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Food Health

The Insidious Effects of Food Delivery

With UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash, it’s never been easier to order your favorite restaurant food delivered straight to your door.

There’s always an excuse to order delivery, and with the year-long lockdowns in place thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the popularity of food delivery services surged. And even though restaurants are starting to open back up, there’s still always an excuse for why you should order delivery: you ran out of time to buy groceries, you’re too tired to cook, you don’t want to drive, the delivery fee isn’t that expensive…

Except that it is.

According to an investigation by The New York Times, ordering food through a delivery app can be up to 91% more expensive than ordering the same food inside a restaurant.

When you buy a meal through UberEats, you’re also paying the driver and the app. In many cases, restaurants tack on extra fees to cover the percentage the app collects from them. And then you’re expected to tip the driver.

To determine just how expensive food delivery apps can be, NYT contributor Brian X. Chen purchased two turkey sandwiches from Subway and then placed the same order using the four most popular food delivery apps.

The results

At Subway, his order cost $13.21 (including tax).

Chen’s GrubHub order cost $16.46 (a 25% markup), his Doordash order cost $19.26 (a 46% markup), his Postmates order cost $21.52 (a 63% markup), and his UberEats order cost a whopping $25.25 (a 91% markup).

Markups vary by location, order size, the availability of drivers, and distance – but you get my point. Food delivery is expensive. To make matters worse, the convenience of food delivery apps can make them addicting – causing irreparable damage to your wallet and your waistline.

Restaurant foods tend to be high in salt, fat, and sugar – which means the more of it you eat, the more of it you crave.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University, a diet high in restaurant food can cause:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feelings of sluggishness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Trouble focusing
  • Weight gain
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

The above side effects were associated with the consumption of two or more take-out meals per week.

So I ask you: do you really want to put your health in danger to enjoy foods that cost more than they should?

Next time you’re craving cheap Chinese food or fried chicken from Cracker Barrel, I urge you to consider the financial and physical costs before clicking Place Order.

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