Nowadays, junk food has become common in our daily diets. The reason why most people opt for fast foods is that they are cheap, tasty, and readily available. Despite the high current intake of fast foods, many nutritionists complain they lack essential nutrients and are unhealthy to our bodies due to their high-calorie content, cholesterol level, and sodium.
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Nutrition value of Fast foods
How it’s lost
Overcooking of fast foods makes them lose essential nutrients. Destruction of essential nutrients renders these foods less beneficial to our bodies. Most fast foods consist of high-calorie foods as well as foods that are rich in cholesterol. Moreover, fast foods are largely prepared using a lot of addictives as well as preservatives to make them delicious, and so that they can last longer. Addictives contain a lot of sodium, which is unhealthy to our bodies when taken in large quantities. Fast foods are mainly prepared with fats that have high quantities of Trans fat that is responsible for increasing the level of cholesterol (Gulnaz par. 7).
Health Problems of Fast Foods
Fast foods are mainly junk foods which have high-calorie contents and high level of cholesterol. When people take junky foods for a long period, they accumulate a lot of fat and become overweight and obese. It is noted that a single fast food meal can contain as high as 1700 calorie, which is about the overall calorie that one requires per day.
Currently, obesity is a major health issue in the United States of America as well as in Australia. In these regions, there is a high prevalence of many young people as well as adults who are diagnosed as being overweight as well as obese.
It is observed that Continuous consumption of fast food results to overweight and obese conditions that make most people experience various physical discomforts such as joint pains as well as tiredness. In cases of children overweight, those children who are overweight are often discriminated by other children during playing. This discrimination makes such children not to have children who they can play with.
Thus, lack of playing mates as well as their continuous consumption of junk food makes their overweight condition to deteriorate into obesity which is a very detrimental condition that can increase children mortality rate (Bowman, Gortmaker, Ebbeling, Pereira and Ludwig par. 10).
Causes food poisoning
Fast food is harmful to our health as it is the main cause of food poisoning nowadays. It is believed that most of the foods that are served in fast food restaurants are mainly preserved as well as pre-cooked. The management of fast food restaurants encourages pre-cooking of foods to shorten preparation time to avoid delays.
Pre-cooked foods get ready after being prepared after a very short span. The preservation and pre-cooking of fast foods are the main reasons why fast foods are highly vulnerable to contamination. Moreover, the high increase in the consumption of fast foods has resulted in a compromise in hygiene in many fast food restaurants to cater to volumes. Lack of cleanliness has resulted in a high increase in the cases of food poisoning.
Risk of cardio-vascular and other non-communicable diseases
Over-consumption of junky foods such as fries, margarine as well as chips makes one to become overweight as well as become obese. Obesity eventually leads to lifestyle-related diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes as well as stroke.
Consumption of junky food is unhealthy and is closely associated with heart diseases. Fast foods such as burgers as well as fries have high contents of calorie that causes obesity that leads to narrowing of the blood vessels that result in elevated blood pressure. Also, fast foods are rich in sodium intakes, which are harmful to those people who suffer from high blood pressure.
This is because high sodium intake can increase high blood pressure by increasing blood volume. It is known that sodium attracts and holds fluid, and hence it’s over consumption can result in an increase in the blood volume in the body, which is dangerous to those people who suffer from hypertension.
Poor management of hypertension by taking unhealthy diets that contain a high amount of calorie as well as sodium can result in severe high blood pressure that may cause a stroke. Thus, it is imperative for people and mainly those suffering from high blood pressure to reduce the consumption of high-calorie foods as well as foods that have a high content of sodium.
Diabetic is another disease that is associated with high intake of fast foods. Diabetes is the condition that results when an individual pancreas fails to produce insulin fails to control the amount of sugar in the body. Most fast food meals are rich in sugar, and high quantities of sugar are not healthy for our bodies.
The pancreas produces insulin that regulates the amount of sugar in our bodies. Over consumption of junky food that is rich in starch makes the pancreases to produce more insulin, which overworks it and thus wearing out. The failure of the pancreases to realize enough insulin to control the amount of sugar in the blood results to a high level of sugar in the blood. In severe cases, diabetes causes kidney failures (Cornforth par.8).
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Social, ecological and economical consequences of Fast foods
The high rise in consumption of fast foods has increased the demand for casual labors in the restaurant industry. This demand has resulted in a high increase in young people who migrate from rural to urban areas in search of paid jobs. High rural-urban migration has resulted in a decrease of the agricultural workforce, causing a shortage in indigenous agriculture production.
The increase in fast food restaurants has also resulted in the clearing of rain forests in South America to raise cattle as well as get lands to plant-animal feeds. Clearing of forests has been blamed for the current high rate of global warming. Moreover, the high rise in the demand of fast food has reduced the size of lands cultivated by indigenous people as a result of wealthy foreigners purchasing or leasing vast track of lands that they use for corporate farming. This has reduced the production of essential foods such as maize making their prices to escalate. Shortages as well as high prices for vital foods are the main cause for the current high cases of hunger (Khan par.8-12).
Many people nowadays are over-consuming fast foods because they are readily available and cheap. Over-consumption of fast foods is associated with causing; food poisoning, obesity, hypertension as well as kidney failure. Fast foods are also associated with various social, ecological as well as economical challenges such as high rural-urban migration, high rate of global warming as well as shortages and rise in the prices of essential foods as such as maize.
Bose, Debopriya. “Advantage and Disadvantage of Fast Food.” 2012.
Bowman, Shanthy, Gortmaker, Steven, Ebbeling, Cara, Pereira, Mark and Ludwig, David. “Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey. “Pediatric.
Cornforth, Tracee. “Eating Fast For Means Weight Gain, Insulin Resistance For Teens.” About. Com. 2012.
Gulnaz, Ahamed. “What are the Negative Effects of East Food?” Hubpages Inc.” 2012.
Khan, Brian. “Consumption: The Fast Food Factor.” Inpapaermagazine. 2010.