The United Kingdom is home to some of the best food in the world, attracting visitors from all over not just for its tourist spots, but also for its food!
Yet in London, the UK capital, the fast-food industry is at its all-time high during these pandemic times, one of the most popular and convenient ways to eat when you’re in a hurry.
You can get burgers, kebabs, pizza, and other takeaway dishes at the touch of a button, and it’s much more affordable and veritably safer than eating out in those fine dining restaurants.
Recent statistical reports from Statista showed that the UK fast food market was worth almost 15 billion British pounds in 2019 alone, preferred by Britons over the traditional service-led restaurants, and also the pubs and bars.
Fast food restaurants in the UK are also called the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), dubbed by observers as a “lucrative segment of the foodservice industry.”
The Statista reports meantime also showed that the UK, home to over 26 thousand fast food outlets including takeaways in 2018, has experienced a major boost in recent years most especially pertaining to the development of online delivery apps.
London’s fast food industry continues to skyrocket in the UK, with increasing population translating to increasing customers for the QSR market, yet observers sat that these restaurants are not just selling burgers and chips, “they’re selling convenience and indulgence”.
Clearly, London has seen some dramatic changes to its food scene. Supermarkets are no longer the only option for getting your meal on the go, with more than 50 burger chains across London, not to mention the wave of coffee shops that have opened up over the last couple of years.
Fast food, indeed, has become a cultural institution in London for decades.
London insiders also observe that being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, it seems appropriate that fast food in the UK capital has become such a diverse tradition.
Yet how healthy is fast food?
While fast food is delicious, convenient, and cheap, it is not always the healthiest option.
Most fast foods are high in salt, saturated fat, trans fats, processed ingredients, sugar, calories, while quite low in fiber, antioxidants, and many other nutrients.
Healthy Promotion Perspectives journal recently conducted a study on the irreparable effects of fast-food diets, citing health risks which include type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and various cardiovascular conditions.
The Nutrition Journal study zeroed in on the effects of Western fast-food diet on a person’s health, citing imposed dangers on the bodily immune system because of intake of high amounts of salt, sugar, and saturated fat from fast food, which can lead to high risks of allergic and autoinflammatory diseases, higher cancer rates, and higher inflammation.
With the problem of obesity-related to fast food, the health experts are giving a warning.
Obesity is said to increase one’s risk of developing a wide array of serious health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For its part, the Obesity Action Coalition also underscores that with typical fast food containing a very high number of calories, and with continuous fast-food diet and consumption, these QSR patrons will definitely eat more calories than they are burning each day, which may further lead to obesity.
It is clear that fast food is a worldwide phenomenon, continuously lording it over the global food industry, and not showing any signs of slowing down.
Yes, these QSR restaurants provide ease and convenience, yet experts show that these can also pose some hidden dangers for our health. The question has always been, “should we avoid fast food?” – when in fact, what we should be asking is, “are there too many fast food shops in London?”.
With all the increasing health risks associated with consuming fast food on a regular basis, we feel it’s important to make sure you’re aware of what you’re putting into your body.