Fast Foods and Rising Food Prices taking its Toll on Cape Town’s Youth

We all love to indulge in meal or two from a fast food franchise like a McDonald’s or KFC or the local takeaways in your respective community but what we tend to turn a blind-eye on is the nutritional value (or lack thereof) in those meals. With food prices on the constant rise, we have to alter our dieting habits in order to accommodate our pockets which isn’t always the healthiest thing in the world.

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The biggest problem that is associated with fast foods and take-outs is obesity, no pun intended. While it’s all good and well to spoil ourselves every once in a while, it is also very easy to fall into the trap of becoming a frequent consumer of these unhealthy foods. Now I’m not saying that all takeaways and fast food restaurants are bad and we should boycott them but rather consume them in moderation.

I, myself have fallen into the trap of binging on fast foods for the best part of two weeks because it is quick and easy or because it’s “on the way home”. It’s a very easy trap to fall into and before you know it, your trashcan is filled with take-out packaging which leaves you scratching your head asking, “Did I really eat all of that?!”.

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In my local community of Kensington, Cape Town, there is a local takeaway at nearly every stop and avenue each containing a special, haunting aroma that virtually pulls you in.

The notorious ‘Gatsby’ and popular ‘Chip and Vienna parcels’ are the usual suspects in terms of these local takeaways that we are all tempted by from time to time and they contain very little, if any nutritional value. Today’s youth are more susceptible to buying a fast food meal than actually preparing a simple, nutritious meal at home especially if the local ‘gatsby place’ is just around the corner.

The notorious ‘Gatsby’. Image via

This is a common trend not only amongst the youth but also in young adults as there are negative connotations that get attached to healthy foods. Some would even go as far to say, “I was being healthy when I went to buy my gatsby because I walked there and back – see exercise” (and no I did not make that up).

With the price of a basic basket of goods getting increasingly higher, the cheaper and “simpler” alternative lies in takeaways and fast food franchises who have now started to add ‘budget meals’ as a new model for marketing. These franchises try to sell the idea of their food being healthy and nutritious but in actuality we all know the naked truth about our beloved take-outs. Yes, it is delicious but it is not the most nutritious.