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Why is Junk Food So Addictive and Why is it Bad for our Health?

Junk foods are foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar, salt, and processed carbohydrates but have little to no nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Aarushi Chadha
Junk Food
Junk Food

Junk foods are foods that are high in calories, fat, sugar, salt, and processed carbohydrates but have little to no nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

Junk food refers to those foods that are high in calories but offer no nutritional sustenance. This type of food is extremely popular around the world because of its accessibility and affordability. Regularly consuming junk food can pose a serious threat to our physical health and mental health.

Our body needs nutrients for the proper functioning of organs. Several vitamins and minerals that we get from our food facilitate the functioning of the metabolism and even promote the proper production of mood-stabilizing hormones. Consuming junk food that is fried, over-processed, and contains unhealthy fats impact our health negatively. However, people still consume junk food because it can be very addictive.

Why is junk food addictive?

Junk food and processed foods are high in salt, sugar, fats, and preservatives. They tend to hijack our brain chemistry and make us feel that we are not eating as much as we are. In other words, these types of foods will send a signal to our brain that we are not full and should continue eating. During this process, rather than providing our body with the nutrients it requires, we burden it with food that is hard to metabolize.

These foods also light up the pleasure centers in our brains and trigger the release of feel-good chemicals such as dopamine. Craving is also an emotional state characterized by a desire to consume junk food and should not be confused with simple hunger. When people act on their cravings, their brains get a reward or feeling of pleasure associated with the release of dopamine.

Why is junk food bad for our health?

There are many ways in which junk food adversely affects our health

Increases Risk of Respiratory Problems- Consuming excess junk food regularly can cause weight gain which leads to obesity. Obesity increases our risk of respiratory problems, including asthma and shortness of breath. Excessive weight also puts pressure on our heart and lungs, and can even cause difficulty breathing when we walk, climb stairs, or exercise.

Causes cardiovascular problems

One of the biggest adverse effects of eating junk food on our body is an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. High sugar and sodium can trigger inflammation of arteries, clogging of arteries with bad cholesterol, and increase the risk of stroke.

High cholesterol

Junk food is full of trans fats that are known for raising LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Elevated cholesterol can lead to increased blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.


High carbohydrates can trigger acne.

Cause of kidney damage

Consuming high quantities of junk and processed foods can take a huge toll on our kidney health. This is because they are a significant source of sodium and phosphorous which can compromise proper kidney functioning.

Lead to dental issues

Junk foods can ruin our oral health as the high levels of sugar and salt present in these foods can feed the harmful bacteria in our mouths. These harmful bacteria can produce acids that break down tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Effects on our mental health

Several studies conducted on the effects of high sugar and salt present in junk food affects our mental health. Eating junk food raises the risk of depression.

How to Improve Your Diet?

The key to a healthy diet is incorporating foods that is diverse and has a high nutritional value. Make sure that your plate is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and lean proteins, cut back on solid fats, lower sodium intake, and reduce your consumption of sugary drinks.

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