Children should avoid fast food because it provides little or no nutrient value to the diet, but instead provides excess calories and fat which is harmful to children physically as well as in their mental growth said Archana Sharma a leading nutritionist while talking to Organiser.
The moment children pass through a fast food joint their mouths start watering and instead of having their home cooked food they want to relish the fast food served at these joints. But do you know children, fast food which is also called ‘Junk Food’ is not good for our body. It is hard to avoid fast food because food companies have mastered the perfect taste sensation, largely a blend of salt, sugar and fat, to keep you coming back for more. In other words they make you addictive. Excess of eating fast food leads to:
It means having too much body fat. It is not the same as being overweight, which means weighing too much. Fast food is high in calories and sugar that contribute to increased-weight gain. Fast foods also replace healthy eating habits. People who consume fast foods are less likely to eat fruits, vegetables, milk etc. For example, consuming 500 calories from junk food each day can lead to 1 pound of weight gain in just a week.
People who eat fast food have a much higher risk of heart disease because of the high level of saturated or trans fats found in such foods. These fats can clog the arteries and, over time, contribute to high cholesterol levels. One needs sodium in ones diet to help maintain normal fluid balance, but too much sodium increases blood pressure and stroke risk. Eating junk food high in sodium, such as potato chips, french fries and pizzas, may increase the risk of stroke.
Type 2 Diabetes
People having too much of fast food may develop Type 2 diabetes which is often caused by poor lifestyle, such as being overweight and not being physically active. Type 2 diabetes, elevates cholesterol level and certain forms of cancer, reproductive problems and osteoarthritis.
Peptic ulcer is the most common ulcer of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful. Fast foods which may cause Ulcer are Pizzas, Chips, Salted snacks etc.
Lack of Family Gathering
Fast foods do not provide family members an opportunity to set and eat at one place. Everyone can buy and eat walking in the way, driving a vehicle and during his work in office.
Irregular Timing of Eating
A healthy person needs to eat at a proper time. Fast food can be consumed at any time or some time twice or thrice a day, while home cooked food is served at proper time which provides opportunity to take rest after eating.
Loss of Appetite
Normal foods contain appetisers which are not present in fast food. Continuous consumption of fast food may cause loss of appetite, abnormal digestion and sometime food poisoning.
Lack of Essential Nutrients
A well-balanced diet contains all essential elements such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins etc. which are necessary for human development. Whereas fast foods contain some of these elements in high quantity while others are absent.
Consumption of fast food increases the level of stress. It has been observed that a meal rich in fat can increase your stress levels. A low fat meal therefore is recommended to bring down the stress levels.
A diet rich in sugar increases your chances of developing cavities. Tooth decay occurs when the enamel, the protective coating on your teeth, starts to break down. Eating junk food with high sugar content, such as soda, candy and baked goods, coat your mouth, gums, tongue and teeth with sugar which is very harmful.
Eating too much junk food might cause gastrointestinal problems. Processed junk food provides very little, if any, dietary fiber. You need fiber in your diet to keep your bowels moving. If you don't get adequate amounts of fiber, you may suffer from constipation.
When you eat too much junk food, you may suffer from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. High-energy-dense foods often lack protein; calcium; iron; vitamins A, C, D and E; B vitamins; potassium; zinc; and monounsaturated fats. A deficiency in any of these nutrients compromises your immune system and puts you at risk of illness and infection.
Liver damage is a significant risk associated with consuming fast food. Junk food is often filled with trans-fat, an artificial fat that is used as a stabiliser so premade foods can sit for long periods of time before they are consumed. As your body works to remove this fat from your system it can build up in the liver and cause damage.
Impact on the Environment
In addition to the medical disadvantages associated with fast food, the production and selling of junk food puts a negative impact on the environment. The amount of resources necessary to raise the need for fast food products creates a shortage of resources around the world. For example, every pound of hamburger we consume takes 2,500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain. The animals raised to make fast food meat products are often fed antibiotics and growth hormones which can be passed on to those who consume the meat of such animals.
Replace Healthy Foods
One major problem with eating junk foods is that they tend to replace healthy foods. For example, when you eat chips or cookies, you are not eating grapes or carrot sticks. Similarly, when you drink soda, you are not drinking water, green tea, fruit or vegetable juices.
Lead to Overeating
Consuming junk food also leads to overeating as they are addictive. Most junk foods are low in satiation value, meaning that they do not fill you up. As a result, you or your family may eat much more than one serving of junk food at one sitting, and you may eat several times more calories, grams of carbohydrates and grams of fat than you would if you were enjoying a healthy snack or a meal.
Waste of Money
Fast food consumes too much money as compared to home prepared food. It upsets the budget of the family.
— Aniket Raja