Name: Ali Hussain Al-Attas Date: 15/10/2011 Cause & Effect Junk Food Prevalence and its Physical and Mental Implications Introduction: A study conducted lately, showed that junk food affects the function and structure of the brain which could change peoples’ behavior, especially that of children. By definition, junk food is pre-prepared food that has low nutritional value and is high in calories. The aim of this paper is to explore the causes of junk food prevalence and its physical and mental effects. Paragraph 1: Causes: Abundance and Advertisements:
Junk food has become very popular among people owing to its accessibility, taste, cost and strong media advertising. It’s difficult to find a district, or even a street, without a fast-food restaurant. Statistics indicate that the number of these restaurants tripled in the last decade. An example of advertisement is putting surprises, free toys, with every “happy meal” to attract children. The rise of the number of fast-food restaurant leads to an increase in its physical and mental hazards. Paragraph 2: Effects: Physical Implications:
Junk food physical hazards of can be broadly categorized into two groups. The first is the immediate effect, namely, obesity that presents health risks. In 2005, a study conducted by NIH found higher rates of obesity in high schools with nearby fast-food restaurants. According to a study carried out on general education students in Saudi Arabia, the rate of obesity among those who frequently eat fast food is 38. 20%, while the rate is 19. 43% among those eating only one meal a week. Another study revealed that about one out of four (or 23. 6%) of Saudi adults are classified as obese.
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The second group is the distal effects. Being overweight and can increase the chances of getting chronic illnesses. The OSG pointed out that simply becoming obese, with over 30 BMI, raises the likelihood of developing many diseases including heart attack, stroke and few types of cancer. A 14-year prospective study showed men aged 40 to 65 years with a BMI more than 29 had a 72% increased risk of getting nonfatal or fatal coronary heart disease. Clearly, there are direct and indirect connections between junk food and a number of physical illnesses. Paragraph 3: Effects: Mental Implications:
Similarly, Junk food results in emotional issues, such as, hyperactivity, and depression. What it does is that it changes the order of the brain. A recent study, conducted at 2010, revealed that it raises the risk of depression by 55%. Another research, involved 80 participants, showed that a drop in anger, aggression and depression resulted from replacing it with more healthy food. It also affects the educational attainment of students by secreting hormones that cause a partial mind inactivity. From that, it can be inferred that there is a strong link between consuming junk food and several behavioral problems.
Conclusion: This paper illustrated the spread of junk food as an important factor for many physical and mental problems. Consuming junk food has direct implications, such as obesity. In addition, it leads indirectly to a number of chronic diseases. Furthermore, it changes peoples’ behavior and causes emotional illnesses e. g. aggression and depression. But it still widely spread because of the strong advertisement and few minor reasons. The awareness of this problem is on the increase, but the danger still exists, and governments and official organizations have to do something to reduce these risks.
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