Table of Contents
In this study, the primary objective is to identify what a healthy diet is and what it constitutes. The study looks into what junk food is and its effect on our health. Another objective is to determine the negative consequences of failing to observe a healthy diet and how the impacts affect people and communities. Finally, the research reviews the positive effects of proper dieting in the medical, social and financial statuses of individuals and communities.
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What is a healthy diet?
A healthy diet is meant to sustain and improve the general health of individuals. This is done by ensuring that the body is provided with the required nutrition which is free from toxic materials. Various components of a healthy diet are derived from plant and animal-based foods. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet protects people against malnutrition and non-communicable diseases and illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. The WHO argues that the principal risks in the global health are unhealthy diet and inadequate to zero physical activities. A healthy diet should have a right balance of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, water, roughages, and minerals. According to Renton (2015), there is no precise definition of what a healthy diet should constitute, more so a clean diet with examples provided of people followed a clean diet and yet they suffered eating disorders such as orthorexia. Clean eating is described as consumption of unprocessed foods where one can ingest as much as they can without minding the calories due to the assumption that it is whole.
What is Junk Food and Fast Food?
According to a study as analyzed by Boseley (2013), fast foods have been found to have a possible link to an increased rate of asthma and allergies affecting children in the United Kingdom and other developed countries. Fast foods are consumed for convenience and may or not have any nutritional value. Junk foods, on the other hand, are considered to be unhealthy since they are comprised of salted, fried, sweetened foods and carbonated drinks with high sugar levels. Fast foods include things like fruits, baked beans, and wholemeal sandwiches. Junk foods include candy bars, chocolates, French fries, pizza, and taco among others (Boseley, 2013). In a study whose population was made up of children divided into two age groups; the first group was comprised of 319, 000 14-year olds who were from 51 countries and the second group was made up of 181000 children from 31 countries under the 6-7 years age bracket. Questions regarding their feeding habits in the previous 12 months, specifically their consumption rates of eggs, nuts, milk, margarine, bread, pasta and other fast foods such as burgers were presented (Boseley, 2013). The study also sought to determine the effect on allergies and asthma rates upon consumption of such foods. Their severity was determined based on their impact on the children’s sleeping patterns and daily life activities.
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Can Fast Food Be Healthy? How? Why?
Fast foods contain high levels of saturated fatty acids, Tran’s fatty acids, sodium, carbohydrates, high sugar levels and preservatives. The high amounts of the manufactured hydrogenated vegetable fats in substances like margarine have Tran’s fatty acids which were linked to asthma and allergies. The study outcome showed a 27% increase in the rate of severe asthma attack upon fast food consumption more than thrice a week among the children between 6-7 years. Fast food, therefore, cannot be considered healthy. However, when consumed in limited amounts, they may have less severe effects on the health of individuals.
Negative Implications of an unhealthy diet
Failure to observe a healthy diet has adverse health effects. Consumption of fast foods causes allergies and asthma, especially among children. Junk food has been directly linked to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure which shorten the lives of individuals. Financially, parents of children with diet-related illnesses suffer the burden of medical bills. Some of these diseases have no cure such as the Type 2 diabetes associated with the fast foods (Boseley, 2016). Parents, therefore, have to get back to their pockets not to buy burgers for their children but to pay for healthcare services for their children, every day given that some of these illnesses are terminal. Socially, people with obesity feel stigmatized since the society labels them as “fat” and are excluded in many activities due to their body size. Communities from developing countries are associated with malnutrition disorders due to poor dieting this time due to lack of resources and food in general. By the mention of such lands, the thing that first comes to mind is malnutrition. According to Bittman (2007), consumption of too much-processed food, meat, and the less homemade food is increasingly putting the planet at risk.
Positive implication of following a healthy diet
Consumption of a healthy diet comprised of foods from plants such as vegetables, fruits and cereals, limited processed foods and physical exercise, on a regular basis leads to general wellness, biologically, emotionally and mentally (Cosslett, 2017). It requires a lot of discipline, but in the long run, individuals are likely to benefit much more than it would cost them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Medically, there are fewer hospital visits as a result of good health. Financially, it is not cheap to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but one saves much more due to the avoidance of health implications associated with poor dieting. Socially, people who observe a healthy diet are more appealing due to their glowing skin, good body shapes, and physical strength. They have higher prevalence rates to lucrative positions in job sectors, roles in films and status groups. According to Booth (2017), a healthy diet is associated with prolonged life spans such as the Okinawa diet whose consumers live up to and over 100 years.
- Bittman, M. (2007). What’s wrong with what we eat? TedTalk. Available at https://www.ted.com/talks/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat?referrer=playlist-what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]
- Booth, M. (2017). The Okinawa diet-could it help you live to 100? The guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/19/japanese-diet-live-to-100 [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]
- Boseley, S. (2013). Fast Food and Takeaways linked to surge in child asthma and allergies. The guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/22/what-is- healthy-eating [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]
- Boseley, S. (2016). Junk Food Shortening Lives of Children Worldwide, data shows. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/07/junk-food-shortening-lives-children- obesity-diabetes-data [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]
- Cosslett, L. (2017). Here’s the real recipe for a healthy eating: a big fat serving of education. The guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/10/recipe-healthy-eating-education-ditch-diet-drinks [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]
- Renton, A. (2015). What is Healthy Eating? The guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/22/what-is-healthy-eating [accessed on 4th Jan 2017]