Why is fast food so popular?

+98 votes
asked Dec 16, 2018 in Food & Drink by Roberto (1,140 points)
edited Jun 13, 2019
I think it’s common knowledge by now that fast food is unhealthy, so why is it still so popular?

4 Answers

+22 votes
answered Jun 5, 2019 by C (980 points)
edited Jul 6, 2019

There are three major factors that contribute to fast food’s popularity: inexpensive, easy, and reasonably appetizing.

1. Inexpensive

A major reason junk food is so popular is because you can get a large amount of food for very little money. Almost any fast food restaurant has a ‘dollar’ menu or something similar. You can get a full meal for merely a few dollars.

It’s same situation at the grocery store. Healthy foods, such as fresh produce, tend to be more expensive, while high-fat and high-sodium meals and snacks are much cheaper. A cup of instant ramen noodles costs less than 50 cents, while a fresh orange costs a dollar.

Although a lot of junk food is inexpensive financially, I think you could argue that these foods are more expensive in the long term because of the impact on health.

2. Convenience

This goes hand in hand with the low cost. Junk food is readily available in gas stations, corner stores, and vending machines. Remember those instant ramen noodle cups from the grocery store? They’re ready in minutes, and you can store them in your cabinet for a long time.

Unsurprisingly, fast foods are called fast for a reason. If you go to a fast food restaurant and order food, you can eat it a minute or two later. Or you can stay in your car and eat it as you drive away.

3. Sweet, fatty, and salty

Junk foods aren’t exactly known for their complicated flavors. They’re usually either sweet, fatty, salty, or all three. These simple tastes might be preferable to some people, like children who dislike the taste of vegetables.

But it’s not just about flavor. People are known to enjoy combinations of fat and sugar. Fat makes for smooth, creamy textures. Starchy salty foods like potato chips have a nice crunch. This isn’t to say that healthy foods don’t have good texture as well, but it may be more of an acquired taste. 

+9 votes
answered Dec 25, 2018 by Kamelia (1,040 points)
edited May 5, 2019
Fast food is, as the name suggests, served to you very quickly. You get a meal to fill your stomach and don’t lose much time out of your day. Additionally, fast food is delicious - crispy salty French fries, or yummy sauce on a burger. Thirdly, fast food restaurants are located just about everywhere, so there’s bound to be one close to your home or work. And finally, fast food is low priced and most people can afford it.
+5 votes
answered Jul 5, 2019 by Kylie (990 points)
edited Aug 13, 2019

A survey conducted in 2005-2006 gathered some answers regarding the top reasons for eating fast food. The percentages represent the participants who agreed with each statement.

  • Fast food is quick: 92.3%
  • Fast food is easily accessible: 80.1%
  • I enjoy fast food for the taste: 69.2%
  • Fast food is low-priced: 63.6%
  • I don’t have time to cook: 53.2%
  • Fast food is how I “treat” myself: 50.1%
  • I don’t like to cook: 44.3%
  • My friends or family enjoy fast food: 41.8%
  • I use it to socialize with my friends and family: 33.1%
  • There are nutritious options at fast food restaurants: 20.6%
  • Fast food restaurants are fun and entertaining: 11.7%



0 votes
answered May 31, 2019 by Xoshia (700 points)
edited Aug 6, 2019
Why is fast food so popular? This is because many people are too busy, or too lazy to cook for themselves. And let’s be honest, fast food tastes good, even if it’s unhealthy. Depending on where you live, fast food restaurants are everywhere. I live in New York City and during lunch hours, everyone wants to get their food fast and move on with their day, and there are countless fast food restaurants and local pizza shops to choose from.
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