Junk food is food that is calorie-dense and nutrient poor. In recent decades, junk food, fast food and convenience food consumption in India have increased dramatically, with 25 percent of people now consuming predominantly junk food diets. This trend has occurred concurrently with rising epidemics of numerous chronic diseases and accounts for a long list of reasons why eating junk food is bad.
Junk food plays a major role in the obesity epidemic. Children who eat fast food as a regular part of their diets consume more fat, carbohydrates and processed sugar and less fiber than those who do not eat fast food regularly. Junk food in these children’s diets accounts for 187 extra calories per day, leading to 6 additional pounds of weight gain per year. Obesity increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other chronic health conditions.
Your insulin levels become elevated when you eat processed sugars, such as those in soft drinks, white flour and other foods devoid of fiber and nutrients necessary to properly metabolize carbohydrates. Eating junk foods throughout the day causes chronically high insulin levels, which eventually prompts your cells to begin to ignore this important hormone, resulting in a condition known as insulin resistance. Ultimately, obesity and Type 2 diabetes may set in. Since the 1980s, Type 2 diabetes, which was minimal in teenagers, has risen to 15 percent.
Junk food may lead to depression in teenagers. Hormonal changes at puberty make teens more susceptible to mood and behavioral swings. A healthy diet plays a part in keeping hormone levels on an even keel, while a diet high in junk food falls short of these requirements. Consuming trans fats, saturated fats and processed food is associated with up to 58 percent increase in risk of depression.
- Nutrient Deficiencies
Processing that removes vitamins, minerals and fiber makes junk foods into the sources of empty calories that nutritionists disparage. Children who eat a lot of junk foods may develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to low energy, mood swings, sleep disturbance and poor academic achievement, among other health conditions.