Category: Analysis

Introduction

Food is one of the necessities for a human being. However, the choice of food has a significant impact on the individual's health. Nutritionists advise that people should observe a balanced diet while planning their meals. Intriguingly, few people take interest in what they prepare for their meals. This issue involves all social classes irrespective of the education level. Though people are aware of the importance of observing a balanced diet, they ignore such information, thus posing a serious health challenge in the society. According to Thomas Weiss (2013), lifestyle modification, and especially eating habits, are vital concerns in preventing ample conditions affecting the population. Antony Jaworowska, Timothy Blackham, Davies Green and Lawrence Stevenson (2013) argue that one of the contemporary areas of “food abuse” is fast food’s consumption. The paper aims to discover how and to what extent fast food influences health.

Body

Fast food refers to the readily available, in terms of accessibility and affordability, foodstuffs that actively compete with home-prepared dishes. According to Thomas Weiss (2013), fast food is satiated with ingredients that make them tasty and highly palatable compared to kitchen food. Fast-food meals are always rich in sugars, fats, and salts, which means that it contains many calories. The sugars present in these foods are highly concentrated monosaccharides and disaccharides. These sugars are quickly absorbed in the blood, which leads to an abrupt elevation of blood sugar concentration. Mostly, fat components are those saturated fats and cholesterol, which are difficult to digest and clear from the body. In addition, Linda Armstrong and Karen Lawson (2012) criticized the salt components in fast food since they use the readily available and water-soluble minerals, such as sodium and potassium. These salts play a significant role in impulse transmission, water retention, and transportation of electrolytes and other compounds in the body. The concentration of caloric value in fast food tampers with the body’s ability to regulate metabolism (Tilden, 2010).

These foods are highly preferred by the young population for their attached value and prestige. The fast food has been availed by the processing firms to almost every corner of the world tempting the nerves of those who try to resist the juicy and sweet content in these foods. The adverse advertisement and promotion campaigns for enticing fast food make it almost impossible for the youth to resist their craving (Weiss, 2013). Therefore, despite awareness of the implications posed by these foodstuffs, they never get enough courage to shun off the temptation of taking this kind of food. Consequently, health risks associated to these foodstuffs become exacerbated and may lead to multiple complications or a chain of health problems (Antony Jaworowska et al, 2013).

A critical disadvantage of fast foods is that they are poor in nutritional value. The lack of nutritional values leaves the fast food with no issue of health improvement. The person who consumes the fast food may end up being chronically exhausted due to lack of energy. The high-caloric and concentrated sugars pose a challenge for blood sugar homeostasis in the body (Jaworowska Antony, 2013) because the increased concentration of sugar in the blood increases probability of metabolic stress. The oversecretion of insulin in sudden episodes poses a risk to body cells, hence, they may start to lack insulin sensitivity, which can lead to diabetes type II. Nonetheless, these elevated levels of sugars can be only maintained for a short period, and the person can get hungry again. Obviously, it prompts to go for extra fast food, increasing the risk. A large number of people, especially the young, consuming fast foods and concentrated beverages, are highly linked to the increasing rate of diabetic patients in that age group.

In addition to growing diabetic rates, fast-food meals are associated with the rising cases of obesity and overweight. An obese person is one who has a body mass index (BMI) above 3.0. Linda Armstrong and Karen Lawson (2012) assert that the ability of the body to reduce storage of glycogen and fat tissues is determined by level of its activity and food consumed. The amount of carbohydrate consumed should be in line with the activity level to reduce the rate of glycogenesis. On the contrary, fast food provides carbohydrate at an increasing and sudden rate. This warrants the body to convert glucose into glycogen, which is stored in the organism. Accumulation of the glycogen increases the mass of the body, and hence, it becomes obese.

Other than diabetes and obesity, fast foods have a negative impact on the circulatory system. Thomas Weiss (2013) notes that the concentrated fats and cholesterol components of fast foods pose a grave threat to cardiovascular conditions, which may cause hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction, among others. The reason behind these conditions is that the fat contents are deposited along the endothelial lining of the vessels forming occlusions and narrowing the vessels. This leads to poor blood supply to the targeted organ, reducing its activity. This may lead to fatigue despite being involved in minimal activities.

The salt levels in fast foods are also detrimental for health. For instance, sodium is useful in controlling the amount of blood and fluid volume in the body (Weiss, 2013). If the level of sodium through consumption of fast foods is drastically increased, the electrolyte balance will be disrupted, which can lead to incongruent body fluid volume. This may lead to cases of edema, cardiac overload and unhealthy increase in body weight. The raised levels of sodium pose a threat of hypertension. Moreover, electrolyte imbalance is a significant factor leading to poor nerves coordination (Tilden, 2010), which may culminate in seizures and convulsions. Ideally, elevation of sodium in the body triggers an ion pump action that eliminates other electrolytes, such as calcium and potassium. Consequently, the body suffers from an electrolyte imbalance that affects levels of metabolism and cell functioning.

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A combination of elevated levels of introduced electrolytes and fat contents in the diet is also lethal to a number of organs in the body. For instance, kidney’s main role in the body, which is fluid balancing and blood purification, may be damaged by high blood glucose. This may end up damaging the glomerular that leads to passing blood in urine containing proteins and sugars. This will culminate in urinary tract infections. The liver may also be affected by the level of fat content in the diet (Tilden, 2010).

Antony Jaworowska and other researchers hypothesized that taking too much sugars encourages activeness and makes a person feel uncomfortable. This may generate mood swings and changes in gut motility. A combination of these sensations results in laziness and makes a person unproductive. Arthritis is another common condition frequently reported due to increase in fast food preferences (Tilden, 2010). The main connection between these two is the level of salts in the fast foods.

According to Weiss (2012), 33% of cancer cases are associated with poor diet. The highly spiced fast foods and the chemical concentration in such meals are the key contributors to different kinds of cancer. On top of that, blood glucose level should be regulated to prevent brain damage (Tilden, 2010). Increased levels of blood sugar reduce regeneration and multiplication of brain cells.

Conclusion

In conclusion, individuals should take charge of their health status, especially in terms of eating habits. It can be extremely easy for a healthy person to acquire diet-related illnesses, yet it is something that can be effectively prevented. If people are aware of the food they take, choosing their diet guided by nutritional value may reduce the level of chronic conditions. Sweetness should never be considered while selecting the healthy meal. Individuals ought to abstain or minimize the level of fast food consumption. This will promote their health. Finally, people should modify their eating habits with the aim of promoting favorable health status.

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