‘Eat healthily and live healthily’ is one of the essential requirements for a long life. Unfortunately, today’s world has been adapted to a system of consumption of food which has several adverse effects on health. Lifestyle changes have compelled us so much that one has so little time to really think that what we are eating is right! Globalization and urbanization have greatly affected one’s eating habits and forced many people to consume fancy and high-calorie fast foods, popularly known as ‘Junk foods’.
“There is no doubt that Food delivery aggregators have created a platform to bring restaurants closer to the customer through the benefit of digitalization.
It’s not just a necessity that drives millennials to spend on eating out. Many like to experiment with new cuisines and center their social interactions around food.
“The entire culture of eating out or going out in the evening has developed over the past 15 years or so. Delivery services played a very significant role in this. They eliminate the time & distance barrier and guarantee that one will receive food by a particular time.
So, digital food ordering is not just convenient but also giving space to sheer laziness. It has also drastically changed the way people eat. Food ordering is not just confined to burgers, pizzas and rolls but Indian thalis, parathas, tikka rolls as well. The difference lies in the fact that one does not have control over the ingredients used, the amount of fat used in cooking or oil topped in the dressing.
The effects on health
While food apps may claim to showcase some healthy food choices in their menu, but this culinary revolution has nurtured a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, thereby destroying the choices of healthy eating and encouraging complex food ordering.
This is possibly creating health hazards on the consumption of such high-calorie foods. Diseases like coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus have seen a profound rise in developing countries and such unhealthy junk food consumption is one of the notable factors to its contribution.
One of the most basic risks associated with high-calorie intake is the development of obesity, which occurs when actual body weight is at least 20 percent greater than ideal body weight.
As one gains weight, the body’s size becomes larger — typically from fat accumulation. The heart is forced to work harder to pump a sufficient amount of blood to our expanded areas. Over time, this increased workload on the heart can cause heart failure. As fat accumulates around our extremities and cholesterol accumulates inside our blood vessels, our heart must work even harder to push blood through our now-narrowed pipes, and high blood pressure develops as a result. High blood pressure further increases our risk of heart failure, along with heart attack and stroke.
If the high-calorie diet is filled with too many carbohydrates, which come from a wide variety of foods, this might also be at risk for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body produces too little insulin or when the body’s insulin become insensitive to the hormone. As a result, sugar molecules cannot enter the cells to produce energy, and they instead remain in the bloodstream, leading to further physiological damage.
Due to excess weight, the body becomes heavier. This extra weight wreaks havoc on the bones and joints and could eventually lead to the development of osteoarthritis. Fluid-filled cushions protect the body’s joints by absorbing shock and preventing bone-to-bone contact during movement. Over time, excess weight causes these fluid-filled cushions to disintegrate from the extra pressure. This disintegration allows our bones to rub against one another, causing excruciating pain and inflammation in our joints.
According to a 2012 “USA Today” article, a study by the American Academy of Neurology suggests that high-calorie intake might also be linked to mild cognitive impairment — a type of memory loss that is noticeable, yet not severe enough to interfere with daily life. According to the study, older people who consumed a high-calorie diet had a much larger risk of developing this cognitive impairment than older people who ate a low-calorie diet.
This global problem of consuming junk food on a large scale and its impact on health needs an emphasis on health education, which can greatly contribute to its limited consumption and switching over to healthy eating habits for the better living. Knowledge highlighting about the eating habits, nutritional aspects, quality of unhealthy foods, their health impact and preventive measures should be given to create awareness and render health education for a change towards good eating practices.