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Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food

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Eating junk food and fast food is a great all-American passion. American kids and grownups love their candy bars, Big Macs and supersized fries, Doritos, Twinkies, and Good Humor ice cream bars. The disastrous health effects from the enormous appetite for these processed fat- and sugar-loaded foods are well publicized now. This was particularly dramatically evidenced by Super Size Me (2004), filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's 30-day all-McDonald's diet in which his liver suffered the same poisoning as if he had been on an extended alcohol binge. Through increased globalization, American popular food culture is being increasingly emulated elsewhere in the world, such as China, with the potential for similar disastrous consequences. This A-to-Z reference is the first to focus on the junk food and fast food phenomena from a multitude of angles in addition to health and diet concerns. More than 250 essay entries objectively explore the scope of the topics to illuminate the American way through products, corporations and entrepreneurs, social history, popular culture, organizations, issues, politics, commercialism and consumerism, and much more. Interest in these topics is high. This informative and fascinating work, with entries on current controversies such as mad cow disease and factory farming, the food pyramid, movie tie-ins, and marketing to children, will be highly useful for reports, research, and browsing. It takes readers behind the scenes, examining the significance of such things as uniforms, training, packaging, and franchising. Readers of every age will also enjoy the nostalgia factor, learning about the background of iconic drive-ins, the story behind the mascots, facts about their favorite candy bar, and collectables. Each entry ends with suggested reading. Besides an introduction, a timeline, glossary, bibliography, resource guide, and photos enhance the text. Sample entries: A&W Root Beer; Advertising; Automobiles; Ben & Jerry's; Burger King; Carhops; Center for Science in the Public Interest; Christmas; Cola Wars; Employment; Fair Food; Fast Food Nation; Hershey, Milton; Hollywood; Injury; Krispy Kreme; Lobbying; Nabisco; Obesity; PepsiCo; Salt; Soda Fountain; Teen Hangouts; Vegetarianism; White Castle; Yum! Brands, Inc.

About the Author

ANDREW F. SMITH is an independent scholar and speaker specializing in education, history, and culinary themes. He is the author of several books on popular foods, such as Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America (1999), Souper Tomatoes: The Story of America's Favorite Food (2000), and Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea (2002). He was also the editor in chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (2004).
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