Doctor's Speak

How Does Junk Food Damage Your Body?

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It is a known fact that eating too much junk can be detrimental to your health and cause serious repercussions in the future. There are many chronic health conditions like obesity, high sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure that can directly be linked to the consumption of junk food.

In this blog, we unravel the impact of junk foods on health and their long-term impact on your body with Dr Mehul Choksi.

Dr Mehul Choksi is one of the leading Consultant Gastroenterologist practising in Mumbai. He is proficient and has successfully handled many Gastroenterology procedures like Gastroscopic biopsies, Endoscopic sclerotherapy, endoscopic variceal ligation, Snare polypectomy and PEG tube placement among many others.

Junk Food and Its Impact on Your Health

It’s important to know the impact junk food has on our health to understand the severity of the situation. Food like burgers, pizza, French fries can be had once a while and should be restricted to one time a day.

Foods like these contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt which together and even individually can lead to conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart diseases if not kept in check.

“A person can have junk food once in a while but whatever junk food is planned to be consumed should have been freshly prepared and served hot.”

Some of the most common ailments that such foods can cause are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Kidney ailments and stones
  • Insulin resistance
  • A fatty liver disease which can lead to end-stage cirrhosis
  • Heart conditions due to high levels of cholesterol
  • High reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Heartburn
  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Acute viral hepatitis

You can clearly find that junk food does more harm than good to the body. This is mainly due to the fact that these junk foods have less or no presence of necessary nutrients and also have low satiation level. This means that you would end up overeating something which is of low nutritional value.

“Long-term intake can lead to constipation and vital nutrient, vitamin and mineral deficiencies.”

How Does It Impact the Kids and Teenagers?

The impact of junk food can be seen quite visibly among the younger generations, especially the teenagers and pre-teens as they get overly influenced by the marketing commercials seen on television. You can often see groups of young teenagers in fast food joints eating a whole assortment of unhealthy food on a regular basis.

This has lead to a drastic increase in obesity and a decrease in their daily nutritional intake which further complicates their health. Gastroenterologists see many cases of teenage obesity, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis on a daily basis due to these bad food choices.

Since foods high in sugar and salt are known to elevate the serotonin levels in the body, it also leads to constant mood swings and anxiety-like symptoms every time the sugar levels in your body crashes.

They also experience loss in concentration and extreme fatigue coupled with a drop in cognitive senses. Unlike the elderly who would have specific ailments pertaining to digestion and processing of junk food and its contents, the teenagers would also have to cope with mental ailments and cognitive disabilities if exposed to too much junk food.

“Junk food is harmful because it contains a high level of calories from sugar or fat without the presence of fibre, protein, vitamins or minerals.”

Junk the Junk food

Junk food tastes delectable due to the high amounts of sugar and salt present in it. Consuming it too much is sure to have negative effects on your health and has the potential to cause irreversible damage to your vital organs.

Only Permissible levels of Junk Food is advisable

  • You can consume a daily limit of empty calories or junk food depending on your nutritional requirements.
  • A child can have around 120-150 empty calories.
  • An adult man from 19-30 can have around 330 empty calories
  • An adult man of age 31 to 50 and a male teenager around 14-18 can consume around 265 calories of junk food.
  • Females of age 19 to 30 can have around 260 calories of junk food.
  • Male and female above 50 can have around 120 calories of junk food.

These permissible limits are subjective to the amount of physical activity and exercises one does during the day.

In Conclusion

Junk food may be the most preferred food but definitely not the healthiest. It is very important that you know how much is too much for your body. Consuming permissible amounts accordingly on an occasional basis should be the way to devour junk food.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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