America runs on Dunkin.’ Or drives.
A recent trip to the coffee franchise Dunkin’ Donuts in Franklin, N.J., revealed the increasing laziness of Americans. As if the food sold at fast-food chains wasn’t detrimental enough to people’s health, the introduction of the drive-thru has widened waistlines even more.
The bumper-to-bumper line of cars circled the orange and pink building. There had to have been at least ten. Yet not one car was parked.
There was not a cloud in the sky, and although it was January, global warming seemed to have brought spring-like conditions early this year. There was a slight breeze, which brought the temperature to the comfortable 50s. Yet it still wasn’t warm enough for people to park and take the ten steps to the front door of the building. Instead, they waited on the long line to get their lattes and muffins, all while increasing their muffin tops.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the past 20 years have shown a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States with more than one-third (35.7 percent) of the U.S. adult population obese.
And it is easy to see why.
The epidemic has been on the rise, not just because of Dunkin’ Donuts, but other fast-food chains as well.
Americans are all about getting more bang for their buck, which is the philosophy of places like Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). The Volcano Box from Taco Bell includes a crunchy beef taco, cinnamon twists, a large drink and the Volcano Double Beef Burrito. Although you might need a friend to finish it, you won’t need a friend to split the cost at only $6.99, according to Taco Bell’s website.
KFC just came out with a new Variety Big Box Meal, which consists of a drumstick, a crispy strip, an individual box of popcorn chicken, two homestyle sides, a biscuit and a “refreshing” 32 oz. drink, says the franchise’s website.
This too, will not break the bank, which is why so many opt for the fast-food option.
Evan B. Weinstein, sophomore and fast-food frequenter, loves its convenience.
He said, “I love having it as a snack. Sometimes it’s a full meal, and when it isn’t, it carries me to the next meal.”
Weinstein admits to eating fast food every day, unless he has work. In that case, he limits his consumption to at least twice a week.
In today’s society, people seem too busy to cook and too cheap to spend the money to buy something healthier.
With fast food, there is no cooking, a lot of food and low cost. If only the calories were low, too.
There have been movements to combat this disease.
First lady Michelle Obama, for example, has been addressing the issue in her program, “Let’s Move.”
There are also dozens of commercials for weight-loss programs, dietary supplements and exercise equipment that make it seem like Americans are on the path to regain their lives and not regain their weight. Yet the proof is in the statistics.
America is still growing wider.
The first step, literally, to becoming healthy is to at least walk into the building to get the food rather than wait inside a car, or better yet, cook something yourself. At least then you would know that what you were consuming wasn’t some sort of mystery processed substance.
Yet some may argue that many have no other option except fast food.
According to Pennsylvania State University’s Medieval Technology and American History website, this quick and easy convenience has been feeding poor mouths since as early as the 12th century with “fast food” areas on the Thames River, for example.
These people had no cooking utensils nor the fuel needed to prepare the food.
Today, many are in the same situation.
However, according to The Huffington Post, people tend to think obesity is only a lower-class epidemic. A recent UC-Davis study of the demographics of fast food shows that people who eat at these chain restaurants often aren’t poor people, but those in the middle class.
Fast food consumption doesn’t start to decline until household income hits $60,000.
Researchers even found high rates of fast food intake in households making as much as $80,000 or $90,000 a year.
The reasons for this are stated in the The Post’s article, “Fast Food: Middle Class Indulges More Often Than Poor People Do.”
For example, the middle class are pressed for time and appreciate the convenience of drive-thru windows. In addition, food stamps usually don’t cover fast-food restaurants.
The United States has become a gluttonous grease pit overwhelmed by overeating.
With food available right at our fatty fingertips, many can hardly resist the urge to indulge. Yet they can, however, resist the urge, or lack thereof, to get out of their cars and indulge.
America runs on Dunkin’ should be taken literally. America drives on Dunkin’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.