Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Today’s motion is fast food restaurants do more harm than good. As a definition, fast food restaurants mean restaurants that sell fast food, which can be prepared and served quickly by using preheated or precooked ingredients. The clash of today’s debate is whether the harm brought by fast food restaurants can outweigh the good. Our side strongly believes it can. Our side believes that fast food restaurants harm us in three aspects: physically, socially, and environmentally. I will now elaborate on the physical harm, whereas my second speaker will deal with the social and environmental harm.
As we may all know, most of the fast food is unhealthy. Burgers, French fries, fish and chips, etc are food that contains a lot of salt and fat. Take McDonald’s famous “Big Mac” as an example. According to US McDonald’s official documentation in 2011, the amount of sodium in a “Big Mac” is 1040 mg. However, the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada recommends an upper limit of 2300 mg of sodium intake per day, which means that one burger fills up half of the sodium quota for one whole day !
Moreover, “Big Mac” contains 10g of saturated fats, which is 50 percent of the RDI. Our opponent may argue that only American fast food is unhealthy. Well, I’m sorry to say, that’s not the reality. According to Yoshinoya’s official nutrition information last year, one regular beef bowl contains 57 percent of sodium and 60 percent of saturated fats we need every day. It shocks you right? It really shocked me, as we always think that Japanese cuisines are a lot healthier. But that’s not the case. A regular beef bowl is worse than a “Big Mac”.
So what are these figures telling us? Many fast food restaurants are adding lots of seasoning so as to make their food tastier, more appealing but a lot unhealthier. What’s more, fast food such as burgers, French fries, chicken nuggets often comes in wrappers coated with perfluoroalkyls (PAC) to prevent grease from leaking through them. These have been proven to get into the human body. PAC changes to a more harmful form inside the human body and can cause numerous health problems such as infertility, thyroid disease and even cancer.
Sadly, fast food restaurants have been continuing to encourage people to eat their unhealthy food using different strategies such as promotions and advertisements. The staff serving at the counter always introduce new items to customers and encourage them to buy more than they really need. Some tactics also target different age groups, from the young to the old. I guess everybody knows McDonald’s Happy meal, which is bundled with toys targeting young children, and the famous 20 dollar meal which targets students, blue collars and the low-income group.
Those restaurants also hold campaigns which encourage customers to gather a whole collection of goods, such as Hello Kitty or Snoopy dolls, in an attempt to make people visit those fast food restaurants every day. The heavy promotion and the almost ubiquitous presence of the fast food restaurants really have the power to urge customers to turn to fast food frequently, manipulating the choices they make. Ladies and gentlemen, as we can see the far reaching harm of fast food, today’s motion must stand. Thank you.