What Are The Effects Of Eating Junk Food In Kids?


As a parent, you are probably tuned in to your child’s demands for a pizza or a burger, so much so that now this eating pattern has become almost normal.

If you thought that giving in to the junk food whims of your child was harmless, we are sorry to break the bubble!

A Major Concern World-Wide:

These days, every locality and every mall has a junk food outlet, dishing out fries, pizzas, burgers, rolls and what have you! It is a great concern world-wide that children in their growing years form the larger part of such outlet’s consumers.

It is truly a challenge to keep away your child from these very less nutritious yet delicious junk food. The growing awareness of the effects of junk food is slower than the pace of the effect it has on your child.

Understanding all about junk food and how to replace it with healthy eating is something we are sure will help you be a better ‘food-police’ the next time.

[ Read: How To Correct Bad Habits Of Kids ]

Let’s Move It:

Talking of junk food and fads, the US First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign has taken up a good cause to battle the bulge in kids. The U.S. government has set up strict rules and guidelines in schools to provide healthy food instead of junk food for kids.

What Substances Make Food ‘Junk’?

Unlike other cuisine, junk food has negligible nutrition value. Take a closer look at the contents that are usually present in junk foods.

1. Toppings:

The topping has sauces and blobs of mayonnaise. Salt is present in ample quantity in all the sauces used on these toppings and fillings of burgers, French fries and salads.

2. Processed Contents:

Junk food is more processed and has less natural nutrients. It has a very less fibre which gives energy.

[ Read: Healthy Eating Tips for Kids ]

3. Fat:

Hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches have slabs of cheese layered on the filling. These also have mayonnaise spread on it which also contains excessive fat. The oil used for the fries is fattening.

4. Added Sugar:

The quantities of added sugar in the food and beverages are alarmingly higher than any other sweet food that we usually consume. Not to ignore the added food colors in the sodas and colas.

Top Ten Effects Of Junk Food On Children:

Junk food effects on health of children are many and appalling. Here are the top ten reasons how junk food affects children and why you should ensure your child stays away from junk food:

1. Increased Blood Pressure:

The sodium in the salt increases the blood pressure.

  • This is the root cause of hypertension.
  • This in turn weakens the circulatory system of the body.

2. Fatigue:

Your child probably gets a feeling of fullness in the tummy while consuming junk food.

  • It is bereft of carbohydrate and protein which give energy.
  • Your child becomes are tired and drained out.
  • As a result, it becomes difficult for your child to perform the daily tasks.

3. Less Emotional Quotient:

Hormonal imbalance is a major change experienced in the growing years of 6-12.

  • Your child will experience a lot of mood swings and changes in behavior.
  • A nutritious diet is essential to maintain a healthy, hormonal balance which junk food will deprive your child of.
  • Depression is one of the common effects of junk food addiction in kids.

4. Kidney Disease:

Increased blood pressure affects the kidney’s function.

  • A common effect of increased Sodium levels is Edema-water retention in the body.
  • It is one of the signs of a dysfunctional kidney.

5. Diabetes:

The sugar in the colas, sodas and beverages contain high amount of sugar. The absence of other nutrients in junk food to bring the best out of sugar causes adverse effects on your child.

  • High chances of malfunction of insulin secretion.
  • Could result in Diabetes type 2 in your child now or at a later age.

[ Read: Diabetes In Children ]

6. Obesity:

The fat used for flavouring and seasoning in the junk food accumulates in the body.

  • Low energy levels do not encourage your child to engage in physical activity.
  • Leads to obesity.
  • A risk on the heart.
  • Reduces the self-esteem of your child.

7. Digestive Disorder:

The base of the junk food is more processed and has less natural nutrients.

  • It has very less fibre.
  • Chances of constipation are more.
  • Hence risk of intestinal disorder, colon cancer at a later age of life.

8. Retarded Growth:

Your growing child needs all the core nutrients required for a good bone and dental growth.

  • Adds excess weight on the thighs and hips
  • Leads to an early onset of Osteoporosis.
  • Sugar could cause tooth decay to the permanent teeth setting in.

9. Heart Disease:

Slabs of cheese are the main ingredient in junk food.

  • Fat raises cholesterol levels.
  • Deposits in the channels of the heart
  • Root of heart disease.
  • Chances of a stroke are high in the later stages of life.

10. Slow Brain-Work:

Pre-teens have to be in the race to prove better. Junk food lacks nutrients which provide alertness to the brain.

  • Leads to inability to concentrate on the tasks.
  • Retention capabilities are low.
  • Reduces the learning abilities.

So You Too Move It, Mommy!

Negligence on monitoring your kid’s food habits affects their growth in puberty. Lifestyle triggered ailments like breast cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension find their roots at a very early age via unhealthy eating.

We Chip-In To Help You Moms:

It is our endeavor to help you be a better mom to your children. And to make that extra effort to cook up some nutritious food for your family, here are some yummy ideas:

We have food suggestions you can use to bring in newness in your children’s menu.

1. Grilled Fish Sticks:

This snack provides fibre and goodness of omega3 and fatty acids together. Moreover, oats is used here which is better accepted by kids.

  • Take fish fillet.
  • Lightly season them with lemon and salt.
  • Coat with wheat powder and roll it in oats.
  • Grill or roast it.

2. Brown Bread Corn Cups:

Packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals, this snack is filling and an option for mid-evening snack.

  • Take couple of brown bread slices.
  • Cut edges and put in the moulds.
  • Prepare a filling of boiled sweet corn or paneer, diced red and green pepper, grated carrot and pomegranate seeds.
  • You may add cheese and potatoes.
  • Mix with seasoning of pepper and salt
  • Place it in the bread cups.
  • Top it with grated cheese and bake it.

Variation: Lightly roast the bread and add the filling as a topping.

We are sure these delicious and healthy snack ideas are any time a better competition to the junk food. Not only are these filled with nutrition, they will also have your child asking for more.

How did you veer away your child from junk food? Did you try the above food suggestions? Write in to us.

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