Each year, the United States’ health care system is stressed more and more by a nation-wide increase in obesity. It’s becoming an epidemic and is destroying the overall health of our citizens.
As a result, dozens of diet fads have been started, schools are eliminating soft drinks from their buildings and politicians are struggling to find a solution.
I have a simple one. Make fast food restaurant drive thru lanes illegal.
It’s common knowledge that fast food restaurants are the easiest way for people to gain excess weight. An average fast food cheeseburger has almost as many calories as a 9 ounce t-bone steak and one is never enough. In fact, the fast food industry sells enough of its food to make more than $100 billion annually.
According to Chain Leader Magazine, 40.5% of those customers use the drive thru. It’s such a large number, many chains are opening extra drive thru lanes and making them easier to use. I’ve even seen drive thrus that look better than the inside of the restaurant does.
So, not only is America not eating healthy, we’re becoming so lazy that the only way we will eat at all is if we don’t have to get out of our cars to do it.
Eliminating drive thrus and you reduce the problem for a number of reasons:
Going to McDonalds is no longer a convenience. If they take into consideration they will have to find a parking space and stand in line, many people will stop going, or at least won’t go as often. Especially if it is raining or snowing.
People with kids will think twice about going to McDonalds or another fast food place. Right now, it’s easy because, if the kids are being brats, they just keep them in the car. Without drive thrus, many parents might find it easier to just take the kids home and make lunch for them.
Since there will be more people standing in line inside the restaurant, fast food places will likely have to hire more people to run the registers or expand the restaurant to allow more seating. The added expenses mean they will likely raise the price of the food they are serving. Higher prices mean less being purchased. Or, if they want to keep the prices the same, some restaurants might reduce serving sizes, which also has benefits.
While it’s not much, people burn more calories walking and standing than they do sitting.I don’t blame the fast food industry for America’s problem. Our overall laziness is the underlying problem, they are just exploiting it. However, at some point, something needs to be done before our health industry collapses under the strain. And we obviously can’t count on the consumer to make the right choices.
I believe this would be the simplest solution to reducing the problem short of shutting down fast food restaurants completely.