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Fast Foods and Health Hazards

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), headed by environment activist Sunita Narain, recently said that most junk food contain very high levels of trans-fat, sugar and salt, enough to cause obesity, diabetes and hypertension, and called for stricter regulations. It needs to be considered by the physician and the people aware of the future health problems of growing children and growing adults. Please remember the strength of the findings of CSE. Some time back an impact of its findings of high level of pesticides in colas in 2003 and again in 2006 had dented sales of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo during 2004-06 because of awareness of their bad effect. The incidence of pesticides is considered unsafe as the consumer did not know the product contained it. Such findings are not liked by the promotors of such products but are in the interest of health of growing children and adults fond of fast foods and cold-drinks.

It is not unusual now to see bloating abdomen of children not due to anaemia and deprivation but due to affluence and plenty of money to spend to satisfy the taste buds. It is said that people have developed chemicals for taste buds which have addictive properties. It is not surprising that Government has taken note of these. The Higher Education Directorate of U. P. has circulated Government of India advisory on discouraging consumption of junk food among students in higher education institutions. The circular was issued to all state universities in UP asking them to ensure that the advisory is implemented not only on campuses but also in colleges affiliated to them. The circular has been issued on the direction of the Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad. He had written to all the State Governments drawing their attention towards the increasing trend of junk food consumption among students and its harmful effects.

Also Read Keep a Healthy Heart Beat with Homeopathy!

India is set to quantify the permissible limit of trans fatty acid (TFA), if at all, in the food products to be sold in the country. The Union Health Ministry is bringing about a new regulation in the Food Safety Standards Act. It will for the first time put in place an upper limit to the amount of trans fat in common fast food items.

The problem before the physician :

Homoeopaths handle craving cases differently from the substance abuse pathological abnormalities. In confirmed cases of addiction (alcohol, tobacco, narcotics) there are drugs of value and efficacy like Quercus, Daphane indica, Nux, Strychininum nitricum etc. But when it comes to trend, fashion, or psychological dependence the case is taken different from physiological dependence. Perhaps physician’s advice will be of great value. It is normally individualist.

Research on bad-aspects of fast or junk foods :

Contemporary usage of the above term reflects the substance having excess of trans fat, salt, sugar etc. which are far higher than body’s daily requirement or they are not compatible to our physiology. Another reason why one should shun junk foods is eating fast food can raise a persons risk of suffering from depression. According to a new study published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, the researchers at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, have found that eating baked goods like cakes, croissants and doughnuts and fast food like burgers and pizza is linked to depression. As reported the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression. The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group. For their study, researchers assessed 8,964 people for six months, and 493 were diagnosed with depression or started to take anti-depressants.

National Family Health Survey :

National Family Health Survey of the population indicates that 1/3 are underweight & 1/10 are over weight. Another study reveals lot of life style problems & diseases due to faulty diet and over weight. We are eating too much of sweetened foods especially beverages such as sweetened juices and soft drinks; animal meats such as mutton, beef, pork and chicken; refined carbohydrates such as polished rice, pasta, refined flour; edible oils such as coconut, palm and peanut oils; starchy vegetables such as potatoes; pre-cooked and packaged foods such as chips, cookies and ready-to-eat meals. We are not eating enough of legumes such as red and yellow lentils, soybean, peas, beans; vegetables such as spinach, carrots, cauliflower, spring onions, gourd, okra; fruits  such as pears apples, watermelon, cherries, banana, plum, apricot. Correction is needed to handle the diseased better. Physician need to advise their patients about what to eat and what not to eat.

From the Pondering Views on Homoeopathy

Based on the Writings of Dr.P.N.Varma

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