Many years ago In the 'olden days', about when your dad's grandad were kids, there were no televisions, no video games, and not even many cars! People ate all their meals at home, or sometimes at another family's home.
The Beginning When cars became more popular and cheap enough for most families to own, people could go for drives. They might have gone out for fish and chips or hamburgers for a special treat.
Drive-in restaurants Many eating places such as roadhouses started to open, which would serve people who traveled around for their job. These eating places made meals cheap enough for a family to be able to afford to eat out. In the late 1940's, 'drive-in' restaurants became popular with people in America who wanted to stop, eat in their cars and be on their way again.
Mass-produced food The food that is sold in fast food outlets is made in factories, and is made with the same size of serve, same shape, same flavours and same colours. If it's a restaurant "chain", the food for all the restaurants in the group is made at the factory. Natural and artificial flavours are added to the food so that it will taste and look good. The food is frozen at the factory.
It might work like this: one person at the grill doing all the grilling... one place where all the salads and dressings are set out in bowls, where one or more people put the same stuff on each order... one fryer for frying chips... one place to get milk shakes or soft drinks, tea or coffee... an ice cream machine... a counter where the customer orders food then waits to pick it up... all food comes to the customer in throw away packets or wraps... cleaners go around all the time to keep the place clean.
Unhealthy food Often mass-produced foods are a bit different to the food you have at home. They are often lower in fibre. Many products are higher in fat, particularly trans fats, which taste good but are not as good for you as other fats or oils. They are higher in calories. They have more sugar. They have more salt. Fast foods are easy to cook quickly, and often taste really good. But they are unhealthy.
Keep your health Now many fast food restaurants are changing their menus to add more fruit and vegetables, and reduce the amount of fats and sugar. Take care to have a balanced diet and exercise every day to look after your body and keep it healthy.