Awareness about the harmful effects of junk food is rising slowly and people are understanding the importance of intake of healthy diet. However, there is still a significant number of people, especially kids, who consume junk food regularly. The 'interesting' facts about junk food mentioned in the following article would encourage them to shift towards healthier options.
What is Junk Food?
Food which contains little amount of nutrition and high content of harmful ingredients is generally referred to as junk food. The term 'junk food' was coined by Michael Jacobson in the year 1972. Fast food is considered harmful for health and attempts are being made to minimize the intake of these dangerous food items. One would be amazed to know the amount of sugar and other harmful ingredients we consume through junk food. Excessive sugar and the accompanying obesity is just one of the aspect of junk food consumption. For kids to understand the importance of a healthy diet, they should be informed of the health problems associated with the intake of fast food.
Junk Food Facts
The information presented below should give us a fair idea about harmful effects of these food items.
- Junk foods are known for their high sugar content. A single can of cola contains a staggering 10 teaspoons of sugar. Thus, people who are in the 'dieting mode' should think twice even before sipping colas. Other foods which contain high amounts of sugar include chocolates, cakes, biscuits, etc.
- The amount of minerals and vitamins is less in junk foods, while it is loaded with calories.
- The oxycholesterol content too is high in these foods; oxycholesterol is one of the different types of cholesterol, the high intake of which increases chances of a heart attack.
- The unused sugars are converted into fats and thus, people who consume junk foods regularly, are at a risk of gaining more weight than others.
- Artificial flavors used in junk foods that are sold for children is double in sweetness to that of adult food. It may lead to harmful effects on children. The sweetness already present in natural foods becomes unpalatable for children due to excessive intake of artificial sugars through junk food.
- The colors and flavors present in junk foods are responsible for causing rashes, asthma and other problems like hyperactivity.
- In the United States of America, around 12.5 million children are overweight. Consumption of junk food is an important cause behind children gaining weight.
- Food items such as chips, cookies, candy bars, muffins, fried foods, etc., contain high amounts of hydrogenated oils and fats. The trans fats or hydrogenated oils present in these foods do not serve any purpose in the nourishment of the body.
- The excessive amount of salts present in junk food items like chips and pretzels cause the sodium percentage to rise in the body. Sodium if present in high amounts, leads to increase in blood pressure levels.
- It has been observed that the margin of profit earned by soft drink companies is around 97%. Thus, it is possible for them to resort to excessive spending in advertising their products.
- The intake of junk foods is responsible for health problems like tooth decay, different types of cancers and many other diseases, apart from heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure.
- Fats present in junk foods cause the brain to demand more food. Such an effect of fats on the brain can remain for long periods of time.
- Aggressive marketing of junk food products is the main reason behind people resorting to such unhealthy stuff, which is being consumed on a regular basis. Targeting children right from the age of 2-4 yrs. causes the market share of junk food manufacturers to attain a sustained growth; it is but natural that junk food companies try to lure children through attractive schemes. Celebrities are roped in to market such products. Such strategies reinforce children's belief in these 'empty foods'.
- The excessive amount of sugar present in junk foods causes insulin levels to remain high and metabolic problems occur thereafter.
The facts illustrated through this article would make the readers aware of their harmful effects on human body. The most shocking revelation about junk foods came into light when an experiment was conducted on rats. The rats under experimentation were fed with junk food for 5 continuous days. Pleasure centers of their brain became desensitized by the consumption of junk food. These rats starved for about two weeks even after the junk food was replaced with a healthy diet. The above article thus, presents some useful junk food facts, which may encourage people to lean towards a healthier diet.