There is no denying the reality, how fast food is playing a pivotal role in the rise of various diseases in kids that were earlier associated with adults. Lured by the taste, convenience and easy availability of junk foods, parents and kids are getting into a spiralling vortex of health woes. For kids, it is not possible to understand the long term implications of eating junk foods on a regular basis. A section of parents end up buying junk foods despite knowing the drawbacks owing to their hectic schedule, lack of time and the convenience factor. The adverse effects of these foods on kids’ health are numerous and serious.
Health Woes Faced By Kids Who Eat Junk Foods
It is important that you become aware of how eating fast food can hamper your kid’s health, both in short and long term. The fast foods include pizza, burgers, fat laden bakery products, candies and aerated sodas etc.
Below listed are major health issues faced by kids who gorge of junk foods:
- Obesity– the most obvious and worrisome health hazard posed by fast food consumption is childhood obesity. Both in the USA and UK, a significant number of school going kids are overweight and afflicted with obesity related ailments. A lot of junk food and sweetened drinks that kids love are laced with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Consuming such drinks and foods lead to empty calorie consumption and the result is weight gain. A lot of kids who become obese owing to eating junk foods also fall prey to health hazards like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Hindered Academic Prowess– While many parents may not think about this aspect, studies indicate gorging on junk foods regularly can hamper academic prowess of kids. This was corroborated by finding of a study published in Journal of School Health in 2008. It has also been observed that eating junk foods can lead to lack of concentration and low learning efficacy.
- Vulnerability To Ailments And Chronic Illness– Kids who become addicted to junk foods tend to become susceptible to certain ailments. They also become ill chronically. The reason is quite clear. When you eat junk foods that taste yummy, but lack nutrients, a nutrient deficit is created in the body. In the long run, this weakens your immune system and the body falls prey to bacteria and virus prevailing in the atmosphere, resulting in recurring illness.
- Low Self Esteem- Kids who eat junk foods frequently tend to gain weight and become obese. Such obese kids often suffer from low self esteem. This, coupled with peer pressure can be detrimental for the mental health. Such kids may develop depression over time. As a result, they suffer in academic front and these kids tend to become isolated in life early.
- Poor Dental Hygiene And Tooth Decay– Children who become fond of eating junk foods tend to have poor dental hygiene and suffer from tooth decay. This is because a majority of fast food is laced with sugar. When the kids gorge on such foods at different times of the day, they do not always rinse their mouth well. The food residue sits on the teeth and gums and the acidic elements corrode the enamel in the long run. It results in tooth decay in childhood and several dental health related problems. Drinking diet soda and fizzy drinks can aggravate this problem.
- Digestive Problems– Gorging on excess fast foods can lead to digestive issues in anyone, including the toddlers. This is because most fast food items do not contain fibre. This leads to disruption in the digestive system, causing constipation at times.