Fast Food Effects on Health In today’s age of convenience, fast food needs no introduction. Everyone from a 2-year-old toddler to a 60-year-old grandpa seems to be enjoying it every chance they get. And why not? It’s delicious, it’s filling, is really affordable, and readily available just any time of the day, being only a drive through phone call away. What more can you ask for when you are living life in the fast lane? Well, plenty – fast food is all good tasting, except that it is not nutritionally balanced and, therefore, unhealthy in the long run if consumed on a regular basis.
Fast food is loaded with calories from refined sugar and fats (especially, the artery-clogging saturated and hydrogenated fats, which are repeatedly reheated to high temperatures for frying purposes). It is also very high in sodium, coming from common salt and other additives. On top of all this, fast food is deficient in dietary fiber and essential micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals. To make matters worse, heaps of fast food are normally guzzled down with gallons of sugar-rich colas – which many fast-food restaurants serve free with food as an incentive.
And being physically inactive only adds to the problem of obesity. Not many people who love fast food are ready to acknowledge that obesity is not simply an eyesore – it is a major risk factor for a large number of deadly diseases like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and even many types of cancers. Recent scientific studies have shown that high-calorie foods rich in fats, refined sugar and salt could reconfigure the hormones in the body in such a way that they make you crave for such foods and always leave you asking for more.
In other words, fast food is kind of addictive; you get hooked on to it and continue consuming it in an uncontrolled way in spite of knowing that it is unhealthy. The more you consume, the more difficult it is for you to opt for healthy foods. The situation is worse in case of children who from a very young age get hooked on fast food. Making them change their food habits from fatty and sweet foods and develop a taste for health-promoting fruits and vegetables is a task easier said than done.
Such children would grow up to be obese adults who have never felt the advantages of being a healthy weight. To sum up, consuming fast food on a regular basis leads to many health hazards. But bringing about changes in eating habits is not easy. To start with, a simple change that one could make is to successively reduce the frequency of eating fast food and eat more frequently home-cooked food, with plenty of fresh foods and vegetables.
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