Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ”A man’s palate can, in time, become accustomed to anything. ”Hundreds of millions of people buy junk food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of their purchases. As the name suggests, junk food is just pure junk. Actually the term "junk food" refers to foods that are relatively high in caloric content, but low in nutritional value. A few examples of foods often considered to be junk food include fast food, sweets such as ice cream, candy, donuts, soda, and potato chips, among many others.
Although junk food trend is quite new in Pakistan yet it is growing very fast. KFC, McDonald's, Papa John's Pizza, Pizza Hut etc are very famous restaurants among all age groups equally. Although junk food is convenient, delicious, inexpensive, and is basically a cultural phenomenon but unfortunately eating excessive junk food can have serious negative effects on people, young or old alike. we as a society need to stop eating junk food because it has increased our health problems, has badly affected our social setup, and destroy the environment.
Most obvious effects from eating junk food are on our health. People who eat a lot of junk food tend to gain weight quickly, which can lead to obesity over time. This extra weight then has an impact on the health of the rest of the body. It can raise cholesterol and blood pressure contributing to heart disease. Obesity can cause one to develop insulin resistance, which is one of the risk factors for diabetes. This is a particular concern in children. Currently, 17% of children in the world are obese due to excessive intake of junk food.
In addition, junk food badly effects our energy levels because this type of food does not contain any nutrients that are beneficial to the human body. Junk food is filled with harmful constituents that do not provide any useful energy, like carbohydrate and fat, thereby causing weakness in the body. When the body does not get proper nutrition, it can become difficult to concentrate. It can also cause depression. So,we should take it serious because when we lose our health, neither money, nor time can get it back. Social life is also badly affected by junk food culture.
It has become a fashion now for youngsters to spend much money on junk food. Many junk food restaurants have become a common hangout among teens as a source of cheap food that requires minimal waiting. A further effect is on the economy. Although junk food is not very expensive, it is more expensive than cooking properly for yourself. Many of the junk food companies are franchisees of foreign corporations, so profits leave the country. Another result of junk food culture is the loss of the family tradition of eating together. They tend to eat them casually and separately.
It’s not good for the relationship of families since they have fewer opportunities to meet together and talk to each other. So, our social set up is at risk due to junk food culture. The generalization of junk food can lead to major negative impacts on our environment. Junk foods are usually served in packets. The bags, wrappers, napkins, boxes, Styrofoam containers, plastic-ware, traditional polystyrene burger boxes etc are the main contents of our dust bins now a days . Out side the home, people leave wrappers and other junk food packagings everywhere, which is potentially harmful to environment.
Plastic bags and containers are usually not biodegradable and take hundreds of years to decompose. It can be ingested by animals and then damage their health. The Styrofoam and plastics used to packing food end up in the ocean as a form of marine pollution. Junk food joints emit much amount of volatile organic compounds ( VOC's) that pollute our air also. Researchers claim that the char broilers used in restaurants send a staggering quantity of particulate matter into our environment, more than any truck or factory smokestack. We must consider it because pollution in environment is core root of all problems.
In conclusion, junk food, although it is convenient and a tasty addition to a diet, can have serious health and social effects. It begin to affect our environment negatively in a very short period of time. It’s good to question yourself now. Why are we paying junk food restaurants for obesity, heart disease, and pollution? Totally stoppage of junk food culture is difficult at once but slowly, People should learn to choose healthy food carefully and remember the pleasure of eating good food in good company. It will improve their health and they will have a chance to live longer.