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The Effects Of Fast Food On The Body


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Popularity Of Fast Food

Drive-thrus or visiting their preferred fast-food eatery may become part of your regular routine more frequently than you realize.

According to data analysis conducted by the Food Institute and Bureau of Labor Statistics, twenty to thirty year olds spend nearly 45% of their monthly food budget eating out.

Contrast this with 1977 when just 38% of food budgets went towards eating out at restaurants; today this percentage has skyrocketed.

The Effects of Fast Food on the Body

An occasional night of fast food will likely do no lasting damage, but eating out regularly could be seriously harming your wellbeing. Read on to gain an understanding of its effects on the human body.

Impact On The Digestive And Cardiovascular Systems

Impact on the digestive and cardiovascular systems

Fast food, including beverages and sides, typically contains high concentrations of added sugars without much in the way of fiber content.

Once digested, carbohydrates from food enter your circulatory system as glucose (sugar). Therefore, your glucose levels increase.

Your pancreas quickly reacts to an increase in glucose by secreting insulin, which transports it throughout your body and stores or uses up the extra sugar as energy sources. As your body uses or stores up its supplies of sugar, your glucose levels return to normal.

Your body has an intricate relationship between glucose and organ health; when everything is running smoothly, your organs can successfully manage any sugar spikes that might arise.

Regularly eating excessive carbs, however, can cause repeated spikes in glucose.

Over time, insulin spikes may alter your body’s natural insulin reaction and increase your risk for insulin opposition, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.

Sugar And Fat

Many fast-food meals contain added sugars, which not only means additional calories but also less nourishment. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is suggested to limit daily added sugar consumption to 100-150 Calories or approximately six to nine teaspoons.

Some fast-food beverages contain more than 12 ounces, with one 12-ounce container of pop containing 8 teaspoons of sugar – this equals 140 Calories and 39 Grams of Sugar!

Trans fat is manufactured fat made during food handling. It’s generally viewed as in:

  • fried pies
  • pastries
  • pizza dough
  • crackers
  • cookies

No amount of trans fats is deemed healthy for consumption; eating foods containing trans fats increases LDL (the harmful type), lowers HDL (good type) levels, and raises your risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular illness.

Eateries may compound this issue of calorie counting. According to one study, diners who associated their meal as “healthy” actually underreported its calorie content by 20%.


A combination of fat, sugar, and lots of sodium (salt) is often an irresistibly tasty combination for some individuals. But excessive sodium in one’s diet can lead to water retention which causes swelling; hence the feeling of puffy-ness after indulging in fast food.

An excessively salty diet is also dangerous for individuals with circulatory strain conditions, as sodium increases pulse rates and puts pressure on both your heart and cardiovascular system.

Based on one study, approximately 90% of adults misjudge how much sodium there is in fast food meals.

This study involved 993 adult participants and discovered that their estimated sodium consumption (1,292 milligrams) was significantly less than their perception. This means their sodium measurements were off by over 1,000 mg.

Keep in mind that according to the American Heart Association (AHA), adults should consume an estimated 2,300 milligrams of sodium every day – one fast-food meal could deliver nearly all your daily sodium needs!

Impact On The Respiratory System

Overeating fast-food dinners may contribute to weight gain and eventual obesity.

Heftiness increases your risk for respiratory conditions such as asthma and windedness, making you susceptible to life-threatening respiratory complications.

Additional weight can take its toll on both your heart and lungs, leading to side effects even with minimal exertion. You could experience difficulty breathing while strolling, climbing stairs or working out.

Children at particular risk of respiratory issues. A study concluded that children who regularly consume fast food three or more times per week are likely to develop asthma.

Impact On The Central Nervous System

Fast food might temporarily satisfy hunger, but its long-term consequences are more damaging.

People who regularly consume fast food and baked goods are 51% more likely to experience feelings of sadness compared to individuals who consume little or none of these types of foods.

Impact On The Reproductive System

Fast food and unhealthy meals may contain ingredients that could compromise your fertility.

One study discovered that handled food contains phthalates. Phthalates are synthetic chemicals which interfere with how chemicals behave within your body, potentially leading to reproductive issues or birth absconds. High exposure could pose health risks including birth absconds.

Impacts Of Fast Food On Society

Today, more than two out of every three adults in the US are considered overweight or obese; 33% of kids ages 6-19 also qualify as such.

Fast food’s explosion in America parallels weight gain. According to OAC data, fast food cafes have mushroomed since 1970 while heavy Americans have also significantly increased.

Though attempts have been made to bring issues into the light and make Americans smarter consumers, one study discovered that calories, fat and sodium levels remain generally unchanged when it comes to fast-food suppers.

As Americans become busier and consume food out more frequently, this could have adverse effects for both them personally and the nation’s healthcare system.

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