There has been a steady increase in fast food chains since 1970. There are 128 McDonalds worldwide, 3,121 Burger Kings in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 15,000 KFCs in 105 countries. This has brought on a few global phenomena such as obesity, advances in food distribution technology, and environmental problems. There has also been a steady increase in obesity since 1970. Children ages 6-19 classified as overweight has risen from 5% to 17%. Adults classified as overweight and obese has risen from 1/2 the US population to 2/3. These increases are also influenced by advertising, which has globalized along with the fast food chains. To adapt to the world wide spread, fast food chains have started supply chaining. Supply chaining is when a food warehouse gets food from meat suppliers and distributes it to certain fast food chains. Factory farms are at the beginning of the supply chain; they ship meat to meat suppliers who package it. Factory farms contribute heavily to pollution due to animal waste. Waste runoff gets into water supply, methane gas contributes to air pollution, and animals are treated poorly.
The spread of the fast food industry influences hugely on the Japanese diet and health. After hamburger and sandwich were introduced when the U.S. military started to base in a city in Japan, the fast food industry, particularly hamburger and sandwich industry increased rapidly. For example, there were only about 7000 fast food industries in Japan in 2000, and the number increased to 17000 by 2013. In addition, 45% of the fast food restaurants are hamburger and sandwich restaurants. Moreover, 75% of hamburger and sandwich restaurants are those of McDonald’s. This spread of the fast food industry has caused two problem: the change in diet and health issue. First, Japanese people used to eat more fish and more vegetables. But as the fast food industry spreads, people started to consume more lipid and protein. Second, as people started to consume more lipid and protein, the obesity rate increased. For example, the overall obesity rate increased 10% comparing to 1960. Solutions of these issues are 1) encourage the fast food restaurants to serve more healthy foods, 2) help people realize the benefit of the traditional diet, and 3) help people realize the risk of eating fast food frequently.
The fast food chains are also growing exponentially in developing countries like Pakistan. Pakistan has very rich when it comes to food, and they have varieties of different dishes. but for the past 10 to 15 years these international fast food chains have took over the traditional foods. The reasons for increase in consumption of Fast food are, economic development, Americanization, media and population largely consist of young people. The fact that, Pakistan is one of developing countries and people are now getting expose to new job opportunities, so they are getting more money compared to previous years. Now people have more money to spend on fast food instead cooking at home. This also leads to another fact that people try to adopt American way of life, and since people like to be part of American society by consuming Fast food. This is an example of globalization, Food globalization to be exact.
Media is also playing a very significant role in promoting the Fast foods. Catchy advertisements commercials on television attract people towards fast food. Also media pulls in international news about fast food restaurants, as mentioned earlier people of Pakistan want to be part of international community, so these international news regarding fast food help a lot. 60% of Pakistan’s population is young people, so this also helps fast food industry to grow.