It is no wonder why fast food is so many times referred to a junk food. This can be easily explained, due to the many disadvantages of fast food. This food is responsible for the increased amount of obese children. Many people are aware of the fact that obesity can lead to even more complex medical conditions. This can be devastating especially if obesity starts in childhood. This is why it is important to be familiar with all the effects of fast food on children and decide whether this food is supposed to be consumed on regular bases or the diet should contain other nutrients as well.
Effects of Fast Food on Children
The first thing about fast food is that it contains plenty of sugar. An excess of sugar is in our system is associated with diabetes. The metabolism of sugar (taken in large amounts) is simply inadequate and there is a good chance that a child who consumes fast food on regular bases could become insulin resistant.
Fast foods are abundant in saturated fats and fats in general. The intake of fast food on regular bases is connected with high levels of cholesterol in blood. Increase in cholesterol is a risk factor for premature atherosclerosis and all the medical conditions associated with atherosclerosis. Once the process of atherosclerosis starts it is hardly reversible and only with proper diet one can prevent its progression. Excess of calories in fast food is easily converted into fat tissue that can lead to excess weight gain. One more disadvantage of fast food is high content of sodium. Increased intake of sodium leads to elevated blood pressure. Together with atherosclerosis high blood pressure is responsible for serious structural changes of the affected blood vessels.
And finally, fast food contains low amount of vitamins and certain minerals. For example, prolonged intake of fast food may result in anemia due to insufficient intake of certain substances. Intake of fibers is reduced if not eliminated and this is also considered detrimental for all children who regularly consume fast food. Insufficient intake of fresh fruit and vegetables carries additional risk for weakening of the immune system. This way children are more susceptible to infections and other illnesses.
What is an Option?
It may not be easy to change a child's diet. But it can be slowly modified and a child should be taught what food is beneficial and what is not beneficial. It is almost impossible to prevent the consumption of fast food so the goal is, to reduce your intake of this kind of food. This is why parents should prepare healthy meals which include plenty of fruits and vegetables, fibers, whole grains and lean meat. Fish is also supposed to be eaten a couple of times a week. Milk and other dairy products as well as fruit are essential in a daily diet.