It is hard to drive down the street and not see a fast food restaurant. There are five fast food restaurants from the corner of Orange Avenue to the beginning of Wanish Way. Perhaps that is why in an economic recession fast food companies are proving to be recession proof.
Yet nutritionists, professors and health experts fear that the food could prove to be more detrimental for college students in the long run.
According to the U.S. Fast Food Outlook 2010 Consumers Research Report, consumers spend almost half of their income on the food industry. This allows fast food companies to expand financially while the waistlines of Americans do as well.
Some Florida A&M students feel that the extra weight gain is worth it. Jennifer Beisheim, 21, a second-year nursing student from Orlando said that convenience outweighs any conceivable negative.
“It’s so quick and easy and although it’s low maintenance it beats going to Wal-Mart every week to blow money on groceries,” Beisheim said.
The consumer report also notes that fast food is one of the most profitable businesses and is expected to increase in productivity in the coming years.
Brian Ringpflid is the nutritionist of the FAMU Campus Recreation Center. He said that prioritizing is key to letting go of fast food.
“Be prepared with healthy snacks until you can get to a healthy meal,” Ringpflid said. “The best way is to buy fruit and snacks in bulk.”
Some students feel that eating healthy is too expensive and fast food is more reliable.
In a recent study by the School of Public Health, they found that late teenagers and early adults eat Burger King and Taco Bell more than three times a week.
Although fast food chains like Checkers and Captain D’s sound good now they could have damaging effects later.
Ringpflid said that although the price is unbeatable students should be aware.
“The problem is when you rely on that type of food, it is refined and will squeeze out the foods you need,” Ringpflid said. “You won’t be getting the required nutrients.”
According to the National Heart Association, not getting the proper nutrients could lead to diabetes and high blood pressure.
Fourth-year nursing student, Tishani Chambers, is well aware of the effects that eating fast food four times a week can have on her body but thinks it is better to focus on the now.
“The bottom line is I don’t have to cook all the time,” the 22-year-old said. “Even if I wanted to cook three square meals a day I don’t have the chance, time or energy to cook.”
After college, the number of times Americans eat fast food does not change that much as the report from the Fast Food Consumer Report reveals.
The School of Public Health said on their Web site instead of eating fast food three times a week when Americans are in their late 20s they eat fast food an average of twice a week.
The Fast Food Outlook Consumer Research Report said fast food companies are the few companies hiring continuously. The Report said despite the recession, McDonald’s has increased employment in their corporate office and at franchise counters.