Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fast Food Sales are Increasing... but at what cost

I keep reading at multiple online news sources that McDonalds, Burger King, etc. are experiencing a sales boost while most other areas of our economy are strugling to get by. It seems obvious that people are looking for cheap food during this time of financial hardship. I speculate that it also provides a sense of nostalgia and comfort as we return to these establishments that were such a frequent stopping place during our youth. I remeber going to McDonalds with friends from school after every football and basketball game. Up till this week, I would have needed two hands to count the number of years it has been since I ate food (using that term loosely) in a fast food resturant. But this past Saturday, I found myself in the drive through at Chic Filet. Now I knew it wasn't the best choice for me that evening, and I can't really explain what the impetus was for choicing fast food that night. It may have been as simple as eating for as little money as possible.

Regardless, I did it; others are doing it too. And it is happening much more frequently than it was prior to the financially challenging times we are now experiencing. I am worried. The media outlets seem to report this occurence with an admirable awe... a feeling of "isn't it great that the fast food industry has figured out how to make money during this hardship?". I am personally not impressed. I am worried. Fast food may be a quick, inexpensive fix to the question "what's for dinner tonight?". But it is also a hidden and rather rapid decline down a road that is much more difficult and expensive to climb. Fast food isn't bad all by itself. It needs a second, and a third meal, and a fourth, and a fifth, etc. consumed back to back to back. Life and health is about moderation. But as financial stress complicates our lives, it easy to forego health for the sake of convience and affordability. My advice: try not to do it.