US Starts Saying No to Fast Food

January 26, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fast food /fæst fud/ (n.) – processed food that is cooked and prepared quickly in restaurants
Example: I often eat fast food because I have no time to cook at home.  

2. consumer /kənˈsu mər/ (n.) – a person who buys something
Example: The success of a company can be measured by the number of its consumers.

3. compel /kəmˈpɛl/ (v.) – to make a person do something through forceful means
Example: She compelled her daughter to eat healthy food by buying only fruits and vegetables.

4. soda /ˈsoʊ də/ (n.) – a drink that is made from carbonated water and other flavoring
Example: She had a stomach ache after drinking soda the whole day.

5. sever ties with /ˈsɛv ər taɪz wɪθ/ (idiom) – to completely end an arrangement with another party
Example: The employee severed ties with his company because he disagrees with the new regulations.


Read the text below.
Fast food is becoming less popular in the United States as more and more Americans become health-conscious.

According to several experts, consumers are becoming more mindful of the food they eat. This is because of the country’s growing awareness on the health consequences caused by eating too much fast food. Among these consequences are life-long illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Campaigns against fast-food chains are also increasing both in number and effort. The main goal of these initiatives is to compel fast-food companies to stop promoting unhealthy food options.

Campaigns for healthier food have proven to be effective and successful. Fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Taco Bell have adjusted their menus according to the preference of their customers. The same can be said for soda companies. Pepsi and Coca-Cola have begun providing more beverage options with less sugar.

Health institutions are also following this trend. In recent years, two hospitals severed ties with McDonald’s in favor of serving healthier food to their patients. Cities are also establishing regulations on fast-food chains. For instance, fast-food restaurants in San Francisco are required to include more fruits and vegetables in their menu, especially for children.

As a result, the country is experiencing a major decline in fast food consumption. In fact, McDonald’s sales have dropped by 3.3 percent in 2014. Soda consumption has also reduced as people begin to drink water more frequently. The biggest decline, however, is in the number of obese people. Statistics show that obesity among children lessened by 43 percent compared to ten years ago.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think your country has the same problem of eating too much fast food? Why or why not?
·         What regulation against fast-food chains would you want to be established in your country? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the most common reason why people prefer to eat fast food? Please explain your answer.

·         How would you promote a healthy diet? Please explain your answer.

January 26, 2015