I was browsing around when I literally stumbled upon this article in the New York Times. I must say, considering how many people have tried to write on the fast-food industry, none have come as close to as insightful as this one has. Or maybe I was reading the wrong ones.
The fast-food industry poses a huge problem for the world, a problem that has been ongoing for the last few decades. It is part of the reason why obesity is so high in the U.S.
What did I understand from this?
That beyond the question of the psychology of eating and marketing, and the chemistry and behaviours of boardroom executives; it is also important to note the financial supports and structures that make these products successful and desirable. Most of them are produced from commodity products that have stupendous subsidies that keep their production costs low. They benefit from wage stagnation that makes their cheaper items more desirable to larger swathes of the public; and are able to leverage their market and production shares (and ownership of similar brands) to occupy and command larger shares of retail space than is healthy (economically speaking).