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The fast food industry is literally making a killing. More people are overweight and sickly because of diet than at anytime in U.S. history. No age group is exempt from this epidemic; from children to older adults, people are consuming unhealthier fast food meals and the health risks are increasing.
Faster food assists in the hurried lifestyles of busy Americans. Everything has to keep pace with the schedules of economic gurus who place their jobs and business before anything else, including family and friends. Everyone suffers but children suffer the most because they are growing in a society that places less value on health and more on money.
According to a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, "consumption of fast food by children increased dramatically from 1970 to the early-2000s-it's estimated that children now get 20 percent of their total energy intake from fast foods, compared to 2 percent in the late 1970s. That's in part because the number of fast-food restaurants more than tripled between 1972 and 2015, and massive advertising campaigns are aimed at children and their parents. But it's also because fast food pervades virtually every segment of society, including public schools and hospitals."
The "mother" figure has diminished in society and given way to the busied, working mother, and the simple act of cooking home meals for the family has become an ugly, oppressive stereotype. The glory and status of the working woman and the dual income family has, in effect, opened the door to an industry who are now responsible for feeding our families.
Black Americans are at greater risk of health problems because of the inequalities in health care treatment and low family income. The catch 22 of the Black family is that the majority of Black families are made up of single-mothers, thus the mother does not always have time to cook for her child, and this is how the fast food industry have grown a dedicated market.
A clever business for the Black entrepreneur today would be to open a home-cooked meal service in the community and offer healthy alternatives to fast food. In addition, Black physicians should offer more assistance to the Black community in terms of medical checkups, information and preventative health workshops in schools and community centers. The health of our children and us must return to our own hands.
© Oct. 2018
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