McDonald’s and other fast-food franchise chains are often criticized for several points of view, such as poor nutrition, harmfulness for health, and the inferior working environment. It cannot be denied that they sacrifice some kind of quality for their inexpensiveness. The choice is yours whether eating a hamburger with one USD or rejecting it.
However, some people insist that poor people are deprived the opportunity to take better foods. According to them, they have no choice than use fast food, leading to the deterioration of their health, such as obesity, to become poorer, without getting out of the vicious circle.
It seems reasonable at a glance. Whenever I entered McDonald’s at southeast London, there were crowded with people looking rather not rich. On the other hand, I could hardly find fast food restaurants at the north side of London, which is popular with wealthy people.
But, it is far from true, according to some studies.
The Myth That Links Poor Families to Fast Food
In the US, only 39% of the adults with annual income less than 20,000 USD eat fast food more than once a week, whereas about a half of the citizens with annual income more than 30,000 USD replied to use it at least weekly. This research was conducted across all 50 states with random sampling. Therefore, the reliability of these results is high.
GALLUP: Fast Food Still Major Part of U.S. Diet
Another study conducted with the American children and adolescents for the subjects showed a similar result. The researchers calculated the percentage of calories taken from fast food, to compare the data in the rank of poverty level. The result suggested no significant difference, that is wealthy children are likely to take calories from fast food as well as poor ones.
NCHS Data brief: Caloric Intake From Fast Food Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011–2012
Some hypotheses can be driven from these results. Poor people are not likely to be encouraged to eat out. In London, for my experience, there are some excellent markets providing inexpensive foods. It is possible that taking fast food is more costly than cooking meals by yourself, especially in a large family.
However, a different result can be seen in a different country. In Japan, some people who are not wealthy are fond of utilizing some kind of food restaurants, which had offered extremely cheap meals. They has been not active recently, partially because of the weakened JPN. I am concerned about this matter, to be honest. Japan may become a country in which the myth of fast food is realized.