The repetitive intake of certain types of food can have consequences for the body and health, so we need to recognize that there are risks to be faced when we exceed ourselves.

In the following article, we will mention ten consequences of junk food on health, thus allowing its knowledge and prevention. 

What is junk food?

Junk food is a term applied to foods with few nutrients and usually high in fat, sugar and salt. It is also known in some countries as junk food, due to how unhealthy they are for consumers and their bodies.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has given it a classification not based on its amount of nutrients but on the amount of processing it carries, which places junk food in the last link called ultra-processed products. 

To highlight: The existence of these products has made a great difference in the food system worldwide, particularly affecting low- and middle-income countries (1)

What are the consequences of eating junk food?

Excessive consumption of junk food or ultra-processed products lead to metabolic and nutritional imbalances, producing consequences in consumers and on a large scale at a social level. We will mention below what are the main consequences of the consumption of junk food: 

1. Risk of cardiovascular disease

The high levels of fats and salts in this type of food produce an imminent risk factor in consumers, especially at the cardiovascular level. Excess saturated fat increases cholesterol levels and produces an increased chance of cardiovascular accidents.

You should know: The functioning of the arteries is also affected due to concentrations of fat cells and the production of inflammation in them. (two)

2. Risk of diabetes

The excess of junk food, including mainly those of a sweet nature, can cause diabetes due to the high levels of sugar ingested, although obesity can also result in suffering from this disorder.

Important: A study carried out at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, was published with results of an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity when consuming a lot of junk food. The study was conducted on individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 on a fairly limited diet. (3)

3. Digestive disorders

The constant or habitual consumption of junk food leads to the appearance of Irritable Colon Syndrome , acidity and reflux, since the level of consumption of fats and oils alters the bacterial flora and increases the production of acid, so that the stomach becomes irritates. 

4. Liver and kidney problems

Excessive consumption of sugars and fats overload the liver, due to the concentration of these components, especially the fat inside. In this sense, an article by Drew Ordon mentioned the consequences, especially in patients who have suffered from hepatitis (4)

To highlight: A regular consumption of foods rich in fried foods, are harmful to the liver and present complications in any type of individual , concluding in fatty liver and production of kidney stones due to excess sodium. 

5. Low physical energy levels

Junk food does not provide the necessary nutrients to fully develop and fulfill the usual functions of our body, especially since it is consumed in a greater proportion than what is obtained.

However, it is also important to mention that the energy provided by this type of food yields much less , so we usually need more and eat more, becoming a vicious cycle with high rates of leading to obesity.

6. Cognitive decline

Scientific studies carried out at the University of New South Wales, obtained as results that the intake of junk food in a constant and extremist way, deteriorates the cognitive capacity of the individual 

Note: Fatty food can lead to memory impairment , due to marked inflammation of the hippocampus. (5)

7. Weight gain 

The continuous intake of unhealthy foods , such as ultra-processed or junk food, lead to deliberate weight gain thanks to their high fat, sugar and salt content. 

They also produce difficulties in metabolism , in addition to providing little energy and nutrients, which is why they require greater consumption and therefore a risk of latent obesity.

8. Depression and bad mood

There is a scientific study that has verified the increased risk of suffering from depression due to the consumption of junk food. The increase is 37% and is usually due to bad habits, which usually includes little rest and a lot of stress. 

You should know: Eating habits physically and psychologically influence the individual. (6)

9. Accelerated aging 

Biological aging is influenced and favored as a consequence of junk food. Most of these foods are processed with large amounts of fat, sugar or salt and therefore have a negative influence on the body of their consumers and increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Important: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated a link between this type of food and biological aging, causing an increase in the speed of degeneration of our cells. (7)

10. Risk of cancer

Among the consequences of junk food, we can highlight that fiber is not usually available among its nutritional components a molecule that helps detoxify the body and therefore increases the risk of multiplication and proliferation of abnormal cells and the development of cancer.

Key Findings

  • Junk food or also called junk food are ultra-processed products with a high content of fat, sugar and salt .
  • They confer few nutrients to the organism of their consumers and therefore produce long-term consequences on health.
  • They are not able to provide enough energy to the body, which is why greater food consumption is demanded and obesity develops .
  • Studies have found that junk food can lead to cognitive impairment due to inflammation of the hippocampus, in addition to increasing the risk of depression.
  • Its low fiber content does not allow the detoxification of the body, so the risk of developing cancer cells also increases.
  • The consumption of junk food in excess is harmful and destructive to health , so a balanced diet is recommended, excesses are never good.

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