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Project August 15, 2012

A Risky Recipe: Fast Food Boom in Dubai

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With thousands of restaurants througout the emirate, fast food is one of Dubai’s many thriving industries, and has an overwhelming presence in modern UAE culture. Image by Andrew Faust. Dubai, 2012.

Affordability, convenience and quick service have served as the fast food industry's recipe for success across the globe. However, this success is not always as beneficial for the industry's consumers.

With its start nearly a century ago in the United States, fast food has become an important part of American culture, which has led to its globalization. In recent years, many studies have underscored the health risks associated with the consumption of fast food, sparking a public discussion on improving diet and informing Americans of the risks.

Since the mid-1980s, the fast food industry in the Middle East has grown rapidly. Now that both regional and American chains such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell have become especially popular in the United Arab Emirates, the country has also seen a drastic increase in obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Andrew Faust travels to Dubai to investigate the connection between the recent fast food boom and a growing health crisis, as well as current public health initiatives that aim to combat the decline in health.


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