8 Disadvantages of junk food

Junk food has become part of our lives in a way that differentiating between junk and healthy food is difficult for children. 93% of children have packaged food more than once a week.

Junk food impacts:

  • Your brain
  • Obesity
  • Mood
  • Fertility
  • Skin
  • Hair
  • Stomach
  • Teeth.

The increase in junk food intake has increased the number of obese and overweight children, from 9.7% to 13.9 between 2001 to 2010.

Junk food is impacting our loved children and our world’s future in problem. Hence, let’s see the disadvantages of junk food.

Junk food

All the high-calorie food lacking dietary fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients fall under junk food. A few countries like Mexico, Chile, Japan, France, and others have banned junk food. Still, on a world level, we are failing to decrease the rate of their consumption.

One of the biggest reasons it is widely consumed is its cost. As per research conducted by the University of Washington, a diet of 2000 calories of fast food costs way less than 2000 calories of healthy food, making it affordable for the lower-income class.

As per research made in 2013, healthy food costs 1.5$/per person more than unhealthy/junk food.

Brain

According to many types of research, it has been found that a week of junk food can destroy your memory. And in rats, it lasted for three weeks after researchers changed their diet back to normal.

Humans are different from rats, but the hippocampus region of the brain functions in a somewhat similar manner.

The hippocampus helps us learn, recall and navigate places. It also regulates the stress system, and junk food crushes down its ability to control what might lead to uncontrollable stress, dumping those hormones into the bloodstream, which would eventually back to the hippocampus damaging our memory.

brain

You can’t determine the effects at a young age, but older adults might take a lot of time to recover as, with age, cognition gets declined as per several studies. Some people are bound to have packaged food loaded with salts, sugar, and fats, leading to brain impairment diseases like Alzheimer’s.

In few recent studies, sugar consumption was linked to memory loss, and unhealthy eating has been linked to depression, aggression, stress, and even shrinkage of certain brain parts.

People tend to eat more than their appetite, usually in pre-teen and teenage because (prefrontal cortex) part of the brain that helps us make informed decisions doesn’t get developed by that time. On the other hand, the part of the brain that rewards us for pleasures develops teenagers.

Obesity

Junk food is loaded with calories, and these calories might lead to weight gain, ultimately leading to obesity. We consume many unhealthy calories in junk food, leading to asthma, shortness of breath, diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, fatty liver, and more.

Hight fat and sugar present in junk food lead to a change in the fetal brain reward pathway, altering our food preferences and making us have more of it.

facts of the FAD

Advertisements play a crucial role as it fascinates children and makes them lure towards unhealthy food. They give an impression among children that packaged HFSS (High Fat, Sugar, and salt foods) food is tasty.

  • In Australia, 35% of adult’s daily energy intake comes from junk food.
  • In Australia, 41% of children’s daily energy intake comes from junk food.

Sandwich consumption is associated with obesity based on BMI to 35%, fried chicken to 40%, and pizza more than 80%.

Mood

The good bacterias in our body play a crucial role as they protect your intestines lining and ensure that they give a solid fight to the bad bacterias. Good bacterias also reduce inflammation, improve the body’s absorption capacity of nutrients from food. They also activate neural pathways that stay between the gut and the brain.

A regular intake of junk food can lead to inflammation that may impact the production of good bacterias in the body. Bad bacterias affect the health of neurotransmitters like serotonin, and they also make up the intestinal microbiome.

Until our neurotransmitters are not in good shape, our brain will not receive the messages loud and clear, which would get reflected in our mood, and if the things go the other way around, it will reflect the same.

As per a study, people who have traditional diets tend to have 25-35% fewer chances of depression in comparison to the western diet because they are high in vegetables, unprocessed grains, fruits, etc. on the other hand, the western diet is void of processed, refined and sugars.

Start noticing how you feel after having junk food the next day and for the next few more days after. Remove the junk food, start consuming healthy food for a few weeks, and observe your physical and mental health. You will find it much better than before.

Fertility

Consuming junk food and lack of consumption of fruits increases the risk of infertility by 2X. Regular consumption of junk food makes it difficult to conceive.

A study in the journal Human Reproduction included nearly 5,600 early-stage pregnant women, aged 18 to 43, from Australia, New Zealand, U.K., and Ireland, 8-16% of them were found infertile as it took them more than 12 months to get pregnant.

Women with a low intake of fruits had 12% fewer chances of conceiving within a year, while the rate was 16% fewer for those who had fast food four times or more per week.

fertility

On the other hand, in males, it affects the sperm count. As per new research, men who consume western meals regularly tend to have 25.6million sperms less than men who consume fish, chicken, fruits, and vegetables.

Less sperm count in men can highly impact the ability to get their partner pregnant.

It is considered low sperm count when they are less than 

15million/ml or 39million per ejaculation.

The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology 2019 found that the sperm count has decreased in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand by 59% over the last 40years ending in 2011.

Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible to increase their durability. Phthalates aren’t added to the food, but they get generated while making fast food due to the methods. Equipment material like plastic leach this chemical and acts as a culprit. 

Skin

Processed and junk food can diminish your skin’s glow; along with that, many skin problems come uninvited with it.

Oily SkinOmega-6 fatty acid and salt present in junk food dehydrate the skin, producing extra oil to maintain the equilibrium leading to oily skin.
AcneMultiple studies say that acne is triggered by fat and refined carbohydrates, which come from junk food. Consuming a lot of refined sugar may also cause more production of oil.
BlackheadsThe most prominent reason behind blackheads is oily skin which is a result of unhealthy food.
Whitwheads Junk food triggers whiteheads as it leads to oil secretion and impacts the skin.
WrinklesUnhealthy diet routine; poor nutrition leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Processed sugar creates advanced glycation end products, which is a primary reason for premature aging.

If an individual has chronic skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, it is preferred to have natural sweeteners like maple syrup, raw honey, and coconut nectar as they have less impact on blood sugar levels as compared to sugar.

Processed sugar molecules, when get attached to collagen molecules they give birth to advanced glycation end products or AGEs. AGEs can’t be further broken down, which attacks your young skin.

Processed sugar is also known as high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, cane sugar, and glucose-fructose.

Hair

Just a bit of change in your hairstyle can change your whole look. Think if you were going bald. The majority of the population will feel uncomfortable. Hence, it’s better to change your diet routine before you lose the power of saving them.

The greasy burger, fries, and chole bhature turn into greasy skin and scalp. Of course, no one wants oil to clog the pores overhead, as that’ll lead to hair loss.

hair

The alcohol you consume doesn’t have a nutritional value. Along with it, it dehydrates the body leading to a dehydrated scalp. The hair would become brittle and likely to break. Moreover, alcohol slows the levels of zinc in your body.

Diet soda that you have contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar, making it good for weight but not for your hair as it contains Aspartame. According to Food and Drug Administration, Aspartame leads to thinning of hair and may also lead to hair loss.

Instead of soda, you may have drinks that contain honey.

Here are 10ways to maintain healthy hair.

Stomach

The stomach needs enzymes to digest food that is not available in fast food. After the stomach, the intestine requires fibers and water for proper bowel movement, but again lack of these things leads to irritable bowel movement and poor digestion system.

High sodium content present in junk food increases the chances of bloating, stomach cancer, and even stomach ulcers. Along with sodium, you will also consume salt in a great quantity, due to which a significant amount of water will be held by the sodium that may result in stomach discomfort.

Junk food misses dietary fibers that help in the smooth digestive system and secretion out of waste. And fewer fibers means less water absorption that would lead to constipation.

Fast food also attacks the kidney and liver.

Teeth

The added sugar in sodas and the salt in edibles harm your teeth. It creates a layer of debris (a layer on which foreign particles get attached easily) around your teeth. Debris let acids form up around itself that further leading to tooth decay and cavities.
Junk food contains acidic compounds like acrylamide, amino acids, and phosphoric acids that lead to indigestion, heartburn, etc.

teeth

In ancient times they didn’t have teeth still; they are in excellent condition comparatively if we stay without brushing. The reason behind this is the high content of sugar and salts consumed.

Junk food leads to diabetes, and diabetes can increase the chances of periodontal disease. It is essential to maintain sugar levels. Otherwise, it might start impacting your dental problems.

Avoid these bad oral health habits to maintain that sparkling smile.

Conclusion

Consuming junk food once in a blue moon is fine, but consuming it regularly can impact your health. Junkfood is good for taste but not good for your body. So, have them wisely.