The term “junk” itself signifies that it is a waste for our health and doesn’t contribute to adding any nutritional value. Additionally, various types of junk food lead to various health problems.
Why has fast food become so increasingly popular? The three fat reasons are as follows:-
Firstly, it's because it is easy to prepare, can be prepared within minutes or is ready to eat. It helps save time to prepare and gives comfort.
Secondly, the taste pushes you to opt for it as it is usually high in added flavours, sugar, salt, etc. that magnifies the taste. And once caught in junk food addiction, it becomes hard to resist it.
Thirdly, junk food advertisements appeal to your senses and influence you to buy it, and children are the ones who get influenced by it.
Also, they are easily available, either cheap or come in good combo deals.
REASONS FOR AVOIDING THE JUNK FOOD
The consequences on one's health could be short term or long term, depending upon the type of food, frequency, existing health parameters, etc.
Short Term Effects:-
Lack of Energy
As eating junk food is unable to provide you with important nutrients like vitamins, protein and fibres, which keeps you unsatisfied despite consuming a large number of calories.
Over sustained periods of eating junk food leads to fat accumulation, lack of vital oxygen and nutrients that promote sluggishness/inactivity making the brain drowsy, and one fails to properly concentrate on work/study.
Long Term Consequences:-
Increased Cholesterol Levels
High intake of the bad type of fats coming from fried foods cooked in hydrogenated fats or high in trans fats is the main contributors to the increase in cholesterol problem. Also, high sodium intake leads to an increase in blood pressure.
Including refined foods is a major leading cause of heart diseases (Myocardial infarction) due to plaque formation in arteries and damage to your heart muscles, leading to stroke, myocardial infarction, etc.
Insulin Resistance or Diabetes-2
It is observed that high consumption of sugary beverages and foods, even if they contain sugar alternatives or sweeteners, can make you insulin resistant and increase chances of developing diabetes due to frequent spike in sugar levels.
Obesity and Poor Health
Increase in weight if not controlled in time leads to obesity, further contributing to chronic diseases. It is because more fat mass puts pressure on your organs, reduces your metabolism and affects you in many other ways.
Mental disorders i.e. chronic stress, dyslexia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], due to unavailability of right nutrients to the brain helps reduce oxidative stress.
Therefore, it is important to avoid foods which burden or exhaust normal functions (e.g. refined carbohydrates without adequate dietary fibre) and negatively affect our health. Eating the right foods, which provide phytonutrients, antioxidants and micronutrients in required amounts will provide better health and wellbeing.
- Bhaskar et. al, 2012. Journal of Drug Delivery & Therapeutics; ISSN: 2250-1177.
- Eating junk food is killing people more than smoking, finds a study. (2019). https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/eating-junk-food-is-killing-people-more-than-smoking-finds-a-study/photostory/69202527.cms
- Willis S, Walker K, Oliver J. Winning the food fight. Massachusetts: The Regal Press Inc. 2011. P. 191-203.