Junk food is simply any food containing high level of sugar, salt or fat that is of poor, unhealthy and no nutritional value.
Junk food is rapidly an emerging trend threatening the health of nations worldwide. It is gradually creeping quietly into the lifestyle of nations and pulling down their future.
Socialization and modernization are not only harbouring it, but also nurturing it to become and uncontrollable monster which is capable of consuming our tomorrow. The realities, especially in developing and under-developed nations are not even helping matters.
The struggle to make ends meet is tearing most family values apart, giving little time and less attention to consumption patterns, particularly in the aspect of foods with adequate nourishment. Work schedules coupled with chaotic traffic situation in cosmopolitan cities are forcing many women and mothers to shirk their domestic responsibilities. Thus, the children are the ones mostly affected because child care is predominantly influenced by women’s health status, and the time mothers spend with their kids etc.
The implication of heavy burden of production, reproduction and high mortality rates limits the capacity of women to care more for their children. Abruptly, the dual demands of work outside and within the home leave women with less than four hours a day for child care.
Most businesses, especially confectionery and fast foods are cashing high on this. That’s why the fast food business is thriving with new ones dotting every nook and cranny of urban cities. This situation is also compounded with by the astrological increase in the number of food advertisement relayed through the media.
The fact that more and more people, especially mothers get more engaged in formalised jobs and the fact that more spending is being devoted to promoting processed foods, does not directly constitute the threat, but the effects of these activities on global dietary pattern pose a major concern.
The acknowledged fact is that junk food generation and consumption has a negative impact on people’s well being and unfortunately it’s on the increase. Food Standard Agency of United Kingdom describes junk food as unhealthy food, which has poor nutritional value.
Michael Jackson, the Director of the Center for Science in public interest in 1972, was more elaborate when he said “Junk food contains high levels of saturated fat, salt, sugar and numerous additives and tartrazine; at the same time, it is lacking in proteins, vitamins and fibre, among other healthy attributes”.
He further added that “It is popular with supplies because it is relatively cheap to manufacture, has long shelf life and may not require refrigeration. It is popular with urban consumers because it is easy to purchase, requires little or no preparation, is convenient to consume and has lots of flavours”
However, junk food can also be prepared at home. The less attention given to nutrient components of meals prepared, the more junk food consumed.
Regular intake of junk foods poses deadly risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease ( hypertension, stroke and heart failure). Type two diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and obesity are linked to physical inactivity and inappropriate diet consumption.
Thus, consumers irrespective of age, should be more proactive and discerning in their consumption patterns, consumers has the responsibility to complain because the customer is king.