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Chinese kids eating American junk food


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In my last comment I'm excluding fast food joints obviously...the food in McD's is almost entirely carbohydrates.

Personally I cant understand how people can eat in those places...not because it makes you fat (I dont have a prob with that at all) but because I always feel sick half an hour later and hungry again in an hour.

I mean, I'm not a food fascist by any stretch of the imagination, as a guy who regularly eats dogs, brains and bugs I think I can say that without any qualms...but I haven't been to McD's in over 4 years, I've been to a KFC once in my life and I've never been to Pizza Hut.

The only fast food places that I like are the "chippers" that can be found serving great burgers all over Ireland and probably England (Scotland Roddy?).....but that's homemade stuff mostly.

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Ok everyone needs to stop getting too uptight about this junk food issue.

What it boils down to is China ( and the rest of the world) accepting American culture and influence. This has happened everywhere and CHina is no exception. Is this wrong??

Well in my opinion with the same token arent westerners coming to China to adopt Chinese culture?

Furthermore in the UK most of the Chinese food served can be considered junk food due to the massive levels of fat , sugar , refined carbs and MSG!!!!!!!!!

its more an issue of culture swap, I love chinese Tea ...... i must be an evil culture fascist!!!

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I started teaching English in a small town in China about three months ago, and on New Years Day the town had it's first KFC open. Now I'm not a huge fan of fast-food restaurants, I don't eat at McDonalds or Burger King, and rarely goto KFC. But as it was new, I decided I'd go along to try...and it was really good. The restaurant was spotless and far better decorated than anywhere else in town, the service was friendly and efficient and the guy behind the counter is the only waiter in town to do a passable job of taking my order in English (as there are only two westerners here I don't expect this, but still thats service). But what struck me most was the taste of the food, sure it was a mixture of fat and artificial flavours, but after three months of Chinese food, it felt far more intense than I'd remember. The food was also far less greesy than English KFC's.

I guess my point is that before I hadn't understood why anyone would want to eat at a fast-food restaraunt instead of a local restaurant serving 'proper' food. But the chains here are catering to the high end of the market providing aspirational American culture, rather than lowest common denominator, can't be bothered to cook food.

With regards to evil cultural imperialism :twisted: While having a KFC is clearly better than having no western restaurants in a town, what makes some of us uneasy is seeing the whole of western culture boiled down to KFC vs McDonalds, places which, whether they eat there or not, most would agree are definately not the best the West has to offer. While undoubtedly Chinese and Indian restaurants in the UK have westernized, the joy for me of going to them is being able to try something new. (Sure a lot places have the same menu's but this for me is usually the sign of a bad restaurant)

Incidently KFC seems to outnumber McDonalds in China, (maybe 2 - 1 based on a rough count in Wangfujing), any ideas why?

Clouds, for proper fast food, try the kebab vans that can be found in most towns in England. As a warning though, they only taste good after about 4 pints...

Skylee was asking about Jamie Oliver. After he made that programme, the government quickly decided it was an issue and started including promises about how they were going to improve school food in their election manifesto. I don't know what if has/will actually be done though.

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The fast food resturaunts are just one of the forms ( insignificant) that have coem from the West. surely the language issue is the most evident as with influences in teh Media e.g. Chinese films given the holywood esp marketing such as Hero. And lets not forget the political issues ( heard of the recent riots in Hong Kong for democracy???)

the bottom line is about this junk food issue , if parents are good parents they would not let their kid (s) rule them into constant KFC and Coke eating. Just beause they are their doesnt mean you HAVE to go their !!! Their is also evidence that the Asian population is more prone to contracting diabeties and Macdonalds and junk food is a mojor sourse of the massive growth in cases of type 2 diabities in the UK and US.

If the the Chinese move down this path it only have a negative effect and one which is very hard to stop. the social consequeces of having a nation of obese and diabetic in china ( similar to the trend in US and UK) the consequences would be worse than the estimated population increses pre-1child policy !!.

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I agree with yingguoguy. KFC is delicious every now and again. Most foreigners I know also say that KFC seems better than in their home country.

Personally, I find the idea that McDonald’s or Coca-Cola is “American” to be slightly misguided and even a bit offensive. What is so American about taking potatoes and deep frying them? Just about every country figured out that mysterious recipe. What is so American about sugary, bubble-y water? These food products are to American food what 方便面 is to Chinese cuisine.

Also, as far as McDonald’s and KFC (owned by the Yum! Corporation), they are multi-national corporations owned by stockholders from around the world. The people who run multi-national corporations are held responsible by their global shareholders, not any particular national government. These multi-national food conglomerates have adapted to local culture. KFC has many soups, salads and burgers that are Chinese in concept. They get almost all their source material in the local country and they are managed and run by locals. In fact, in China, KFC has gone out of its way in its brand imaging to not be seen as American, in case the US blows up another embassy, or something like that. Similarly, during the 2004 Olympics, McDonald’s sponsored and promoted its food based on Chinese nationalism! I remember seeing a small newspaper that McDonald’s made everyday of during the Athens Olympics, updating customers about the heroics of the Chinese Olympic team. The paper used 我国 this and 我国 that. Our 刘翔 won the gold! Eat a Big Mac! They made it seem like you were an unpatriotic Chen Shuibian-loving SOB if you weren’t eating at McDonald’s. Although McDonald’s has tried to present itself as a “global” brand, most of the stars it uses in China are Chinese stars. This is significant, I think, because probably half of the ads I see in China use foreigners to promote their products.

In some countries, however, eating at McDonald’s or KFC may be seen as fulfilling some sort of role in a “modernized” “Americanized” dream. I once ate at KFC in Amesterdam, and they had Hollywood posters of Schwarzenegger movies all over the walls. They had NY Mets and Yankee pennants on the walls, along with other New York paraphernalia. “What the hell is New York paraphernalia doing in a KFC?” I thought. When I think of Kentucky, I think of good ol’ boys getting off work at the mountain coal mines to go home and play bluegrass and sip moonshine whiskey. I was a bit shocked at the apparent marketing strategy. But I guess the point is that fast food companies sell simple foods that please the palates of the basest number of people. They then go about marketing the food in whatever why will make them the most money. In some cases they use homegrown pop stars or homegrown family values to market their products. In other cases they exploit whatever strange desires the local population might have to be “Americanized”, whatever misconstrued concept that entails. I suppose whenever that happens there is bound to be an anti-American backlash. For example, below is a link to the leaflet in the McLibel case. Although I admire the values that Helen and Dave believe in, notice the slightly anti-American slant in the cartoon. Behind the smiling mask of Roland McDoanld there is an evil, Texan-like American cowboy.



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I must agree with you . Howver to say that Mcdonalds is not American because it is owend my shareholders. But where do you think the majority of the shareholders live ...the US??? so its an AMerican company whos equity is owned mainly by Americans threfore can be consired as american international company. Lets not forget that many people see the 'Golden Arches' as a sign of American Capitalism.

Not being negative towards AMerica ( or indeed McDOnalds) but no body can say the McDOnalds or KFC is not AMerican!!!

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I think you've gone off topic folks.

This has nothing to to with American culture in China.....this has to do with Chinese kids IN america becoming obese... due to eating junk food, which I hope we can all agree, is one of the major factors in causing obesity in the states.

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yes i agree, it is totaly the parents fault. Nothing , i repeat nothing should get in the way of providing your children with decent food . This in my opnion is cruel to the children who themselves will have to grow up with the stigma and medical problems of being obese!!! so the parents may seem like they are making their children happy ,but infact are being incredibly selfish.

Still the level of sport the child plays does also have an effect , which again parents are partly resposible for.

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I don't know if you guys experience the "Junk Food Syndrome". But I do. Not only I do but my wife and kids do too.

Usually one hour after I ate the burger or pizza or fried chicken, I got bad breath (I don't have any rotten teeth) and extremely thirsty (even though I just drank an extra large 44 cc soda during the meal).

So whenever I need to meet some people after the meal, I refrain from eating junk food.

Actually if you watch the TV commercials in US, there are a lot of stomach-related medicine commercials like Alka Seltzer that are much less frequent on Asia's TV network (except Japan but that is probably due to their frequent intake of raw foodstuffs).

I guess junk food hurts your stomach.

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Actually KFC is harmless if you peel the fried skin off. It is the skin that kills you. I haven't eaten KFC for more than a year, but that is what I always do before taking a bite.

The corn cob that often comes with the chicken combo is also harmless.

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Not being negative towards AMerica ( or indeed McDOnalds) but no body can say the McDOnalds or KFC is not AMerican!!!

In HK, KFC and McDonalds have been forced to adapt once the locals grow tired of the "Americaness" of the food. KFC in Hong Kong does different types of food compared to KFC in the US, and McDonalds is now part of HK culture, the Snoopy Happy meal craze, McDonalds red envelopes at Chinese New Year, and mini mooncakes etc. Although the best thing about McDonalds HK is that they do sausage and egg McMuffins all day, they stop serving them at 10.30 AM in the UK.

McDonalds have been in HK for years, and the people there haven't got ludicrously fat yet.

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Junk food is junk food. Occasional meals or snacks won't harm you, but a regular diet of it is going to hurt you down the line, no matter the country or the particular food. High wrong fats, sodium, sugar, useless carbs will have their toll. It is showing already.

I really don't understand it. Parents will do anything to protect their children, yet they allow this. Parents, worldwise, who can't say 'no', can't control their kids, can't teach good food habits (or other good habits) are going to pay the price.

Depression parents raised a pile of permissive baby boomers. Maybe these little kids will swing the pendulum when they see what they are doing to themselves. Hopefully.

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the skins the best bit........

If you like the skins, you'll luvvvvvvv the gravy and shd gulp that stuff down.

I worked as a KFC "cook" when I was kid for a few months. The pressure fryers had a removable collector bin at the bottom which stored all the fried bits that fell off the skins during frying. We periodically removed the bins and mixed in some unknown powder (probably MSG + starch), et voila, un délicieux gravy!

I can count on my fingers the number of times I ate at KFC since then.

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yes i agree, it is totaly the parents fault.

It might not be right to blame the parents. When I was a child the best food you could eat was fat, lots of energy. A healthy breakfast consisted of bacon, eggs and black pudding (congealed pigs blood) all fried in animal fat. Then to finish it off, a slice of bread was then fried in the same pan so that it would soak up any of the fat that was not absorbed by the food. Then before you walked out the door a quick desert spoon full of sugar was just what you needed to keep yourself warm.

I was taught absolutely nothing at school about nutrition. I spent most of my single adult life cooking steak with potatoes and onions every night followed by a trip to the pub where a couple of pints of Guinness would make up for any missing vitamins or nutrients from my diet.

What stopped me from becoming obese as a child was not nutritional knowledge but a lack of money, 30 years ago healthy food was cheap food and processed food was more expensive, it was the cost of food that stopped me from eating to excess. In those days it was rich children that were fat, today the economics are the other way around.

If you have never been taught about nutrition and have never seen the problem of obesity as a child you would probably consider a Hamburger to be a healthy meal (in fact a homemade Hamburger consisting of minced steak, salad and bread is a healthy meal).

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