This month is Nutrition Month in elementary schools with the aim of promoting the right eating habits among Filipino children. Sadly, kids these days grow up in a culture that promotes bad eating habits: fastfoods, junk foods and processed food. This month, this blog will feature a series of entries on Nutrition for Children.
We will begin with studies about Junk Food. This is based on studies conducted by a team of scientists headed by Dr Alexandra Richardson, from Oxford University’s department of physiology. Some parts are from Livestrong.
Junk Food is Bad for Their Brain:
Junk food is known to cause hyperactive pupils with attention deficiency.
Diets high in processed foods are causing bad behaviour and learning difficulties in children, scientists have warned. They claim junk food stops the brain working properly, leading to underachievement and a host of disorders. Thousands of children given medication to combat attention deficit disorder might be better off simply improving their diet, according to the research. The Oxford University study showed that giving children essential fats found in fish and nuts could improve their brain power. In the study, around 40 per cent of children given omega-3 supplements made dramatic improvements in reading and spelling.
Junk foods not only lack the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that boost brain power but actually reduce the body’s uptake of nutrients that improve concentration. There was also a significant improvement in concentration and behaviour, according to a report in this month’s issue of the American journal Pediatrics.
Junk Food is Bad for the Body
There is no such thing as fortified junk food. That is a hoax and scam created by the food industry to fool teachers and parents. Processed food is junk. Period. Any fortification is like applying perfume because the person is not taking a bath. What are the common effects of junk food diet.
Weight Problems (either obese or underweight children)
Processed foods, usually salt, preservatives, and refined sugar, tend to be major contributors to excess calorie intake because they’re easily accessible cheaply in large portions — enjoyable to the taste buds, but not very filling or nutritious. As a result, a diet rich in junk foods is linked with an unhealthy weight. Research published in a 2006 issue of the “Journal of Adolescent Health” showed that teens are at even greater risk of picking up unhealthy eating habits as they become more independent. According to the study, teens who skip breakfast and eat larger quantities of fast food are increasingly likely to gain weight.
Trans fats are commonly found in fast food, doughnuts, toaster pastries, stick margarine, cakes, candy, crackers and microwave popcorn. These fats, which are produced by hydrogenating oil, are linked to heart disease risks such as high cholesterol and blood fats. Children who start consuming trans fats by age 3 or 4 are likely to develop heart disease earlier than children who don’t consume trans fats, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Most people do not develop heart disease until their 40s or later, but children as young as 8 have exhibited heart disease risk factors. By limiting your child’s intake of trans fats, you can help reduce his risk of having heart attacks and strokes later in life.
Increased Tooth Decay
Increased sugar consumption is one major culprit in tooth decay in kids. Sugar that lingers on teeth helps bacteria grow on the teeth, and the acids produced by the bacteria cause decay. Sugary junk foods such as gummy candies might be more obvious causes, but many sugary liquids such as soda and fruit juice cocktails can also lead to tooth decay. Your child or teen might indulge her sweet tooth from time to time, but cut back on regular intake of sugary treats. Also encourage healthy teeth brushing habits and don’t allow her to sleep or walk around with a sippy cup full of sugary beverages — even milk and fruit juice — to further reduce her risk of tooth decay.
Junk Food is Bad for the Environment
All those non-biodegradable packaging materials – plastics – contribute to environmental degradation.
Junk Food is Bad for Your Budget
You are spending for something that eventually will damage your children. That is such as waste of money.