If you ask your child, his food preference, the first thing he will utter, will be a burger or a pizza. These tasty, inexpensive, and easily available junk food are popular among not only the children but also adults. You must have seen the seemingly never-ending lines in Domino or Pizza Hut. Their popularity doesn’t mean that they are good for your health too. Junk food has been associated with an array of health hazards. And, this is the reason that the Food and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has presented the proposal of a complete ban on the sale or advertisement of junk food in school canteens and within 50 meters of the school campus. The idea behind this step is to promote the intake of safe and healthy food among school children. Here, we list a few harmful effects of eating junk food to make you realize how these unhealthy items are affecting your health.
Causes memory and learning issue
According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, having junk food continuously for even 5 days can impact your memory significantly. This toxic diet can actually cause inflammation in the hippocampus area of the brain which is responsible for memory. Junk food can do so due to the presence of a high level of sugar and fat. These macronutrients can potentially suppress the activity of BDNF, a brain peptide associated with learning and memory formation. Additionally, synapses present in the brain also help in the recognition and eating food rich in calories can impact their production and functioning.
Junk food contains trans fats that are known to send mixed signals to the brain. This makes it difficult for it to process if you are hungry or have eaten enough. And, this confusion leads to overeating, a known reason behind weight gain. For the better functioning of your brain, you need to eat food rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Their deficiency can cause health problems like bipolar disorder, dementia, attention deficit disorder, etc. According to various studies in the field, the intake of too many trans fats can potentially cause inflammation in the hypothalamus that controls body weight.
According to a study conducted at the University of Montreal, eating food rich in sugar and fat can cause changes in the chemical activity of the brain. These changes can lead to the onset of depression. Regular intake of junk food can cause withdrawal symptoms after you refrain from eating them. And, the withdrawal symptoms can reduce your ability to deal with stress and anxiety.