Junk Food and Its Impact on Health
Junk Food and Its Impact on Health
Michael was a man in his 30’s when I first met him. He had everything to live for: a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children. He was also morbidly obese and had a multitude of health problems. His biggest health problem? He had diabetes mellitus and was very noncompliant with his diet. He often came into the hospital with blood glucose levels way over 600. The last time Michael came into the hospital his blood sugar was over 1200 and he was in a diabetic coma from which he never recovered. Michael could have lived a much longer life had he chosen to eat healthier and refrain from ...view middle of the document...
B., DiFazio, L. A., and Youra, K. R., (2014), who are all authorities on this topic will help prove my credibility.
Obesity is a rising epidemic in the United States. Approximately two thirds of our country is currently either overweight or obese and these rate are growing every year (Kruger, Greenberg, Murphy, DiFazio, & Youra, 2014, p. 340). This is of epidemic proportions. Junk food consumption is a major contributor to obesity. According to Kruger et al., (2014), local availability of fast food, also known as junk food, is a major contributor to high body mass index (BMI) rates (p. 340). Major health issues are associated with high BMI. For this country to become a healthy nation, we must provide education on healthy eating, and why eating “junk” is not good. Junk food is categorized as a type of food that is a “high calorie or calorie rich food which lacks in micro- nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, and fiber but has high energy (calories)” (Ashakiran & Deepthi, 2012, p. 8). By looking at the make-up of these foods, it is easy to tell they are not a healthy food choice. Unfortunately, junk food consumption is a huge problem in this country and the impact on one’s health that arise from consuming this type of “food” should be taught beginning in kindergarten or even earlier and continuing into adulthood. However, Freedman (2013) reiterated that even health foods can be high in fats, sodium, carbohydrates, and sugars (para. 22).
Heart disease is one of the major diseases caused by eating unhealthy foods. According to Bains and Rashid (2013), junk food has large amounts of saturated fats, salt, and sugar which can lead to cardiovascular disease and hypertension (p. 472). Bains and Rashid (2013) have also stated that there is a correlation between sugar intake, tooth decay, and cardiovascular disease (p. 472). Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in this country (Hovert & Xu, 2012, p. 4). This disease and the death rate resultant from this disease could be significantly reduced with reduction of junk food intake. With the reduced intake of saturated fats, sugars, salt, and additives, overall health is increased. The following figure (Figure 1) shows leading causes of death in the United States in 2011. Notice that diseases of the heart is the number one leading cause of death.
Figure 1: Death and death rates, 2011
Figure 1: Deaths and death rates for 2011 and age-adjusted death rates and percentage changes in age-adjusted rates from 2010 to 2011 for the 15 leading causes of death in 2011: United States, final 2010 and preliminary 2011. Source: Deaths: Preliminary data for 2011. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61(6). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics (2012).
Sodium content in junk food is usually high. This high salt content can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke or cerebral vascular accident which, according to...