Fast food nutrition should make up a minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are the facts about how excessive junk food consumption affects your body.
Junk Food Affects Your Energy Levels
Junk food doesn't contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.
Because fast food and junk food don't contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar.
Junk Food Contributes to Poor Performance and Obesity
Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you'll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you'll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack.
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease.
In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen.
Junk Food Can Damage Your Liver and Your Heart
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque build up. The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.
Junk Food Can Lead to Diabetes
Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.
Because junk food doesn't contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You'll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food.
Over time, this stress damages your body's ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancrease. A healthy diet can help maintain your body's insulin sensitivity.
Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories.
Effects of Eating Fast Food
Fast food is a convenient and an affordable way to fill ones belly, especially when one is on the run. Even though one should not feel bad for an infrequent indulgence, frequent consumption of fast food can extremely damage one’s health due to the excess fat as well as calories. Accompanied with minimal nutritional value, fast foods can result in numerous health problems. Fast food refers to foods which can be prepared as well as served very fast (Al-Saad, 2016). These foods may be a perfect way towards saving time; nonetheless, it is not an appropriate manner for nutrition. Examples of fast food include chips, sandwiches, salads, carbonated beverages, gum, candy, milkshakes, pizzas, and so on. Accordingly, this paper will focus on the effects of fast foods.
One effect is obesity and weight gain. A common fast food is very high in calories and fat. Weight gain happens when one ingest more calories than the body can burn in a daily basis (Machowky, 2015). Researchers have discovered that consuming more than twice on a weekly basis at fast food joints is associated with significant weight gain with time compared to occasional visits. A research done at the University of California found that living close to a fast food hotel is associated with a 5.2% risk of obesity (Machowsky, 2015). Obesity implies having excess body fat. Obesity is different from overweight, which refers weighing more. Fast foods are high in sugar and calories which causes excessive weight gain. Additionally, fast foods replace healthy eating habits, individuals who eat fast foods are unlikely to eat vegetables, fruits, and milk. This alteration in eating habits may easily result to obesity. In United States, the obesity rate among adults is estimated to be 35.5% for women and 32.1% for men (Ogden, 2014).
Eating fast foods result to diabetes (Al-Saad, 2016). Fast foods have become an alternative for numerous busy people seeking a fast as well as inexpensive alternative to making food at home. Even though they might develop diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, often this diabetes is caused by inappropriate lifestyle choices, for instance, being overweight and being physically inactive. One side effect of consuming fast foods on a regular basis is obesity which may trigger the development of diabetes. In a 2004 research, published in The Lancet, researchers discovered that frequently consuming fast foods doubles one’s chance of having insulin resistance that amplifies the risk of having type 2 diabetes (Machowsky, 2015). Since 1980, the number of persons internationally having diabetes has greatly double from 150 million to around 360 million in 2011 (Ogden, 2014).
The third effect is cardiovascular diseases. Greater densities of fast foods are linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have found that areas having numerous fast food cafes are prone to have higher levels of hospitalization because of coronary conditions. Additionally, fast foods are often packed with sources having excess sugar as well as saturated fats, for instance, cheese, mayonnaise, and soda. Whereas this means additional calories and weight gain, also it may become a risk factor for coronary illness. Saturated fats are linked to raising cholesterol levels, whereas high sugar consumption may result to signs of metabolic syndrome that comprise increased triglycerides. Increased cholesterol levels and triglyceride are signs of cardiovascular illness and are linked with elevated risks of stroke and heart attack (Machowky, 2015).
Another effect of fast foods is high blood pressure. Common feature of numerous fast foods is high sodium, or salt content, presently, most sandwiches has around 60% of the average proposed daily consumption of sodium, which is 2,400 mg (Machowsky, 2015). Majority of low-fat and low-calorie foods are normally concentrated with salt towards making them taste better. However, extensive intake of sodium may result in high blood pressure, especially in individuals who are overweight and have sodium sensitivities.
Fast foods cause memory and learning problems. Numerous studies have demonstrated that people who eat fast foods for around 5 days perform poorly on cognitive exams which measure mood, speed, and attention (Al-Saad, 2016). Eating fast foods for 5 days frequently may deteriorate one’s memory. This possibly arises from the logic that a poor diet may cause particular chemical reactions which trigger swelling within the hippocampus that is linked with memory as well as distinct recognition. Foods that are high in fat and sugar may overwhelm the function of brain peptide referred as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which aids with both learning as well as memory development. Furthermore, the brain comprises synapses that helps in memory and learning. Consuming a lot of calories may obstruct healthy functioning and production of these synapses.
Consumption of fast foods raises the danger of dementia. This is among the scariest discoveries linked with eating fast foods. Insulin is generated within the pancreas where it assists in the transportation of glucose to fuel different body parts. Likewise, the brain produces insulin and it assists transport signals amid nerve cells as well as in the development of memories. A research carried out at Brown University showed that a lot of oily food, as well as sweets, may significantly rise insulin levels within our body. Similar to type 2 diabetes, having excessive levels of insulin causes the brain to shut down, thus unable to respond to this hormone. This may hinder our aptitude to think, or recall, and thus raises the risk of having dementia.
Lastly, eating fast food lessens aptitude towards controlling appetite. Excessive ingesting of fats may transfer mixed signals towards the brain making it hard towards processing if one is hungry or not. Often this is the reason why people find themselves overeating. Normal brain functionality demands daily dosage of basic unsaturated fats, such as, omega-6 (Myles, 2014). Insufficiency of these two components intensifies the danger of bipolar disorder and dementia among other brain-related conditions. Excessive consumption of fast foods makes it hard to digest these fats. Studies have shown that trans fats can result to inflammation within the hypothalamus, which is a brain part which contains neurons that control body weight. Accordingly, in most exceedingly bad situations, the habit of over consumption can be like drug addiction to a degree that depending on fast foods might trigger the pleasure parts of the cerebrum more noteworthy than getting drugs.
Fast foods are foods which can be prepared as well as served very fast. Frequent consumption of fast food can extremely damage one’s health due to the excess fat as well as calories. Consuming fast foods causes obesity and overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, the danger of dementia, and inability to control appetite. Thus, as appealing as these foods are, frequent consumption of fast foods is associated with diverse health problem and may even lead to premature death.
- Al-Saad, E. (2016). Causes and Effects of Fast Food. International journal of scientific & technology research, 5(04), 279-280.
- Machowski, J. (2015). The Effects of Eating Fast Foods Every Day. Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/273862-the-effect-of-eating-fast-foods-everyday/
- Myles, I. A. (2014). Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutritional journal, 13(16), 1-7. Doi:.10.1186/1475-2891-13-61
- Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B. K., & Flegal, K. M. (2014). Prevalence of childhood and adult obesity in the United States, 2011-2012. Jama, 311(8), 806-814.