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Health Effects of Fast Foods

HealthEffects of Fast Foods

Fastfoods have become a contentious issue in the contemporary society.Typically, fast foods are described as the types of foods preparedand served very quickly, including processed foods. These foods areavailable in almost every part of the world as their popularityincreases each awakening day. Many people consider these foodsdelicious and tasty than fresh foods prepared at home. Likewise,children have found a new delicacy to supplement their meals. Inturn, several restaurants have taken advantage of this popularity andhave turned to making fast foods more than ever before (Smith 28).They are easy to prepare, takes short time, and consumes less laborthus, more profitable and convenient for restaurants. Most fast foodsare deep fried and get ready within a very short time. There is aheated debate on whether fast foods are beneficial or dangerous.Researchers confirm that fast foods have negative effects on thehealth of individual hence, their consumption should be reducedremarkably (Schlosser 41).

Accordingto Davies, Hiram and Vasiliki (53), eating fast foods has beenassociated with several cases of weight gain. People who consume fastfoods twice a week or more have a tendency of gaining weight inunhealthy way. This has led to unprecedented rates of obesity casesin America and the entire world. Fast foods contain a lot ofunhealthy fats that accumulate in the body of consumers resulting toweight gain or obesity, which occurs due to consistence use. Obesityis a serious disease that has recently drawn much attention from thehealth researchers and the public at large. It increases the risk offatty streak development and cholesterol levels, which contributes tocardiovascular disease. Fast foods contain foods high in fat, but lowin fiber content. Usually, fiber improves digestion and lowers thecholesterol levels in the body, which leads to reduced cases ofcardiovascular disease and some types of cancers. Researchers confirmthat increasing the rate of consumption of food rich in fiber mayhelp in fighting the ever increasing cases of obesity in children.Doing away with fast foods is a great step towards fighting weightgain and cases of obesity.

Thehigh content of salt and other food additives in fast foods is agreat threat to consumers. Salt is associated with diseases such asstrokes, kidney function, and high blood pressure. Some medicalresearchers have gone a step ahead to confirm that calcium and sodiumcompete in the body. This means that the more one takes salt in thebody, the more he/she is likely to excrete calcium. Such a trend isdangerous because calcium is an essential mineral in the body.Further, food flavors and additives found in fast foods causeproblems in the body. These chemicals may accumulate in the body fora long time leading to healthy problems such as cancer and othermalfunctions of the body. The chemical additives have everything todo with some of the most dangerous diseases that people acquire laterin life. Thus, even though the effects may not be experiencedimmediately, their effects in the long term cannot be underestimated.

Itis notable that fast foods have low nutritional values, but high fatcontents. People may consume a lot of fast foods without reallytranslating to high energy levels. High nutrition value is crucial asit provides the body with required energy for performing dailyactivities. The children may be greatly influenced by consumption offoods low in nutrition as they require a lot of energy for theirgrowth. This means that children who lack enough nutrients in thebody are at a high risk of not becoming fully developed. Nutritiongives children the energy they require to play and grow at thiscrucial stage. Therefore, lack of food rich in nutritional value mayslow down the growth of children. Likewise, adults who consume fastfoods occasionally may feel chronically fatigued as their bodies lackenergy. High levels of sugar in the fast foods may put the metabolismof the body under stress (Smith 82-107).

Increasedcases of diabetes are greatly contributed by consumption of fastfoods, which have high rates of sugar. When people take too muchsugar and carbohydrates, the body becomes stressed. The body isforced to pump insulin production that is aimed at preventingdangerous spike in the level of sugar in the blood. Because fastfoods lack the protein needed in maintaining the blood sugar levels,consumption of fast foods drops the level of sugar in the blood. Thismakes the body crave for more sugar and a person ends up eating moreand more fast foods. Continuous use of such foods stresses theability of the body to produce insulin that the body secretes. Inturn, this leads to diabetes, which has become very common in thesociety today (Ferry 109).

Theother school of thought, on the other hand, claims that the negativeeffects of fast foods are a mere exaggeration. Many claim that theyhave been consuming fast foods for a long time and they are yet tosee the negative consequences commonly preached. In fact, people feelfast foods are a savior in this era of increased economic activities.The convenience and the availability of fast foods make it easy forbusy people to manage their busy schedules. In the modern world,people have to work extra hard to meet the rising economic needs andthe increased costs of living. In addition, fast foods are quitecheaper than fresh foods prepared at home. The restaurants thatprepare whole meals tend to be more expensive the reason why peopleopt for fast foods. Some people consistently claim that fast foodssave them time as their busy schedules do not allow them to makefresh foods at home (Watson 69-81).

Eventhough fast foods are cheaper, convenient, and readily available,their negatives effects on the body should not be overlooked. Thesefoods may not have direct and immediate effects in the body of some,but the long term effects are bound to set in after some time even ifit takes several years. Studies estimate that approximately 35million deaths worldwide are caused by diet-related complications.This makes it one of the leading causes of worldwide deaths. This isa clear implication that people need to watch out what they eat.Parents should also watch out what their children eat as a majorresponse to the threat of diet related diseases. It is true that fastfoods may be easy to prepare and relatively cheaper than whole grainmeals, but this should not outdo the need for a healthy society. Thehealth of people and the society at large lies greatly on the eatinglifestyles (Temple, Ted and David 127).


Davies,H D, Hiram E. Fitzgerald, and Vasiliki Mousouli. Obesityin Childhood and Adolescence.Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2008. Print.

Ferry,Robert J. Managementof Pediatric Obesity and Diabetes.New York: Humana Press, 2011. Print.

Schlosser,Eric. FastFood Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.Boston: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.

Smith,Andrew F. Encyclopediaof Junk Food and Fast Food.Westport, Conn. [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2006. Print.

Temple,Norman J, Ted Wilson, and R J. J. David. NutritionalHealth: Strategies for Disease Prevention.Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. Print.

Watson,Stephanie. FastFood.New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2008. Print.