Research has revealed that the increase in the junk foods industry is interrelated with the rapid increase in the obesity pandemic. Junk foods contain high calories and fats and are therefore the sole ingredient in the spread of overweight and obesity. The cause for alarm is that the targeted lots are the pre-school, school going children and adolescents. Over the years, the number of school going children becoming overweight and obese has increased two fold because they easily access the fast foods and junk foods outlets.
Overweight is a condition responsible for so many other diseases: these are like: heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, high pertension, the gallbladder disease, infertility and weakened immune system, just to mention but a few. The illnesses aside, obese people face social stigma: the society discriminates the victims because people normally believe that they are to blame for their conditions. As such, they do not freely intermingle with the rest for fear of such stigmatization (Cassell, D. 000). Junk foods should therefore not be encouraged in schools because of the health effects that follow and because basically ‘prevention is better than cure’. The junk food culture today has become a social custom and so many school going children therefore just take these foodstuffs to conform to what other people-especially their peers- are doing to identify with them. Such environments that are conducive to weight gain make school going children more vulnerable to obesity.
In most cases, non-healthy foods are more affordable than the healthy alternatives: junk food manufactures make the foods more attractive because of the labeling that is more appealing. When children grow up not knowing how to prepare healthy foods, they resort to cheaper and less time consuming –in preparation-foods which are obviously more energy giving and have high percentages of calories. Apart from school going children, even adults are not spared in then spread of the obesity pandemic, and this is a cause for alarm in the society (Jefferies, R. B 2005).
To perfectly understand the correlation between increased consumption of junk foods and the increase in prevalence of obesity, the role of junk foods in nutrition related disorders should be analyzed. Junk foods and fast foods consumption coupled with little or no healthy exercise is the sole reason for the abrupt increase in overweight and obesity especially in urbanized regions. In such regions, the quality of the diets is questionable; this has led to the increase in obesity which in severe cases leads to death.
The probability of overweight children becoming overweight way into adulthood is very high, and chances of such a person dying prematurely are high too. Obesity caused by excess consumption of junk foods has dire economic effects: since obesity leads to other diseases like high blood pressure, the costs of treating these ailments are far above the ground. A country’s healthcare system is hard-pressed: this is a financial weigh down since the biggest percentage of the healthcare costs are taken care of by the tax payers.
The costs divided into direct and indirect costs: direct costs are those that are injected into the direct treatment of the disease, prevention and diagnosis and research. Expenditure that is not direct are those of the employment asset value of employees lost due to the people who are sick and the employment benefits lost due to passing away of the employees. Hospital bills are very costly since these funds run into billions that could be injected into other projects, this means that overall, the economy of a country strains due to this pandemic (Hernell,O 2005).
The psychological effects are among other things, negative body image or low self esteem, unease, dejection and more often than not, obese individuals carry out themselves in a way that is not socially healthy. Social stigmatization can be eliminated by increase in education about obesity matters. The position that the sale of junk food promotes school activities-as held by many- holds no water; this is because the students’ health and the society’s’ health in general is more important than that financial aspect of it.
To say that the society is going to make money at the expense of children’s health is unreasonable; this explains why junk food sales should not be encouraged in schools at any cost. Thanks to excessive consumption of junk foods, tooth decay and disorders have increased to epidemic levels and dental care is needed, this is very costly given that the economy is not forthcoming. Osteoporosis is an even major fear and the overall treatment of these diseases is very costly, all said and done, prevention of these diseases by discouraging the consumption of junk foods is less costly (Cataldo, R. 000).
Another reason why junk foods should be discouraged in schools is because these foodstuffs create a ‘bliss point’: this is a point where a person eating them feels hungrier and wants more and more. The ingredients used to make junk foods like sugar and fats are addictive; the worst party of it is that the foods are always available and therefore the temptation of taking more and more is hard to resist. These modern foods are hyper appetizing and the end results of most of such foods is to create and or arouse a mind-set of pleasure.
Research has proven that half the populations of people who are obese and overweight are more likely to be restless or, better said, over-active than their normal counterparts. Once these people are electrified, the neurons in the brain trigger more action making their systems to demand more food to eat-more often than not, this means yearning for more junk foods. The bliss point is the peak of wanting more salt, sugar and fats: these are the ingredients for desserts and other junk foods and at the best possible level, ones appetite is excited to want more of such foods (Hollander, T 2004).
The evil of junk foods is that they make us to desire less of healthy foods and therefore discourage healthy eating: this fact explains why junk foods should no be encouraged in schools. Healthy eating is one thing that constitutes discipline; when people do not eat healthy, they are considered not to be morally well-mannered and this is one of the contributory factors to social stigma experienced by people who are overweight. Healthy eating ensures fine health and therefore one is not at risk of getting diseases.
When young adults eat healthy, this is a way of ensuring that they are responsible and that they need not wait for adults to instill good manners. Junk foods make students inactive (that is once they become overweight), this means a people of lazy character who can not get involved in much activity. Inactivity is disastrous in the work place and even in schools: this means that even the performance of students in class reduces abruptly and this is not impressive for the schools image. Should these people grow into adults and get to the employment fields, they become sluggish at work and this in turn leads to poor performance.
Overweight people are more often than not discriminated at work and in extreme cases, they even could be paid at lower rates than their counterparts and this is not just. Inactivity or a country of inactive people is costly to the overall economic growth because this causes it to be low (Corrine B 1999). Junk foods by reducing activity lead to health issues that in the long run lead to disabilities, diabetes and arthritis are just some of the effects of eating these foods in excessive amounts and soon, people are eating themselves to premature death. Levels of cholesterol rise due to the same and insulin resistance thrives.
Thanks to fast foods and unhealthy eating, breathing problems in men increase and in women, fertility rates decrease. The ingredients used to make junk foods are of very poor quality and are less rich in nutrients. The question is not the quantity of the food, rather, it is the quality, and this explains why the body does not get the right nutrients in the right proportions when someone eats junk food. On this note therefore, the individual eats more and more but does not get enough of the food, or rather, gets hungry too fast. Indeed, eating junk foods in excess is an act that triggers a health time bomb (Dare, C. 1999).
These foodstuffs reduce the desire to want very much of foods rich in calcium: calcium is very important in bone structure construction and once we do not have enough of it, the effects are out of the ordinary. Young adults therefore suffer from poor bone structure at very tender ages hence reducing their life spans. Highly processes foods (as junk foods are) contain a lot of chemicals in their additives; we may not get obese but we could get other sicknesses. One may not even suffer when they are young but the side effects catch up with us as we age, so the solution is to stop eating these foods in the first place.
It is not a small truth therefore to say that by eating these highly artificial foods, our systems get intoxicated with poisons. Some of the old age effects of these foods are early menopause: in spite of having poor fertility, menopause also catches up with us and this means women are at a greater risk (Escott, S. 1996) Since overweight and obesity are major concerns in the world at large and are caused by excessive consumption of junk foods, it is important to devise ways of preventing the disease in view of the fact, it is a health time bomb in waiting.
Obesity slows down the metabolic rates (hence slowing down the process of breaking down of food) of the victims hence leading to inactivity and putting one at a risk of adding more weight. To curb this problem therefore, the solution is to eat healthy coupled with taking exercises. The rationale behind this argument is straight forward, when one exercises, the metabolic process or better said, the process of breaking down of fats is increased and therefore, the fats are emulsified or broken down into a more normal digestive process.
One may either employ the services of a qualified nutritionist or adopt a healthier eating pattern: just enough body giving foods and more of the other essential nutrients in the right proportions. Eating healthy will have to be coupled with having the right attitude and great discipline. Again, one need to go on an exercising program, long brisk walks although not strenuous, jogging and probably going to the gym, reduction of average screen time and instead focusing on body fitness would just make a huge difference in health (Franseen, L. 1999).
Another way out is to change ones lifestyle in a positive way: more often than not, the biggest barrier to change at times is the mind set. Often, one believes that they can not take up a challenge and change; this is normally when one believes that they can not achieve a certain goal. People are often caught up in busy schedules and do not have time to get involved in exercising programs. Another barrier to change is normally the environment in which one lives; people tend to conform to the lifestyles that other people lead in their surrounding. In this case the pointers to these lifestyles are trends in food and status.
One needs to beat the barriers by evaluating the current lifestyle, identifying the flaws in the said lifestyle and making out the areas that need amendments. Information acquisition is important in this process and helps one learn healthy ways to lose weight (Garfinkel, P. E 1997). Support system helps one to lose a large mass of weight and doing it single-handedly. Friends can act like a source of enthusiasm in spite of the fact that they may not want to achieve the same objectives as you, they provide support just in case you may want to draw back.
In a weight loss program, setting practical goals is one of the ways of achieving the goals of weight loss and management. Objectives that are short term and that are practical help one to gain the driving force towards their realization. In the same breath, an individual does an assessment to see where they have reached against how far they want to go and what they have so far achieved. In the instance that short term objectives are set, they prove helpful in achieving and the realization of the final objective (Rosenbloom, C. 999).
As a point of concern, learning institutions should be made healthy places to learn: the quality of food served should therefore be of great importance both to the administration and to the society in general in order to guarantee security to our children. For students to learn at their full potentials, the feeding programs should ensure that the foods served are of high nutritional value and that they are fresh and attractive to the scholars and that the food service supports the learning institutions educational mission.
School meals should meet the health standards of the regulatory authorities and these should also be met by the learning institutions’ feeding programs: these standards if imposed, the students will not be left at risk of feeding on junk and fast foods throughout the day. The regulatory authorities together with the learning institutions administration should ensure that the meals served in school grounds should offer a wide assortment of cultural cuisines to offer students with a variety to choose from (Woolsey, M. 2002).
There should not be an incongruity between what the children are taught in learning institutions on nourishment and good eating habits and the reality on the ground, whether students are eating unhealthy foodstuffs or what is easily available is junk food. Against this background therefore, food and nutrition should be incorporated into the schools learning syllabus and the students should also learn about food preparation. At the grass roots levels, there should be established an advice-giving board that should comprise of the educators, parents and the community at large to come up with courses of action that govern school feeding programs.
The advice-giving board should instill disciplinary action against the learning institutions that do not follow the resolutions passed, time and again; the board members should make impromptu visits and inspect the food service amenities and the set of choices of foodstuffs available for students. Such an arrangement would ensure good discipline on standards of hygiene and food quality especially if there is a feedback mechanism provided to monitor the implementation (Smith, A. F 2006).
Medics say that eating of beans help in burning up calories: beans are low in fats and calories content and when one takes beans; they feel satisfied for as long as four hours. Often, one does not feel like eating when they are fully satisfied and as such, there is no temptation to eat junk foods. Exercises should also be done after meals so that the process of emulsification of fats is complete, aerobic classes are ideal in this case because as a matter of fact, stored fats are naturally turned into fats and stored in this form.
Breakfast should be the largest meal in the entire and normal day; it should also be the meal that contains the largest amount of calories. Since there is a lot of activities during the mid-morning and the entire day, calories are burnt down easily and more rapidly. Biologically, eating food with very little calorie content is no the solution to weight loss, this is because when the body is at very low metabolism, it is considered famished. When the body lacks adequate nutrients, it becomes difficult to achieve loss of weight.
Lifting weights is also Okayed as a way of loosing weight, this is because lifting weight increases muscles and this in turn increases the rate of burning down calories and fats. Drinking a lot of water is very healthy a method of reducing weight: the higher the amount one takes the higher the likelihood of loosing weight, when one feels hungry, it helps one to eat less. When one drinks water before eating, they do not eat much (Carolyn, C. 2004).