The dictionaries (or at least mine) are not very clear about the difference between:
Junk food and Fast food
Could you please shed some light on the difference?

Many thanks,


PS: Should I capitalize "F" in Fast and "J" in Junk?
I wouldn't use caps.

These are so much a part of our lives these days that everyone has an opinion.

Fast food is pre-prepared to some extent so that the wait time is extremely short.

Junk food is food whose taste appeal is high and whose nutritional value is low.
"Junk food" is any food that may be comforting and appealing but is of low nutritional value and contains a lot of bad stuff like fat, salt and sugar.

"Fast food" literally just means food that takes little time to prepare, but it's now almost always associated with retail food outlets such as burger restaurants, to contrast the sort of service they offer with that of a traditional restaurant where "proper" meals take longer to prepare.

Originally (as far as I recall), "fast food" did not have any particularly bad negative connotations, and there's still no reason why it should necessarily be a pejorative term. Nevertheless, in the minds of many people, "fast food" = "burger restaurant food" (or similar) = "junk food".

You should not capitalise "fast" or "junk" (except at the start of a sentence, obviously).
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Many thanks for your prompt reply.

...so are KFC, Papa John's, MsDonalds junk foods or fast foods? Or will it be a matter of opinion? Here in Pakistan, many people (especially schools) refer to the mentioned products as junk foods.

Thanks again,

 Mr Wordy's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Hi Tom.

As far as I know, "Fast Food" is a term applied to a model of quick production and prompt delivery process of food, while "Junk Food" refers to the food itself and its qulities (such as nutritional values). So, answering to your last question, KFC, Papa John's and MacDonald's may be categorized as both junk and fast food, because they are prepared under a quick production process and both are low nutitional value kinds of food.

Hope it helps.



we all know fast food is very nice