Learning English through Debating


Good morning ladies and gentlemen. The motion today is “Fast food restaurants do more harm than good.”


First of all, I’d like to define a few words. “Fast food restaurants” means restaurants which provide food to customers quickly, serving easily made food cooked by ready-made or semi-finished foods. Examples in Hong Kong include McDonald’s, KFC, and Café de Coral.


Our side strongly believes that the harm brought by fast food restaurants outweigh the benefits.


I will first talk about the harm brought to human health. My second speaker will show you the damage brought to the environment caused by fast food restaurants’ waste, and my third speaker will mention how fast food restaurant employees suffer due to low wages and the lack of workers’ benefits.


Fast food restaurants bring more harm than good. The most serious harm brought, is the detriment towards the human body. We all know that fast food is cheap, and our opponents may think this is a benefit to society since the poor can be fed. But why is the food sold at such a low price? This is because the ingredients used are of low quality. A well-known fast food restaurant in Hong Kong, Fairwood claims in its menu that the dishes are ‘Korean’ and ‘Japanese’. However in 2010, a report showed that the food products were all imported from the mainland. The company had only stopped importing eggs from China after the ‘Sudan Red egg yolk’ incident. So, how many Hongkongers have eaten those contaminated eggs?


Also, fast food contains a lot fats and oils. A Big Mac meal from McDonald’s carries nearly 1350 calories, which has already exceeded 90% of an average person’s daily calorie intake. McDonald’s “Children’s Happy Meal” TV commercial claims to be able to provide a balanced diet for kids, but what’s really in the meal? Coke, french fries, chicken nuggets and hamburgers. Obviously, these are all unhealthy, deep fried foods, even a three-year-old can tell you that. The high sodium, high sugar and high oil content in all the food items of McDonald’s and KFC cause many diseases which deteriorate our health, like cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, blocked blood vessels and high cholesterol, sharply increasing the Hong Kong Government’s medical expenditure. This will also be further elaborated by my third speaker.


The Health Department of Hong Kong reported last year that one in three children below 18 was obese, and the most direct cause is over-consumption of unhealthy food, including fast food. This shows that fast food restaurants surely do more harm than good, deteriorating peoples’ health and  indirectly causing death as well.


Besides, a research done by the Hong Kong Student Health Service Office in 2011 showed that students who ate fast food every week tended to have lower IQ than those who did not. Also, the students who often ate fast food had bad moods more easily, and that was caused by the excess sugar and preservatives inside fast food.


All the above evidence has already clearly showed that fast food restaurants, providing unhealthy fast food, bring more harm than good. Therefore, I am proud to claim that today’s motion must stand. Thank You.