are “completely free” to choose. Are you truly free to choose when their marketing teams r screaming so loud that all you hear and see is one side of the story…. It’s an uphill battle for anyone trying to get healthy, and I admire everyone that tries cause it’s truly tough.

    Good work on the post 🙂


    1. I agree with you. I mean, obviously we need to take some responsibility and make changes, however we, as a country, a continent, a plant (haha) need the support to do so. There are differences from country to country (and from past to present) such as time spent in vehicles, seated at work, etc (I think I’ve posted in past about how when I live in NYC or in Europe I always lose weight even though I’m -eating- more because of all the walking I do), but a lot of it, in my opinion, has to do with this advertising.

      If they’re not going to cut the advertising drastically, at least make it more balanced. Put a commercial for an organic supermarket on directly after one for one of these places – I mean, at least give people the -option-. At least -show- people that these -options- exist.

      Sure, ultimately it’s up to the individual whether or not to go to these places and whether or not to make healthy decisions in -every- aspect of their lives. I just don’t think people are given a fair chance.


    1. You know, I actually don’t mind most of the senseless commercials – most of them have nothing to do with whatever they’re advertising, and honestly a lot of them are quite funny.

      Honestly, even the ones about these modern day “conditions” such as “restless leg syndrome” that have medications that make your leg stop moving but might cause side effects such as death while sleepwalking naked at the casino – even those make me giggle.

      But I -cannot- understand a government that lets its citizens be poisoned by this propaganda. We are nothing without our health–


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