More than three-fourths of those who responded to an Argus-Courier online poll June 21, 2006 said they have concerns that eating fast food may be bad for their health.

Eighty-five percent think teens today are eating less healthy food than teens of previous generations.

Sixty percent of those who participated in the survey said they eat fast food at restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, Taco Bell and KFC. Of those, 77 percent said they limit their fast food outings to once or twice a week.

Here are some comments by those who took the survey:

1. It’s not the speed that’s important, it’s the selection. A hamburger at a “fast food” place isn’t much different nutritionally than a ham sandwich at a good deli. Fried food is bad whether it’s delivered quickly or in 10 minutes. Soda has the same calories in all restaurants. Speed, convenience and price are the reason they’ve stayed successful.

2. I am tired of government and quasi-government agencies interfering with personal choice. What we eat is a personal concern and not to be regulated by those who think they “know better.”

3. I think fast food once a week is totally fine and not harmful. But replacing good home cooking with fast food more than once a week can contribute to obesity.

4. People should take care of themselves and decide themselves what to eat. If you eat a burger, then maybe you should show good judgement and eat some fruit or a salad for your next meal.

5. Half of America is dying because we eat too much junk food while half the world is dying because they don’t even have a bowl of rice each day.

6. The problem is not the food. It is the lazy kids and people who complain about fast food. How can one complain about get fat when they will not take responsiblity for their lack of doing anything but laying on the couch watching TV or playing video games? If they actually did something, they might find that the food is not the problem it is the idea that someone else is responsible it is never their fault for anything even taking care of themsleves. People today are far too lazy get off their FAT ASS and do something.

7. I actually only eat there about twice a month but didn’t have the option of doing less than one or two times per week, so that’s what I selected.

8. The problem with kids eating poorly these days is not that they are eating a few burgers here and there, it’s that fast food is primarily what they are eating due to the erosion of family life.

9. I stopped eating at McDonalds when my dog would not eat part of my hamburger.

10. Tax breaks for small business vegetable carts.

11. I am a sophomore in high school, and it seems that food accessible to teens everywhere seems to be unhealthy. Whether it is food at our school cafeteria, or fast food restaraunts, we would rather save a quick buck than opt for a healthier meal off campus, or take the time to cook at home.

12. The big fast food chains are finally getting the message and offering healthier meals: less fat and sodium, more salads and red meat-alternatives, downsizing the “stupid”-size madness, etc. There is still an overabundance of pizzas, quick frozen stuff and other computer-age conveniences.

13. Our culture is in denial about how damaging fast food is to the body and about how poor the quality of fast food really is. We’re all crying about being too fat, yet we live on fast food and get very little exercise. It’s disheartening but we want everything fast and it’s killing us.

14. I do eat fast food, but only once or twice a month.

15. Now I will answer the questions a little better. The only fast food I eat at is In and Out and I do not classify that as fast food because everything is made when you order it and not premade and kept warm until sold or thrown away. I eat what you classified as fast food about once a mounth or less. That was not given as one of my choices in your survey. Eating fast food is only bad if that is all you eat. No one seems to use moderation in anything they do. Everyone wants someone other than themselves to blame. No one forces anyone to go and eat fast food, you decide to because its cheep and fast and the american public is to lazy to cook themselves a good meal. Parents are to lazy to fix something for their children. They give them money to buy fast food or stop there because its easier for them. Its not just the fast food,even in the supermarkets. Parents have a choice. When they are in the stores they can pick sandwich makings and fruit,but they grab 10 lunchables because its easy. That is some of the worst so called food there is. But its easy so people pack their kids with chemicals and salt.They have a choice of fruit or other healthy snacks for their families but they fill their basket with chips and cookies and candy. Then top it off with diet soda. I think people should be more concerned with what goes on at home because that is where it starts. Teens are smarter than given credit for,its the parents that usually almost push the fast food on them and then try to blame the companies that are selling it. America look in your cupboards and look in your basket next time you go shopping. But better yet look on the floor of your cars at all the empty wrapers of crap you feed you and your kids while your in the car.

16. the thought of eating at any fast food rest. in this town gags me … it’s the people that work there that has cured me of it. No speaky engly, and they look dirty. I don’t trust them to give me “clean” food.

17. I’m lovin’ it!

18. Food is a choice. But in our current culture with little time available for many meals, the fast food industry is supplying what people are buying. It is a shame that there aren’t more locations for healthier choices, but that seems to be growing in supermarkets and organic food stores. Even the fast food industry is in a race to find the healthiest means to “fry.” The market will determine our diets. As the consumer demands more instant “good food,” it can be served at fast food establishments.

19. Eating fast food is okay as long it is in moderation.

20. I’ve never seen so many FAT kids in my life. Fast food is so cheap and readily available it’s easy to understand. Maybe what is needed is a tax on fast food junk: fries, burger buns, sodas, chicken nuggets. We could give this money back to the fast food restaurants to subsidize healthy alternatives: whole grain buns, fruits, salads, milk. This way healthy foods could compete with price and availability.

21. You didn’t have an option for 1-2 times per month, which is what I do. 🙂

22. The kids are just little fat piggies.

23. To a certain extent I think teens AND adults are not eating we well as they could.

24. It’s fast and easy, but it’s just not healthy. Some Starbucks coffees have more fat than a Big Mac.

25. I eat fast food much less than 1-2 a week, but very occasionally I do.

26. I answered 1-2 times per week, but I actually eat corporate fastfood once every month or two. You should put an option in to reflect that. The problem with kids eating poorly these days is not that they are eating a few burgers here and there, it’s that fast food is primarily what they are eating due to the erosion of family life. Too many families have both parents working — if they even have two parents — which I suspect means there is less inclination to prepare healthy meals. Even if they aren’t eating at Burger King, much of what families are eating these days is junk food “from your grocer’s freezer.”

27. We have an onslaught of media and marketing in our living rooms and as a result, increased legislation, to thank for alerting us to the dangers of living on the planet earth, fast food included. Eat what you want. Live how you want. There are consequences for everything. I’m not sure what we’re eating is necessarily worse now, my grandma ate a lot of lard and bacon back in the old country. I do think we’re much more aware of how good and/or bad things are, and there are certainly many more unhealthy options to choose from and these are marketed to be fast and convenient. It’s a product of our changing lifestyle and changing families. Personally, I wouldn’t take my kid to McDonald’s every week or even every six months. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t take my kid to McDonald’s at all, but I wouldn’t ban him from ever going, if that’s where his friends wanted to go ocassionally. I think the grown-ups in society need to be responsible and aware of the realities of the world and teach our kids a healthy balance in all things. This includes taking the time to educate ourselves and our children on the realities of how things like fast food are marketed, how the intent of this marketing is to reel us in to McDonald’s, that marketers leave nutritional information out of the marketing campaigns, and there are healthier alternatives to fast food that we may not see on TV every day. There is a reason Whole Foods doesn’t buy a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl and McDonald’s can and does. The market, and the consequential marketing budget, for McDonald’s is a (Whole) lot bigger and much more powerful.

28. I think that the chemicals and fats in today’s fast foods are a serious problem in teens eating a more healthy diet.

29. Fast food is alright now and again, however very bad as a steady diet. Not only is the saturated fat bad but the amount of salt it contains is about as bad.

30. Once again, government entities … elected officials, school districts, etc. … are trying to force their way into our lifestyles. This is a matter of choice and educating our own kids by emulating a healthy lifestyle. By the way, I actually eat fast food less than any response on your survey … less than 1 time per week … and that is my own choice.

31. Kids today have more opportunity to eat fast food. Take it away, they will find something else bad to do … Options are good. Teach your child and they will make the right choices. All kids eat “bad stuff” they are kids! Give them a break.

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