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Author documents 'dark side' of U.S. fast food

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CNN's Brian Palmer talks to the author of 'Fast Food Nation'

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(CNN) -- In the introduction for Eric Schlosser's historical and critical analysis of the fast-food industry, the author writes that processed food "has helped to transform not only the American diet, but also our landscape, economy, workforce and popular culture."

Those are strong words for a 100-plus-billion-dollar industry that has kept pace with modern society. Schlosser insists the convenience of fast food is not all it's cracked up to be.

"The fast-food industry is spending billions of dollars a year marketing their food, and they're marketing very high-fat, unhealthy food to children," the author told CNN.

But fast food has its fans, including some experts who say it can be a part of a healthy diet.

"Children love fast food. They like the convenience," said the American Dietetic Association's Edith Hogan. "If they have a fast-food sandwich, (parents should) make sure they have a piece of fruit and a glass of milk with it."

In the end, the industry may have to make adjustments based on what diners want to eat.



RELATED STORY:
Study: Bad fat in fast foods clogs arteries faster
June 11, 1998

RELATED SITE:
American Dietetic Association

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