According to a survey by VTsIOM, more than a third of European residents eat fast food regularly (1). If in 2010 their share was only 19%, then by last year it reached 38%. Moreover, the absolute majority of these statistics (70%) are among young people aged 18 to 34 years. Fast food has become an important part of modern culture and lifestyle, especially among Zoomers and Millennials.
Everyone knows that fast food is harmful to health, but people continue to eat it. Why? Maybe burgers aren’t as dangerous as they seem?
- What is this
- What happens if…
- Why is it difficult to refuse
- What will happen to the psyche
- How to deal with addiction
What is fast food
Fast food is food that is quickly prepared and consumed, which is sold in cafes, food courts, fast food restaurants or vending machines. Fast foods are often highly processed, pre-cooked or frozen and can be high in calories, artificial preservatives, salt, sugar and saturated fat.
Typically, fast food includes burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza and other snacks that do not take much time to prepare.
Still from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”
What happens if you eat only fast food for a week?
According to Evgenia Belyuga, nutritionist and FITKIT consultant, after just a few days of consuming fast food, the body will begin to hint that it is definitely not worth continuing such a diet.
Problems with the gastrointestinal tract
Fatty foods that are low in fiber create an imbalance in the digestive system. This can cause constipation, heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems.
Deterioration of skin quality
Acne is a complex multifactorial disease associated with inflammation in the pores of the skin. Its exact causes are still not known. But A study of nearly 25,000 French residents found that frequent consumption of fatty and sugary foods was associated with an increased risk of skin rashes (2).
Still from the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
What will happen a month later
In a month, new, more unpleasant consequences will be added to the above problems.
To maintain your normal weight, you need to consume as many calories as you burn during the day, and at the same time maintain a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Fast food contains a lot of calories, fast carbohydrates and saturated fats, so its constant consumption promotes rapid weight gain. Those who eat at fast food restaurants at least twice a week gain on average 10 pounds more than those who eat at fast food restaurants less often (3).
Fast food is usually rich in salt, which means sodium. Its excess in the body causes fluid retention in the tissues and leads to edema.
Increased cholesterol levels
The high fat content of fast food increases cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Decreased energy and poor concentration
A lack of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins can affect energy levels and cognitive function, leading to drowsiness and decreased concentration.
Blood sugar imbalance
Consuming large amounts of carbohydrates will cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels, which may lead to the development of diabetes in the future.
Still from the movie “Pulp Fiction”
Six months at fast food
Long-term and regular eating of unhealthy, fatty and practically useless food will lead to the fact that your health will rapidly deteriorate. This confirms the experiment that American director Morgan Spurlock spent the filming of his documentary eating breakfast, lunch and dinner only at McDonald’s. But a month later, doctors asked him to stop because the condition of his body was alarming (4).
Excessive consumption of fatty and processed foods can lead to fatty liver disease and other liver problems. In the case of Spurlock’s liver condition, doctors compared him to an alcoholic who develops cirrhosis.
“Possible” diabetes status will change to “highly probable.” If the amount of carbohydrates remains the same, the most serious consequences cannot be avoided. Those who eat fast food twice a week are twice as likely to Insulin resistance develops, a condition that precedes diabetes mellitus.
Months of eating fatty foods that raise your blood cholesterol levels make you even more likely to develop heart disease.
Still from the movie “Very Bad Girls”
Reasons for constant consumption of fast food
The popularity of fast food is primarily due to the changing pace of our lives. People are not interested in spending a lot of time on food – they need to quickly have something to eat and move on: develop, study and earn money.
In addition, fast food almost always contains large quantities of fat, salt and sugar, which makes it a taste fireworks for our receptors and the body as a whole: reward centers in the brain are quickly activated, which release dopamine, the pleasure hormone.
Fast food is also an “excellent” basis of the diet when emotional eating, when food becomes a way to cope with stress, anxiety and emotional decline. And this, as mentioned earlier, can cause a feeling of satisfaction and comfort.
Still from the film “When Harry Met Sally”
Why is it so difficult to give up junk food?
Quitting fast food can be difficult for several reasons.
It is easy to turn fast food into a regular part of the diet, especially if in childhood it acted as a reward for successfully completing tasks or as a stress reliever. This habit can become ingrained over the years and can be difficult to break.
Fast food contains many additives that make the taste of burgers and pizza bright and rich. Natural products gradually lose their attractiveness; they feel bland and not appetizing enough.
Convenience and accessibility
Fast food outlets are located everywhere; This is a quick option for snacking on the go or in situations where you don’t have the time or ability to prepare healthier meals.
Marketers of fast food chains and outlets create bright and memorable advertising that awakens our appetite and makes us want this burger “here and now.”
Still from the film “Love is Evil”
What will happen to the psyche if you constantly eat fast food?
First of all, regular consumption of fast food violates healthy eating behavior and discourages the desire to follow healthy eating habits, because it is time-consuming and uninteresting, and fast food is fast and tasty. But the problems don’t end there.
An experiment was conducted in Australia, in which residents of two islands were involved. One of them had fast food cafes, but the other did not, and there the locals ate mainly fish. It turned out that on the island where fast food was common, residents were more likely to suffer from depression and were in a depressed state. Scientists explain this by the fact that they were developing…