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Not many people can resist visiting a fast food restaurant every once in a while, for the kind of food they serve in those places is tasty and even addictive.
When the consumption of junk food becomes a regular habit, it can have really negative consequences for our health. In this article, we summarize what junk food is, types of food and its effects on people's health.
Junk food is very unhealthy due to the many body-harmful elements that it contains. The high-calorie levels that this type of food has do not provide any nutrients, and that is why it is called like that.
This type of food is often characterized not only by the negative effect it has on health but also by being low-priced and usually low-quality food. Junk food is cheap, popular and easy to find. These are the reasons why many multinationals market it.
Junk food tends to be more popular among children and teenagers, a phenomenon that can be explained by advertising and the mass media, globalization and the standardization of some eating habits in most countries of the world.
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Regular consumption of junk food can have dangerous results for physical health like obesity and nutritional deficits. It also carries psychological repercussion, such as depressive moods.
On the other hand, these foods can cause addiction. This has physical, psychological, economic and social consequences.
The main health effects of junk foods are due to their high sugar content, empty calories without any nutritional value, salt excess, trans fats or vegetable oils, excessive frying processes, additives or preservatives.
The most common consequences are overweight or obesity, diabetes, heart problems, tooth decay, cellulite, premature aging, high cholesterol and in some cases, cancer.
The increase of junk food in modern societies implies serious health problems at all levels —physical, emotional and changes in the paradigm of social relations.
In addition to having serious consequences for human health, the industries responsible for producing and marketing junk food also have a negative impact on the environment. Fast food restaurants often produce non-reusable plastic containers and usually do not separate the waste they generate.
There is a great variety of different types of junk food. Below is a list of the most popular ones.
Fast food is probably the most well-known junk food type. Burgers, pizzas, sausages, or hot dogs are very popular, especially among young people. However, it has negative effects on the health of those who usually eat it.
This food group also represents junk food. It includes doughnuts, products with excessive amounts of sugar, and in general, all kind of pastry processed in an industrial way.
As with fast food, it is recommended not to abuse industrial pastry to minimize the risk of diabetes or obesity.
Foods such as fried chicken, French fries, some snacks and in general any type of food that has gone through this process are not recommended for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet and can also cause serious health problems.
The high levels of sugar in these beverages, as well as their high level of chemical components, can be related to obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Processed foods contain all the harmful ingredients that junk foods can have, but they usually contain more additives, preservatives, and colorings.
Frozen products are not bad for health because they are frozen per se, but because these foods are often ultra-processed foods with a large number of additives and preservatives.
O'Neill, B. (November 30, 2006). Is this what you call junk food?. BBC News. www.bbc.com