The history of fast foods in Eastern countries such as China and Japan could be traced back to the late 1980s when fast food restaurants entered their markets. The Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and McDonald's were one of the earliest companies to set up their operations in these countries, hence bringing in a new trend of food consumption. However, it is undeniable that the presence of fast foods in countries such as China, Thailand, Pakistan, India and Japan has had massive effects on jobs and the health of citizens in these countries. These effects are aggravated by the increasing consumption of fast foods as a result of the ease of preparation and their tasty nature. Obesity emanating from fast foods has been rising at alarming rates hence raising concern from different quarters including the government. Citizens in countries such as China have taken the initiative to protest against the effects of fast food restaurants on their jobs. Apart from the effect on jobs and health, fast foods tend to replace the traditional cuisine in these countries. Most people are moving away from the consumption of traditional cuisines such as cereals to the consumption of fast foods. Governments in countries such as Pakistan have tried to embrace measures that protect their citizens from the consumption of excessive fast foods through regulation.
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Effects of Fast Foods on Eastern Countries
Fast foods have had severe effects on eastern countries since their introduction in the late 1980s. One of the most significant effects of fast foods in countries such as China and Thailand is health problems. The high intake of fast foods in China and Thailand has led to most of their citizens suffering from obesity and other health-related problems. It is worth acknowledging that fast foods are always prepared with a lot of fats and sugars, and affect individuals' health, especially when they do not exercise on a regular basis. The escalating cases of obesity in China have been attributed to the high levels of consumption of fast foods by its citizens. For instance, 97% of obesity cases reported in China are attributed to the consumption of fast foods. Most people in these countries have resorted to the consumption of fast foods, because they are easy to prepare, hence saving on time. The increasing health problems among citizens in China and Thailand have raised concerns over the ethical considerations of fast foods outlet that are always looking forward to maximize their level of profitability. Again, people have had to incur the high costs of medical care, because of their current health conditions brought about by fast foods. Overall, the health of individuals in Asian countries such as China and Thailand has continued to be exposed to risky conditions since the emergence of fast foods. Diabetes has also been widely associated with the intake of fast foods. This emanates from understanding that most of them, especially cakes, use high amounts of sugars that lead to diabetes. Therefore, these countries have had to witness the deterioration in their citizens' health standards, because of fast foods.
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Another key effect of fast foods on eastern countries is the loss of jobs among its citizens. It is worth noting that the coming of fast foods into Asian countries such as China and Japan affected some of the employed populations. Most people who were working in other food outlets that did not serve fast foods had to be laid off, because of the inefficiencies emanating from restaurants such as KFC. The success of McDonald's in China is attributed to its competitive nature that eliminated other food outlets, hence leading to the massive loss of jobs among Chinese citizens. Again, they were only able to hire a few individuals as they moved into these countries, because of the feeling that most people in eastern countries were not aware of the western way of preparing fast foods. The loss of job opportunities for most citizens meant the return to poverty and poor living conditions. The job opportunities presented by fast food restaurants were not sustainable for the reason that they entailed low wages that could not improve living conditions of individuals. Other food outlets experienced high levels of job turnover, because of the entry of fast food outlets into China and Japan. Therefore, it can be firmly underscored that fast foods led to high levels of job losses in countries such as China, as they broke their way into the market.
Additionally, fast foods have affected the consumption of the traditional cuisines among most citizens in eastern countries. The basic traditional cuisine of countries such as Pakistan includes cereals, olives and sesame seeds that keep individuals healthy. Asian countries including Thailand and Japan also boast of their traditional cuisine, and like seeing everyone stick to this culture. However, the introduction of fast foods meant a direct replacement of these traditional cuisines. This is an indication of erosion of cultural aspects of eastern countries. As noted earlier, most citizens in these countries are attracted to fast foods. This continues to pose a risk to the traditional foods that form a part of the culture in countries such as Pakistan. Apart from replacing traditional foods, fast food restaurants such as KFC have brought in foods that are not traditionally allowed. For instance, KFC has had an endless controversy with countries such as Pakistan, because of the introduction of meats that the government feels are not culturally admissible in the country. The replacement of traditional foods has been at the center of escalating the current health problems witnessed in these countries. Citizens in these countries have found it difficult to stick to their traditional foods, because of the attractive nature of fast foods. For instance, most employees in countries such as China consume fast foods, because they offer quicker lunches, compared to traditional foods. Therefore, some fast food restaurants, especially KFC, have tended to introduce foods that are not culturally acceptable in Pakistan, hence affecting the traditional consumption patterns of individuals.
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The Reaction of Eastern Countries to the Effect of Fast Foods
There have been firm reactions from countries such as Pakistan and China on the effects of fast foods on their citizens. Chinese citizens have protested against low wages and loss of jobs relating to workers offering their services in fast food restaurants. Accordingly, most Chinese citizens were not impressed with the continuous "McDonaldization" of their country. Therefore, they took the initiative to protest against low wages that are being paid to workers in fast food restaurants. They also wanted to warn against high levels of job losses that have been brought about by fast food restaurants. The rising levels of obesity emanating from fast foods were also a significant concern during the protest. They were not happy with the manner in which fast foods were taking a toll on the health conditions of the population. Therefore, they demanded immediate improvement in the quality and health considerations of fast foods.
The Pakistan government has also employed some level of regulation on fast food restaurants to ensure that they offer culturally-acceptable foods to the population. This emanated from the feeling that restaurants such as KFC were offering some meats that are against the traditions in the country. Regulations are meant to ensure that fast food restaurants stick to the traditional mode of operation without introducing an extensive level of the western culture of consumption. The country also aims at enhancing the consumption of its traditional cuisines for the preservation of the required health standards in its population. This will ensure that foods are consumed without necessarily following the western way of fast foods.
In conclusion, the effects of fast foods in eastern countries such as China are conspicuous, as seen from the rising levels of health problems imported from the west, massive job losses and the replacement of traditional cuisines. Health problems such as obesity and cancer have been escalating over the years, and are largely attributed to the consumption of fast foods. Notably, fast foods have also threatened the traditional foods in eastern countries, because most people seem to have shifted to their consumption. The ease of preparation and the tasty nature of fast foods have also ensured that they affect a large number of citizens in eastern countries. The most significant concern on fast foods remains health conditions they expose individuals to. Nevertheless, citizens and governments in some of these countries have already taken the initiative to counter the runaway effects of fast foods. For instance, Pakistan has remained firm on fast food restaurants to ensure that they provide meat that is within the culture of the country. This form of regulation is significant in reducing the negative impact of fast foods on eastern countries.