In today’s extensive marketplace, consumers don’t need to travel far to find a fast food outlet. Recently, it has become more convenient to grab food at a drive-thru or deliver it directly to our doorsteps through a mobile app. The greater availability contributes to greater consumption. And, unfortunately, fast food consumption has dangers that we might not see now. However, the day will come when we can suffer from its effects.
Due to heavy fast food consumption, most chronic diseases afflict people remain predominantly lifestyle-induced. The belief includes that most heart attacks and strokes could be prevented if people remained willing to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors. Today, according to their 2018 data, eating processed and fast food may kill more prematurely than cigarette smoking.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Rely On Fast Food
Eating foods that remain high in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium feel rewarding in the short term. However, it can lead to unwanted weight gain and diabetes. Linked to several long-term health conditions, obesity also relates to premature death and illness including the following:
- heart disease
- gall bladder disease
- fatty liver
- joint disorders
- and, some cancers
Studies have shown that over the past few decades, fast food consumption has risen alarmingly. Aside from that, it is also well-known that fast food consumption leads to excess calorie intake. It also increases the risk of obesity due to large portion sizes and increased energy density of foods.
Fast food is addictive.
Fast food falls squarely into the category of highly palatable foods which have been focused on when it comes to studies of food addiction. These studies also examine whether or not nutrients and ingredients present in fast food may encourage substance dependence. Evidence already exist that suggested the high fat and salt content of fast food may increase addictive potential.
Link between fast food and mental health.
According to Public Health Nutrition Journal, a new study was published revolving around how eating fast food is linked to a greater risk of suffering from depression and other mental health issues. According to their data, the results reveal that fast-food consumers are 51% more likely to develop depression, compared to those who eat little to none.
The lead author of the study even said that the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression. The study, then, demonstrated that those participants who eat the most fast food and commercial baked goods are more likely to remain single, less active, and have poor dietary habits.
Fast food is notoriously hard on your digestive system. Those who have a poor diet remain more likely to experience upset stomach and digestive problems. These would include acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among others. Eating spicy foods, large meals, high-fat or greasy fast food, caffeinated drinks, and sodas remain common heartburn triggers.
The Food and Drug Administration had research where that suggested that a diet high in salt often increases blood pressure. It will make a person more prone to heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease, or heart disease. The agency also noted that a diet high in trans fats raises the amount of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. Aside from that, it also lowers the amount of high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. This means that a person remains more likely to develop heart disease.
Moderation is always key. You don’t have to give up fast food altogether. An occasional meal from your favorite chain won’t derail your health. However, if you eat fast food more often than not, you may want to reevaluate your diet and try to cook at home more.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.