As a nation, we love junk food. Be it street food, samosas, burgers, fries or cheesy pizzas, the food options available to us are endless. Even when we’re aware of the downside of junk food consumption, we continue to indulge in it and give it to our children. There’s no doubt that fattening junk foods can be very addictive for your children and cause serious health issues.
The more junk food children eat, the less likely they are to consume the essential nutrients that their bodies require. Studies have shown that junk food has excessive fat and is low on important nutrients like calcium, iron and Vitamin A. This junk food epidemic in India has caused a huge nutritional imbalance, and it is common for children these days to suffer from macronutrient deficiencies or hidden hunger/micronutrient deficiencies. Research has shown that almost all Indian children face a severe deficiency of protein, iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
So next time you’re thinking about succumbing to your children’s junk food demands, bear in mind the impact it will have on their health in the long run.
1. Junk food will make your children energy deprived: Due to lack of important nutrients, energy levels in school-going children can deplete easily, which will affect their concentration for long periods of time. In the long run, this will impact their social development.
2. Junk food will make your children fat, as it is addictive and higher in calories, fats, carbohydrates and artificial sugars. This will also make them consume unhealthy foods during other meals, and avoid important meals like fibre-rich foods, milk, fruits and vegetables.
3. Junk food is the key to chronic diseases: Research suggests that children who frequently eat junk food suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke during their later years.
4. Your children may suffer from self-esteem issues as junk food can cause unhealthy weight gain which can lead to these psycho-social issues. Over time, this may lead to compromised performance in school, hindered social relationships and anxiety problems.
5. Junk food will make your children irritable and even ruin bedtime: Rich in sugar, junk food causes fluctuations in their blood glucose levels. Fizzy or caffeinated drinks at night may also cause children to have disturbed and interrupted sleep.
So try to reduce the junk food intake for your child and choose healthy alternatives that are nutrient-rich. Maintaining your child’s health is an ongoing, lifelong process.