Health and Wellness Articles
With the constant
influx of new fast food chains and the convenience that comes with
buying fast food, one fails to pay heed to the dire repercussions it
brings. Obesity has now become an epidemic in most developing
countries and this very food is making people ‘conditioned
overeaters’. There are a few things that one should know about the
fast food industry. May be that bigger, juicier, saltier, sweeter,
crunchier campaign will not seem so appealing anymore.
Problems With The Food Industry
• Junk food makers
spend millions of dollars advertising to children. Children watch
5,500 commercials per year about high-sugar cereals, fast food,
snacks and candy as compared to fewer than 100 for bottled water,
fruits and vegetables. In addition, cartoon characters and free
giveaways make great incentives to pester their parents into
visiting the outlet and buying fast food.
• Many of the junk food producers only fund studies that benefit
them. What they fund is advertisement and not science.
• Processing food means more profit but less healthier foods.
Profits come from processing commodity crops which are
government-subsidized and they include wheat, corn and soybean. They
are made into snacks, fast foods and beverages. These high profit
foods are high in calories but low in nutritional value. A portion
of strawberries which weighs 10-ounce and has 90-calories contains
5g of fiber, many minerals and vitamins, and plenty of
phytochemicals. But a 1-ounce portion of Fruit Gushers, although,
also has 90 calories, but it does not have the nutrition that
natural fruit provides.
• Less processed foods are more filling than processed ones. Fresh
apples have an abundance of fibre and nutrients that are lost when
they are processed into applesauce. And the added sugar or other
sweeteners increase the number of calories without necessarily
making the applesauce any more filling. Same is the case with white
bread as opposed to stone-ground whole-wheat bread.
• Many healthy replacement foods are far from being healthy. An
example is the vitamin waters and energy drinks which are replaced
with sodas in vending machines in schools.
• A health claim on foods may not be make a food healthy. They may
simply be calorie distracters. Foods labeled “zero trans fats” or
“contains whole wheat” may in fact be loaded with sugar, salt or
• The food industry has made it confusing for the consumer to
understand nutritional guidelines. They have a history of using
scientific jargon rather than layman terms, and that is what deters
consumers from delving deeper into their nutritional queries.
The Growth Of Obesity
a result of the above, more and more of the populations are becoming
obese. Obesity leads to many life-threatening problems like
diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, etc.