The continuously growing relationship between teens and fast food needs to end

By Max Parrish

Over the last several years, fast food has become increasingly prominent in the teenage diet. With restaurants like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s having quick service and cheap food, it’s become incredibly easy to dump your money into those corporations-and that’s exactly what they want you to do. The processed products made by those corporations can wreak havoc on your body and leave you craving more. Additionally, it is incredibly appealing to your taste buds to eat it, whether you’re buying fries, a burger, chicken nuggets, or onion rings.

The youth of the U.S. have developed a worse diet than their predecessors who invented “The Western Diet”- a diet that’s commonly characterized by high intakes of red meats and processed food. Now, with processed foods being incorporated into our daily meals, it’s taking the unhealthy consumption of copious amounts of red meat and other dense consumables, tripling it, and adding fried, re-frozen foods.

At Santa Rosa High School, the easy-access fast food restaurants has vastly increased the amount of fried and processed foods students are eating. While those types of food are delicious and addicting, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t become habitual to buy them. Snacks like freeze dried fruit, berries, and candied nuts are on the healthier end of the spectrum and offer a way for individuals to get involved with their food-another thing that the regular high school student isn’t usually given the opportunity to do. As lazy teens, we tend to reach out towards the delicious, available, and most importantly, cheap foods. These cheap, greasy foods commonly take away the most important part of eating: cooking.

The aspect that cooking includes into our diet is the ability to see exactly what you’re putting in your body and usually leads to making healthier choices. For example, taking a look at McDonalds’ fries; they are: fried, salted, frozen, fried again, coated with a salt and sugar mix, frozen, sent to the establishments, fried for the last time, and then dumped into your meal. This long process that makes the fried potatoes especially unhealthy and addicting is not a way that one would make homemade fries. This type of process occurs with most fast foods, but that can easily be taken out of the equation by cooking your own food. When you cook, you get hands on experience with your food, learn an important skill, and most importantly-it’s healthier! The process of cooking your own food and then eating it can make your food much more enjoyable as you are also given the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished a meaningful task.

As a generation of mainly consumers, it can be a nice break to cook your own food whether that be every day, once a week, or even once a month. Getting hands-on experience with what you eat can be an enjoyable and educational experience, as well as an excellent way to remind yourself of what exactly you’re providing your body-so don’t be afraid to branch out and try a new recipe, no matter how simple it is, as it’s bound to be a fun experience!

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