Harmful Effects of Junk Food Essay

Essay on Harmful Effects of Junk Food

Junk food is easily accessible, convenient and affordable to everyone. These properties of junk foods entice many people around the world to consume them in excess. Junk food may be defined as nutrient-poor food items which are usually high in fat, sugar or salt. They lack essential elements like proteins, fibers, vitamins or minerals (Buzby et al., 2013). The excessive consumption of junk foods is associated with a wide range of health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that overweight and obesity are now epidemics in both developed and developing countries. They have further warned that the epidemic is spreading to the young generation at an alarming rate (WHO, 2012). According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of U.S. children and adolescents are obese or overweight (Ogden et al., 2014). The main reason for this is the excessive consumption of junk foods.


Junk food items are generally high in calories which lead to weight gain. Obesity is a serious health problem that increases the risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that obese people are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and death from any cause (Flegal et al., 2013). Another study published in the journal The Lancet revealed that obese people are at risk of developing 13 different types of cancer (Flegal et al., 2013).


The high amount of sugar present in junk foods is also a major cause of concern. Excessive consumption of sugar can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care showed that people who consume excessive amounts of sugar are at risk of developing diabetes (Yoon et al., 2014). Another study published in the journal Circulation revealed that people who consume sugary drinks are at risk of heart diseases (Hu et al., 2012).


Junk foods are also high in saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes (Smith et al., 2006). Trans fats can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease (Mozaffarian et al., 2006). Junk food items made from hydrogenated oils contain dangerous trans fats.


Long and Short Harmful Effects of Junk Food Essay in English

Short Harmful Effects of Junk Food Essay

In this short essay on the harmful effects of junk food, a brief account of the impact of junk food on our health and how important it is to avoid junk food are discussed.


We are all aware that the way we treat our bodies reflects the state of our mind and lifestyle that we are all leading. The food we consume directly affects our state of mind, and so when we eat healthy and nutritious food, we are happier, content and positive in life. Even though we know that we do not take care of our bodies and eat junk food that harms our bodies. Sadly, nowadays, kids want everything to be served quickly, and fast food serves this purpose rightly.


The production of junk and fast food is at an all-time high. The supply is more because of the increasing demand. It has a negligible amount of nutrients and nutritional value. It is oily, greasy, full of fats and sugars. The high levels of calories have resulted in an increase in obesity and high blood pressure. It has also worsened the digestive system and appetite. When this is combined with the comfy and lethargic lifestyle in today's times, it also results in inadequate growth and development of children. And from a very young age, they are more susceptible to mental health diseases like depression. The effects of such consumption are only negative when the world is trying to normalize conversations about such problems; we should also be doing our bit in taking care of our health and life.


Long Harmful Effects of Junk Food Essay

In this long 600+ words harmful effects of junk food essay, the effects of junk food on body and life are discussed in detail.


It is very vital to take care of one's body because our body is our vehicle, the most important tool that helps us get through life and perform our daily activities. When we treat our body right, it reciprocates the same zeal and willpower required for us.


The first important way to treat our body right is via exercise or working out in any form, be it through yoga, pilates, functional training, or weight training. All of this will help keep us fit. Even with working out daily, we will not get our desired results of fitness if we do not eat well. A proper diet is the most important catalyst to lead a healthy life.


A proper diet includes a good amount of balance between calories, fats, proteins, fibers, and nutrition-rich food. We can find all these nutritional values in foods like green leafy vegetables, fruits, and rice for carbohydrates. It is good for the body and the mind.


Junk foods include fast foods like french fries, fried foods like churros, pastries, pizzas, cookies, candies, burgers, and chips. All of this has a very high sodium content, cheese, sugar, and oils that have no nutritional value. It is not a good source of nutrition, nor is it helping our body in any way.


It only satisfies our taste buds because all junk foods taste good. But we must realize, in order to satisfy the cravings of our tongue, we are ruining our body and depriving it of a healthy lifestyle. This short-term fulfillment of mere cravings can have long-term impacts on our health, with life-threatening diseases that will leave a lasting negative impact on our bodies. It results in the following:-

  1. On the Brain and Mental Health - the sodium content in junk food leads to headaches which will help lose focus and motivation even for mundane tasks. The risk of depression and other mental illnesses increases with the increased consumption of processed foods.

  2. On the Respiratory System - due to heavy and oily foods the children are consuming these days and leading a lazy lifestyle, they are at high risks of shortness of breath, and according to the studies it is also found that such children also suffer from asthma even to their adult and old age.

  3. On the Cardiovascular System - Cholesterol consumption blocks the blood flow to and from the heart because of the deposition of fats and leads to blood pressure-related issues. There is also the risk of premature heart diseases like heart failure, arrhythmia, etc. A weak heart results in many other bodily diseases due to improper and inadequate supply of blood to others.

  4. On the Digestive Tract - When such processed food is consumed, it is very difficult to digest because our bodies are not designed to do so. When digestion is slowed, the metabolism also becomes slower, and it results in weight gain and obesity. Other such problems are food poisoning, acid reflux, constipation, and indigestion, and in severe cases may also lead to kidney failure.

  5. On the Skin - Processed food contains very high levels of sugar, eventually leading to obesity. In such conditions, the blood sugar level also sees a spike, and this causes the outbreak of acne in the skin and face.

Curbing the intake of Junk food:- It is important to have healthy food due to the aforementioned reasons but surely one is attracted to junk food regardless. In such a case, we must reduce the intake of junk and processed foods and have it less often rather than making it a habit. Incorporating healthy food will allow you to have an active lifestyle and lead a fulfilling life. It will keep the heart in check, and energy levels will always soar high, which is the optimal way of living.


Conclusion

Being aware of your own health and knowing the possibilities of the very harmful effects junk foods have on our body can be very helpful. This awareness will help one make healthier choices. A proper workout is incomplete without a balanced diet, so it is important to cater to the body's needs without indulging in your cravings and taste requirements. Long-term effects last a lifetime and rob you of your childhood and youth, so starting a healthier diet for a better lifestyle is never too late.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the health effects of junk food?

Junk foods are also very much high in saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes (Smith et al., 2006). Trans fats can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease (Mozaffarian et al., 2006). Junk food items made from hydrogenated oils contain dangerous trans fats. Junk and processed foods have a high sodium content, cheese, sugar, and oils that have no nutritional value. They only satisfy our taste buds because all junk foods taste good. But we must consider that in order to satisfy the cravings of our tongue, we are ruining our body and shearing it off a healthy lifestyle. This short-term fulfillment of mere cravings can have long-term impacts on our health, with life-threatening diseases that will leave a lasting negative impact on our bodies. 

  • On Brain and Mental Health - The sodium content in junk food leads to headaches which will help lose focus and motivation even for mundane tasks which are very dangerous. The risk of depression and other mental illnesses increases with the increased consumption of processed foods. 

  • On the Respiratory System - Due to heavy and oily foods the children are consuming these days and leading a lazy lifestyle, they are at high risks of the absence of breath, and according to the studies it is also found that such children also suffer from asthma even to their adult and old age. 

  • On the Cardiovascular System - Cholesterol consumption interrupts the blood flow to and from the heart because of the deposition of fats and leads to blood pressure-related issues. There is also the risk of early heart diseases like heart failure, arrhythmia, etc. A weak heart results in many other bodily diseases due to improper and Insufficient supply of blood to others.

2. What are the foods that can be classified as junk food?

Any food that is manufactured with the addition of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives qualifies to be junk food. The foods that are high in calories but offer no nutritional value like soda, candy bars, chips, and other fried snacks fall under this category. These foods are usually easy and cheap to find. It's best to avoid these foods as much as possible. These foods are very harmful and have the potential to cause great damage to our body and possibly increase the risk of some life-threatening diseases.

3. What exactly causes obesity?

There are some pathophysiological causes for obesity, namely, genetic disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome and leptin receptor mutations, developmental causes like brain tumors or injury, some autoimmune conditions like Cushing's syndrome, and medications like antipsychotics and steroids. However, the majority of obese people have no identifiable cause for their weight gain. Many experts believe that excessive consumption of junk food is a major contributing factor to obesity. When people eat foods that are high in calories but offer no nutritional value, their bodies don't get the nutrients they need. Over time, this can lead to weight gain.

4. What are the long term effects of junk food?

Some experts say that since junk food is readily available, it becomes easy to eat more than one should usually be allowed to consume. Eating junk food can lead to obesity and other health conditions like glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension etc. A study found that children who consumed fast foods three times a week were more likely to develop asthma. Junk food can also lead to tooth decay and other oral health problems. Long term effects of junk food are obesity, weight gain, heart diseases, diabetes etc.

5. How can we prevent our children from eating junk food?

It is important for parents to set a good example for their children and teach them about the importance of healthy eating. Parents can try to make healthy meals at home that their children will enjoy, and they can also pack healthy snacks for their children to take to school or on trips. It is important to be aware of the foods that are being sold at schools and in other places where children might be tempted to eat unhealthy foods. Parents can also talk to their children about the dangers of eating junk food and make sure they understand the benefits of eating whole foods.

6. What are the Junk Foods to Avoid at any Cost?

Any junk food that has high levels of damaging chemicals and sugars to add taste and flavour to the food must be kept at bay at any cost. And such junk foods and processed food often have harmful preservatives that will cause many diseases. Such foods can be pizzas, burgers, chips, cakes, cookies, cookies, fried and grilled food is extremely oily with unuseful fats. Broiled food must be avoided. Drinks containing high amounts of sugar are also unhealthy and harmful.

7. Is any Junk Food Healthy?

Chips are considered to be a portion of junk food but now there are many vegan chips available that can be extremely healthy and will aid in fulfilling your cravings and not harm your body and lifestyle. A few of those are Kale chips, sweet potato chips, and spinach chips. They are healthy with no trans-fat or saturated fats. And these are easily available now. All these can be an alternative to potato chips.

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