Fast food and Teenager Obesity

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Section A: Introduction

I choose fast food as the topic of the research project is not only because the great convenience brought by it but also the serious impacts it has imposed on the obesity among teenagers. While I delved into the world of fast food I became aware that the great convenience brought by the fast food to people's ordinary life and the worsening of the problem of the obesity among teenagers. My focus is on the casual relationship between the expansion of fast food and the children's obesity.

I determined my 3 objectives.

  1. How has the fast food expanded through the world?
  2. How has the obesity expanded among teenagers?
  3. How has the fast food led to the overweight among children?


  1. The first step I took was to look for sources. The first source of the information came to my mind was the state library, where the librarian taught me how to search the information I needed.
  2. Unfortunately, the information provided by the state library could not meet my demand. Therefore, I turn to the internet for help.
  3. Then I started to organize the pieces of information into logical research paper
  4. In the next procedure, I investigate how the obesity has expanded in the past several years and I have referred to various resources such as such as online encyclopedia.
  5. The final procedure I have taken was the last but the most important, because I have to clarify the casual relationship between the expansion of fast food and the weight adding among the teenagers.

Section B: Analysis of Findings

Objective one: How has the fast food expanded through the world?

The fast food industry has undergone a great expansion through the world in the past several years. In the year of 2006, the world fast food market grew by 4.8% and reached the value of 102.4 billion dollars and a volume of 80.3 billion dollars in transactions (Research and Markets, 2007). For example, the fast food industry had grown by 40% in that year (Worldwatch Institute, 2007)

The branches of McDonald's is now spread 120 countries around the world and it has opened 31000 fast food restaurants in the planet (The Fast Food Factory, 2006). When McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Moscow in 1990, it broke its opening day records for consumers. Though the Moscow restaurant is the largest, the busiest one is locked in china.

Many other fast food restaurants are also located around the world. For instance, Burger king has opened more than 11.100 restaurants in more than65 countries (Burger King, 2004). KFC's branches are sited around 25 countries (KFC, 2005). The fast growing fast food restaurant is subway which has nearly 31,129 franchises around the world by the may of 2009(Subway publication, 2008).it has opened the first oversea branches in Bahrain in 1984(Subway publication, 2008).Pizza hut has expanded its branches into 26 countries and it has opened 100 restaurants in China (Pizza Hut, 2007). Besides United States, Taco Bell has 278 branches in 12 countries (Taco Bell, 2008).-

Objective two: How has the obesity expanded among the teenagers?

I have taken the obesity among Australian children as the case to illustrate objective 2

There has been a heavy increase in the percentage of overweight and obese children in Australia in the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s. From 23% to 24% of Australians under the age of 18 have been considered as overweight, and from 5 to 6% of them are obese (Ryan & Bita, 2009).

For the increased attention paid to childhood obesity by mass media, many researchers started to release the findings that the rate of the over weight among children has reached a peak in 2007 and 2008(Ryan & Bita, 2009).The figure 1 has shown the seriousness of the obesity among teenagers. However, many people still do not have the courage to confront the seriousness of the problem. For instance, Dr. Rosanna Capolingua, President of the Australian Medical Association, has issue a statement summoning the people and media outlets to "trivialize" the issue (Sydney Morning Herald, 2008).

Objective three: how has the fast food caused the obesity among teenagers?

Soft drink bought in fast food restaurants has contributed a lot to childhood obesity. In a study of 548 children over a 19 month period the possibility of obesity increased by 1.6 for every increase in soft drink consumed per day (James J & Kerr D, 2005).

Eating fast food has become popular among young people and about 75% of 7 to 12 grade students consume fast food every week (French SA, Story M,Neumark-Sztainer D, Fulkerson JA & Hannan P, 2001). Some findings have proved the casual relationships between the obesity of children and the fast food consuming (Thompson OM, et al, 2004). And one of the studies has found that fast food consuming has increased the risk of overweight among the teenager students (Davis B& Carpenter C, 2008).

Some literature has found a relationship between fat food consumption and obesity. Including a study which found that fast food restaurants near schools increases the risk of obesity among the student population (Davis B& Carpenter C, 2008).

In order to reduce the bad effect imposed by fast food consumption, the 2% milk has been recommended by scholars to the children. This kind of milk has no effect on weight, height or body fat percentage. However, the sweetened drink provided in fast food restaurant has been found to lead to excess weight gain (Allen RE & Myers AL, 2006).


To conclude, almost all sources I have found have proved that the there has been a casual relationship between obesity among children and fast food consumption. On the one hand, the fast food industry expansion is accompanied by the rate of teenager obesity. On the other hand, many findings have confirmed that many fast foods have fattened the children.

Section c self- evaluation

Through doing the research project, I have improved my skills of doing academic research and I have realized that the most important part of the project is choosing a topic of personal interest and social significance. What I have learned from doing the research project is that it is always very difficult to search for the useful information we need and it is critical to decide what kind of information are related to the project and what kind of information are not related. Therefore, I have focused my topic on the causal relationship between the expansion of the fast food consumption and the worsening obesity of teenagers. Deciding objectives is also very important, because if the objectives are clear and logical, it will be very easy to search the related information. The clear and logical objectives could also benefit the readers. By reading the objectives, readers could get a general picture of the research project.

My patience has got improved during the research project. When I search the information, huge amount of papers and articles will appear, however, most of the information is not related to the topic or out of date. It is really hard to choose the suitable information. Therefore, patience is vital to search the most useful information.

Doing the research also has made me realized the academic information not only could get through the library. Online encyclopedia, the blogs of scholars and the websites of the related enterprise are also very important source of information. For instance, much information related to the project is got from the online library, when I typed "fast food and the obesity", much suitable information has appeared and most of the information has been already classified by clear logic and some of them have been shown by figures or graphs. The online source of information has facilitated the research project.

During the research project, I have learned how to take timely and useful notes. It is known to all that it is hard to memorize all information of an article or paper just by taking a glance on it. Therefore, taking notes has become extremely important to search the suitable information. Before searching the information, a note book should be ready by hand. And when take notes, the notes should be classified timely, or you would be get confused by the huge amounts of information you have gathered later.

My communication skills also get improved during the research project. I am not a frequent library user; therefore, I have run into many obstacles when I searched the information in the library. Fortunately, I have communicated my ideas to the librarian and get the help from her. She has taught me how to become an efficient library user. During the research project, I have got the help from my class mates and teachers.

When I exchange with them, I have got a lot useful information.

During the research project, I have learned the bad impacts imposed by the fatty fast foods on the teenagers. Therefore, I suggest the young people to get away from the fast foods rich in calories and fat. Much healthy foods such as vegetable and fruits are advisable. If I have another chance, I will continue the research project with the same topic. The deeper you delve into the topic, the more interesting and useful information you will find.

Section D: Bibliography

    "Research and Markets" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "Worldwatch Institute" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "The Fast Food Factory" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "Burger King" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "KFC" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    Subway publication (2008) Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "Pizza Hut" Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "Taco Bell" Retrieved 2009-09-017

    Vaska VL, Volkmer R. Increasing prevalence of obesity in South Australia in 2006 ,Journal of Pediatric Child Health, 2007; 40: 353-5.
    Siobhain Ryan and Natasha Bita (January 9, 2009). "Childhood obesity epidemic a myth, says research". The Australian,25197,24889986-2702,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-017
    "Obesity epidemic exaggerated: report". Sydney Morning Herald, May 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-017
    James J, Kerr D (2005). "Prevention of childhood obesity by reducing soft drinks". Int J Obes (Lond) 29 Suppl 2: S54-7.
    French SA, Story M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Fulkerson JA, Hannan P (2001). "Fast food restaurant use among adolescents: associations with nutrient intake, food choices and behavioral and psychosocial variables". Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 25 (12): 1823-33.
    Thompson OM, Ballew C, Resnicow K, et al. (2004). "Food purchased away from home as a predictor of change in BMI z-score among girls". Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 28 (2): 282-9.
    Davis B, Carpenter C (December 2008). "Proximity of Fast-Food Restaurants to Schools and Adolescent Obesity". Am J Public Health 99: 505
    Allen RE, Myers AL (November 2006). "Nutrition in toddlers". American family physician 74 (9): 1527-32.