The concept of shopping malls as it was in the 1970s has become a thing of the past because today these places have become not only a place for shopping, but also for leisure and recreation. This change is due to the new needs and habits of consumers.

The new stage of shopping malls is characterized by a complete transformation in the organization and distribution of spaces, as they are more integral plazas, inspired by truly large and innovative real estate and architectural concepts. The scheme of the new commercial developments is defined as an agglomeration of retail, recreational and other service businesses that was planned or grew as a whole and whose commercial and advertising policy is coordinated by a common administration.

In Mexico, in the mid-1980s there were only three shopping centers. However, over the last few decades, there has been an important real estate boom in shopping malls. The success of these shopping centers, therefore, we can conclude that it lies mainly in their location strategies, in the distribution of spaces not only for commercial stores but also for different areas: leisure, recreation, and family entertainment, as well as a notable increase in the number of establishments, thus offering the general public a wide variety of products, brands, and qualities.

Fast food areas and health

The fast-food area, of course, could not be missing in the new concept of shopping malls. Most malls, it is usually located on the top floor, near the movie theaters. When you get to this area, you see a large number of establishments competing with each other to satisfy more or less the same demand: the desire of consumers to eat something tasty and fast. To satisfy this demand, each company produces a different, differentiated product, products that consumers normally perceive as close.

Thus we find food: Japanese, Cantonese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, American, Indian, Arabian, and, of course, salads, among others, in order to satisfy even the most exquisite palates.

As its name suggests, fast food is characterized by being quick to prepare and usually at a low cost. The purpose of the fast-food industry is to have it ready instantly or to wait only a few minutes to save time and be able to fulfill the multiple activities that we perform throughout the day, because many times due to schedules and distance from our jobs we do not have time to eat at home and fast food areas become an option or if we go to the mall to compare prices and make purchases, sometimes we can not give us the time we would like to eat calmly.

That is why in establishments where this type of food is offered there are no waiters to serve you personally, but you place your order and pay instantly, thus saving more time. The abuse of this type of food is one of the main factors causing diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity, since most of the food offered is rich in fats, carbohydrates, and sodium.

The fast-food market has been diversifying more and more, although it is true that a few years ago it was difficult to find something different from a hamburger or a pizza, nowadays we can also find healthy offers such as salads, natural waters, grilled lean meats, etc. If you eat this kind of food once in a while there is no problem, but if you do it every day, then it is important to review what you eat and choose healthier foods.

It is also important to take care of the portions you eat and add up the colors you are eating, in some establishments in their menus have the number of calories they contain. If not, some of them have on their website the nutritional tables of their products. Check them out and don't overeat. Some of these restaurant chains have been changing their menus and integrating healthier options with fruits and vegetables, as well as eliminating trans fats (unsaturated fatty acids).

How much does it cost? Cheap can be expensive

The fast-food area of shopping malls, nowadays, has become one of the most visited places, since many times people go to the malls exclusively to eat since it has become a very attractive option, due to its characteristics: location, speed, variety, and price. In some cases, the location of the place is directly reflected in the price.

We can say that probably the main attraction or the resounding success that these areas have had is also due to the fact that the variety of food and prices adjust to any palate and pocket, regardless of the quality or nutritional value of the food. Although at present some restaurants of this type of franchise are working to improve the quality of the food they offer.

Compare prices and quality. Remember that the most expensive is not always the best. In the field of fast food, it is important to take into account how you eat, because both the excess and the shortage of food, as well as choosing any type of food even if it has no nutritional value, just because it is cheap, can eventually cause major problems and expenses for health damage. Watch what and how much you eat.

Recommendations

Take care of what you eat, check the nutritional tables of the menus offered by fast-food restaurants on their website.

Always include fruits and vegetables in your menus.

Substitute soft drinks for water.

Keep in mind that sometimes cheap is expensive, take care of your health and don't spend what you saved on food on doctors and medicines.

Check the menus and spend only what is necessary, maybe the dessert can be left pending for another occasion.

By Sharai Isabel Abaroa Silva