We often think of fast food as a simple, quick, time-saving meal while we’re on the go. Families especially embrace the ability to fill up for a quick lunch or dinner without all the fuss of cooking (especially if they are already out shopping or going to the movies). All of this makes fast food a multi-billion dollar industry.
The lack of nutritional value in most fast food — such as that found at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell or KFC — has been well-documented in numerous studies and documentaries. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of calories and sodium in a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese (740 calories, 42 grams of fat, and 1380 mg of sodium) or a Whopper with Cheese (720 calories, 44 grams of fat, and 1240 mg of sodium).
But few researchers have explored the psychological effects of fast food. Does fast food impact our lives in other, perhaps more subtle ways?
That’s why Zhong & DeVoe (2010) set to find out.