Is the thriving economy of US fast food corporations worth the health risks and potential disease that fast food has been shown to cause? The purpose of this paper is to take an in depth look at the globalization of fast food by examining both the positive and negative effects. Globalization is a worldwide scale of growth, where economies, cultures and societies are being start. The positive effect that is discussed is economic growth, and the negative effect that is written about is poor health. My thesis statement is: Whilst globalization of fast food chains can being in substantial economic benefits for US based companies, the food that they serve is extremely detrimental to health.
The Negative Impact of fast Food in China
Many people become attracted to fast food and this affects their traditional cultural food habits which are often given up to make way for fast food. Restaurant franchises therefore affect both tradition and eating habits in the countries in which they are based (Globalization and Local Cultures, 2010). Furthermore, the widespread generation of fast food chains in China have impacted the population’s health, and McDonald’s fried food impairs Chinese young adults’ health, leading to obesity and high blood pressure problems (Ruixue Chen, 2014). Due to the growth and easy access to restaurants selling fast food in China, obesity has become a far bigger medical epidemic. Increasingly, the population of China is getting more overweight, and the greatest culprit is regarded to be fast-food brought on by the introduction of a Western lifestyle. In the past, traditional Chinese culinary was a diet consisting of vegetables and rice, which was served with different flavourings, spices and sauces (Chinese Cuisine, 2006). As eating cheap fast food has replaced the healthier options such as healthful meals cooked at home, it has greatly contributed to mass weight gain. The obesity epidemic in China is not just making people fatter, it is also generating a destructive impact on the economy of China due to the elevated demand for health care and treatment for the overweight and obese (Hannily, 2009).
The Positive Effects
Whilst in the US, both McDonalds Corp and KFC are suffering from decreasing profits, KFC China is doing extremely well due to its decision to serve popular local dishes. Its recipe for the outstanding success of its US based parent company,Yum! Brands Inc., is due to its team of managers and its menu. Yum anticipated making 36% of an estimated operating profit of $2 billion from its 3,700 Chinese restaurants in 2010. Furthermore, the positive economic effects of fast food are so good in China, that every eighteen hours Yum are opening a brand new restaurant (Bloomburg, 2011).
China is an extremely good example of successful fast food globalization, and records show that in 1987 Yum opened its first restaurant there, and by 2011 there were 500 Pizza Huts and 3,200 KFCs in 650 cities across China. The managing director of the China Market Research Group, Shaun Rein, stated: “If you want an easy way to get a piece of the China consumer story, Yum is a good stock to buy into” (Bloomburg, 2011).
In summary, health is more important than money. Within this paper, research from Hannily (2009), has clearly shown that fast food is detrimental to human health, my thesis statement: “Whilst globalization of fast food chains can being in substantial economic benefits for US based companies, the food that they serve is extremely detrimental to health” has been shown to be accurate.
- Bloomberg (2011). Retrieved from: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-01-26/mcdonald-s-no-match-for-kfc-in-china-where-colonel-sanders-rules-fast-food
- China National Nutrition and Health Survey, (n.d). Retrieved from: http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/china
- Chinese Cuisine (2006). retrieved from: http://www.regalenclave.com/chinese.htm
- Globalization and Local Cultures (2010).
- Hannily (2009). Retrieved from: http://archive.student.bmj.com/issues/09/01/life/14.php