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Fast food is a phenomenon originating in the United States in the early to mid-20th century, with close ties to the development of suburbanization, car culture, and the glorification of speed and efficiency. Its popularity has spread globally, and it takes on many forms, often catering to local food preferences and dietary restrictions, despite the impression that it is homogenized, entirely mass produced, and of consistently low quality. In many places around the globe, fast food is considered “American” food and carries some prestige. Nonetheless, in the past 20 years, it has garnered considerable criticism due to the general proliferation of fast food establishments at the cost of smaller local mom-and-pop restaurants; its perceived negative effects on health, in particular as it concerns children; as ...

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