The Effects Of Fast Food On The Body
Effects of Fast Food on the Body
A 2013 study published in JAMA Pediatrics showed that children and adolescents take in more calories in fast food and other restaurants than at home. Eating out added between 160 and 310 extra calories a day. According to the National Institutes of Health, some fast food meals give you a whole day’s worth of calories. That can really pack on the pounds. Being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of chronic health problems.
When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition and poor health.
Digestive and Cardiovascular Systems
When you take in high amounts of carbs, it causes a spike in your blood sugar. That can alter the normal insulin response. Frequent spikes in blood sugar may be a contributing factor in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Added sugars have no nutritional value but are high in calories. According to the American Heart Association, most Americans take in twice as many sugars as is recommended for optimal health. All those extra calories add up to extra weight, a contributing factor in heart disease.
Trans fats, often found in fast food, are known to raise LDL cholesterol levels. That’s the undesirable kind of cholesterol. It can also lower HDL cholesterol. That’s the good cholesterol. Trans fats may also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Too much sodium helps to retain water, so it can cause general bloating and puffiness. Sodium can contribute to high blood pressure or enlarged heart muscle. If you have congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease, too much salt can contribute to a dangerous build-up of fluid. According to the American Heart Association, children who have a high-sodium diet are at twice the risk for developing high blood pressure than children on a low-sodium diet. Excess sodium may also increase risk for kidney stones, kidney disease, and stomach cancer.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are among the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
A recent study published in the journal Thorax suggests that children who eat fast food at least three times a week are at increased risk of asthma and rhinitis (congested, drippy nose).
Central Nervous System
A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that eating commercial baked goods (doughnuts, croissants, cake) and fast food (pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs) may be linked to depression. People who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little to no fast food. It was also found that the more fast food they consumed, the more likely study participants were to develop depression.
Skin and Bones
The Thorax study showed a higher risk of eczema (inflamed, irritated patches of skin) among children with a diet high in fast food.
When you consume foods high in carbs and sugar, bacteria residing in your mouth produce acids. Those acids are hard on your teeth. In fact, they can destroy tooth enamel, a contributing factor in dental cavities. When the enamel of your tooth is lost, it can’t be replaced. Poor oral health has also been linked to other health problems.
Excess sodium may also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis (thin, fragile bones).
This article has been posted with permission of healthline.com