Introduction and Rationale for Website

Fast food is convenient and easily accessible. According to Statista, the fast food industry is set to have 247,191 establishments in operation by 2018. The industry was also set to top 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2014 and pay out over 51 billion U.S. dollars of wages to American workers. Clearly, the fast food industry is a large part of the U.S. economy and it is nearly impossible to avoid fast food establishments in our daily lives.[1]

Ideally, preparing meals at home is a healthier alternative to eating at fast food establishments. However, time constraints and busy schedules lead some people to choose fast food over preparing meals at home. Changing roles in American households such as a higher percentage of women becoming the primary or sole breadwinner place more responsibilities on women which also continue to serve as primary caregivers for family members ranging from newborns to the elderly.[2][3]

Faced with this reality it is unreasonable for health professionals to expect everybody to prepare meals at home everyday without fault. It becomes important for health professionals to appreciate the busy schedules of Americans when planning health interventions and in the development of tools (e.g. websites, smartphone applications, or otherwise) to accommodate the occasional purchase of fast food to feed our families. This is the main reason for the development of this website, to provide people with information to make healthier choices if consuming fast food is unavoidable or necessary for whatever reason.

[1] Statista. (2017). Number of establishments in the United States fast food industry from 2004 to 2018. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/196619/total-number-of-fast-food-restaurants-in-the-us-since-2002/

[2] American Psychological Association. (n.d). Who Are Family Caregivers?. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/about/publications/caregivers/faq/statistics.aspx

[3] Wang, W., Parker, K., & Taylor, P. (2013). Breadwinner Moms: Mothers are the Sole or Primary Provider in Four-in-Ten Households with Children—Public Conflicted about the Growing Trend. Report for Pew Research Center.