In 2008, McDonald’s posted an 80% rise in net profits, making a total of $4.3 billion for the year. That’s a lot of Big Macs, French fries, and soda sold to the American people who are in a terrible economy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010, just over 1/3 of American adults were considered obese, with over 17% of children aged 2 to 19 – over 12 million kids – also in the obese category.
With most Americans leading stress-filled lives, eating fast food seems like the easy way out: just hop in the car, pull into the drive-thru, and pay less. For those with kids, the idea of working all day to come home and cook isn’t as easy, and finding the time to go to the grocery store isn’t easy, either. Getting a meal that seems like it’s cheaper looks sexy, when in actuality, a weekly trip to the grocery store (with list in hand!) that takes about 30 minutes could mean the difference between paying $7-$8 for a combo meal and $4-$5 for a home-cooked meal (single people like me spend about $2-$3 a meal!). That makes a big budgetary difference!
The obvious answer to curing this disease is to stop eating fast food, but it’s not so easy when money is tight and getting to the store is difficult because of transportation or time constraints. With such a high unemployment rate, the economy doesn’t look to be turning around anytime soon, so what can we do? Those of us who have the time to volunteer have the advantage of being able to help out. Lead the charge of healthy, mindful living, staying away from the fast food joints! Remember that the same addictive consumerism that pervades our society applies to food as well as stuff.
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