The Causes and Effects of the Popularity of Fast Food Restaurants


Fast food restaurants have become a prevalent source of nutrition for millions of families worldwide. The popularity of such businesses is growing exponentially depending on location, customer demand, and other factors. There are differences when it comes to the development of the fast-food industry based on countries, areas, and towns. However, more businesses offering such services are certainly opening, and the demand does not slow down. Several causes have made fast food restaurants so popular.

Low Price

First, it is vital to mention that fast food is often more cost-effective than organic, natural, and home-cooked meals. According to researchers, low prices are usually the crucial factor why so many people choose restaurants to feed themselves (Giao, 2020). Due to the high poverty rate in some regions, multiple individuals cannot afford to invest in quality food as often as they would like. On the other hand, multiple restaurants offer food items for a lower price. Moreover, such meals are usually dense in calories. By opting for such places, individuals can spend less while accessing dense-calorie food able to sustain them for a longer period.


Another cause of such significant popularity of fast-food restaurants is accessibility. Usually, these places can be found in any area despite a lack of other places where people could access higher quality food. Researchers point out that food deserts often have fast food places where people go because they do not have other options (Allcott et al., 2019). Individuals living in such places cannot easily go to supermarkets to buy produce and feed big families with high-quality products every day. Hence, cost-effective and always-available fast food restaurants are the only options left. While this is not a choice made based on the personal decision but rather necessities, this is another cause why such places became so demanded by consumers.

Lowering the Quality of Food

While several factors contributed to the popularity of fast-food restaurants, it is important to refer to the effects that resulted in such a trend. First, the overall quality of food that people ingest has lowered. According to researchers, people eat much less healthy food compared to previous years (Liu et al., 2020). The effect illustrates that the items people order at such restaurants are usually imbalanced in terms of nutritional characteristics (too much-saturated fat, sodium, unhealthy carbs, etc.). Such factors lead to several health problems that create a negative impact on the health of the general population. This effect is dangerous because more and more individuals consume low-quality foods more often than recommended by doctors.


There are certainly obesity epidemics all over the world, which doctors worldwide often attribute to the increasing popularity of fast-food restaurants. Researchers point out that frequent use of such services leads to an increase in the waist-to-hip ratio (Mohammadbeigi et al., 2018).

This also has several negative implications for people dealing with such problems. Obesity is linked to multiple health issues, and since fast-food restaurants are linked to an increase in body mass, it is evident that such food increases the risk for diseases linked to excess weight. The popularity of low-quality food puts the general population’s health at risk due to the possibility of such food behaviors increasing weight. As the issue becomes more prevalent due to the rapid decrease in households relying on healthy foods, there is a chance that this aspect will continue to create an environment where people suffer from obesity-related conditions.


Allcott, H., Diamond, R., Dubé, J.-P., Handbury, J., Rahkovsky, I., & Schnell, M. (2019). Food deserts and the causes of nutritional inequality. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134(4), 1793–1844. Web.

Giao, H. N. (2020). Decision to choose fast food restaurants of the young people in HCMC, Vietnam. Herald NAMSCA, 4. Web.

Liu, J., Rehm, C. D., Micha, R., & Mozaffarian, D. (2020). Quality of meals consumed by US adults at full-service and fast-food restaurants, 2003–2016: Persistent low quality and widening disparities. The Journal of Nutrition, 150(4), 873–883. Web.

Mohammadbeigi, A., Asgarian, A., Moshir, E., Heidari, H., Afrashteh, S., Khazaei, S., & Ansari, H. (2018). Fast food consumption and overweight/obesity prevalence in students and its association with general and abdominal obesity. Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene. 59(3), 236-240. Web.

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