Students balance fast food, nutrition


Senior Rachel Nackers often goes to Kwik Trip for lunch. She purchased a bacon cheeseburger and a Starbucks coffee drink. “I eat fast food during the week for lunch usually, so five times a week at most,” Nackers said.

Anna McCarthy, Reporter

High school students currently eat an average of 18 percent of their daily calories from fast food, according to the CDC. This seemingly harmless habit can lead to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. 

Freshman Chloe Dutcher says she eats fast food about three times every week, usually from McDonald’s.

“I get two plain McChickens, with a small fry and a large Tropic Berry Sprite with no ice,” Dutcher said. 

Fast food is typically inexpensive, quick and accessible for high school students.

I like that fast food is convenient for me and everyone else, as we have a limited time to get food at lunch,” senior Rachel Nackers said. 

Some students would rather avoid fast food entirely as they feel that it benefits their health.

“(Avoiding fast food) helps my athletics and my diet if I eat healthier, like spinach and salads every day. It helps especially with running,” sophomore Wyatt Miller said.

Avoiding fast food, however, comes at a cost that some students just can’t afford.

“It’s up to my mom, but she spends probably a good $100 on healthy stuff (weekly),” Miller said.

For students whose parents don’t have that in their weekly budget, eating healthy can be hard. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a person with one of the healthiest diets will spend an average of $1.50 more per day then someone who doesn’t have a healthy diet.

I don’t actually spend much on fast food when I get it. It rarely costs me more than $4 or $5 (per meal). Normally, I only spend around $3,” Nackers said. 

Fast food is not the worst thing in the world to eat every once in a while. 

“If you’re going to eat fast food, try to regulate how much you eat on a regular basis as it can be pretty bad for you. If you exercise and change it up you’ll be fine,” Nackers said.