Beyond increasing insulin resistance and obesity risks, here are nine more hideous facts to know about fast food consumption.
In this article:
- Fast Food Calories Have Been Increasing Through the Years
- This Type of Food Can Change the Way Your Immune System Works
- Study Shows a Possible Link Between Cancer and Sugary Drinks
- Fast Food Chains May Be Selling Options with Harmful Ingredients
- Junk Food May Increase the Risk of Psychological Distress
- There’s a Link Between Allergies and Asthma and Fast Food
- More Kids and Teens Are Eating Fast Food
- Fast Food Location Can Influence Your Diet
- It’s Hard to Quit Junk Food
9 Reasons Why You Should Never Eat Fast Food
1. Fast Food Calories Have Been Increasing Through the Years
There’s no such thing as a low-calorie fast food. Even worse, the calorie count of your favorite junk meals has been going up over the last three decades.
This is the finding of a 2019 research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. When researchers compared food data in 1986, 1991, and 2016, they found that entrée calories increased by 30 a decade.
Calories of desserts also went up by 62 per decade while entrées had the highest amount of sodium, which increased by 4.6% per decade.
The next time you see a chain claiming they have the best fast food salad or keto fast food options, don’t count on it.
2. This Type of Food Can Change the Way Your Immune System Works
Your immune system is one of your best defenses against threats including bacteria and viruses that can cause infection. If they become aggressive, however, they can result in serious health issues.
A 2018 research by the University of Bonn revealed that consumption of a high-fat, high-calorie diet could make the immune system aggressive in the long run. This is because of “innate immune training.”
The immune system does have a memory of its own. Unfortunately, it recognizes this diet similarly as an infection.
When the immune system is hard at work, it can result in genetic changes. It can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and arteriosclerosis.
3. Study Shows a Possible Link Between Cancer and Sugary Drinks
It’s well-known that drinking sugary beverages can increase your odds of obesity and diabetes. A French study, however, adds more: there may be an association between that and cancers.
An increase in consumption by 100 ml has an overall cancer risk association of 18%. Its link with breast cancer is higher at 22%.
In other words, it may be a long shot to look for quality low-carb fast food in the United States or even elsewhere on the planet.
4. Fast Food Chains May Be Selling Options with Harmful Ingredients
It may seem you’ve made the right choice by eating vegetarian fast food. In reality, you didn’t fare any better than the others.
A 2016 study noted how those who consumed more fast food than those who chose to eat at home had higher levels of phthalates over the last 24 hours. In fact, the difference was a whopping 40%.
What is phthalate? It is an industrial chemical usually used in making PVC pipes, gloves, and lubricants.
This chemical can increase the risk of infertility, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. This is also the same thing you don’t want in your cosmetics and skincare products.
Granted, one can expose themselves to phthalates in many ways, but this only goes to show that your burger and fries may be one of the sources.
5. Junk Food May Increase the Risk of Psychological Distress
Because fast food options don’t add any nutrition into your body, they also qualify as junk food. Junk food, meanwhile, can contribute to many changes in the body, including the mind.
In a 2012 study, the researchers revealed that those who consumed a lot of this junk food increased their risk of depression by 51%.
There was also a dose-response relationship. The more a person ate them, the more their likelihood of developing depression increased.
6. There’s a Link Between Allergies and Asthma and Fast Food
The fries you love to feed your children may make them prone to other common conditions such as allergies and asthma.
In a 2013 research involving more than 300,000 children across nations, the researchers learned that eating fast food at least three times per week increased the risk of severe asthma among teens by 39%.
Children, meanwhile, boosted their odds of developing severe eczema, rhinoconjunctivitis, and severe asthma by over 25%.
You may also have trouble looking for a real gluten-free fast food. A Columbia University research in 2019 showed that over 50% of pizzas in restaurants tested positive for gluten.
That’s bad news for people with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that causes damage to the intestines. Even a small amount of the protein can lead to symptoms.
Those who are intolerant or insensitive to gluten may also experience digestive issues, but they may not be severe as those who have celiac.
What is rhinoconjunctivitis? Also known as rhinitis, its symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes, post-nasal drip, eye or nose itching, and nasal congestion.
7. More Kids and Teens Are Eating Fast Food
It’s not only adults who are slurping shakes and dining on greasy pizzas. Children and teens do, too, according to UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
In their study, they surveyed at least 800 parents every three years between 2010 and 2016. During this period, fast food chains had already pledged to offer healthier menus and not include sugary soda as a kids’ option on the display board.
In 2016, however, 91% of the parents bought the food either for lunch or for dinner over the past week. It was a significant increase from 79% in 2010.
Multiple factors contribute to the increased consumption of fast food among children:
- Strong influence of advertising, especially on television and social media
- Income levels of parents
- Belief that these restaurants are truly offering healthier options for the children
- Family lifestyle
Regardless of the reason, one thing is clear: too much junk food leads to poor nutrition. It increases the likelihood of childhood obesity.
It then raises the chances of developing heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes early in life. To counter that, start training your kids how to eat veggies.
8. Fast Food Location Can Influence Your Diet
The closer you are to a fast food restaurant, the more likely you’ll have a poor diet. This is the conclusion of a 2009 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
For the research, the team wanted to know the association between poor nutrition, fast food, and the subjects’ distance from the nearest restaurant.
The analysis showed about 62% of the participants consumed fast food from a restaurant about a mile from their home. Meanwhile, more frequent intake of this type of food had a higher association with poorer diet.
9. It’s Hard to Quit Junk Food
By now, you know junk food is bad, but why do you still eat it? It turns out it’s not easy to quit on them as it can change the way the brain works.
These types of food can activate the reward system of the brain. When that happens, avoiding them will only decrease your focus, attention, and executive control.
Activities that use your cognition excessively such as stress may also lower your control, so you become susceptible to signals or cues such as a burger or a box of fries.
Don’t believe the idea of the best fast food or healthy fast food. There’s none of them.
Make it easier for you to transition to healthy foods with supplements such as Alkalizing Greens. By adding this to your soups, smoothies, and other foods, you can increase your intake of greens without noticing it.
You may not say goodbye to junk food immediately, but you can start embracing a healthier diet for you and your family.
What other interesting fast food facts do you know? Share them in the comments section below.