Fast lane to your infirmity
Posted on September 20th, 2010

Dr.Tilak Fernando-Courtesy Daily News

Fast food needs no introduction. Wherever one looks around these days there is bound to be fast food outlets of some kind with trade names varying from giant world- wide franchises to every Tom Dick and Harry!

The modern rat-race type life style of man compels him to take the easiest path out when it comes to food. One reason for fast food to become so popular is its comparatively low cost compared with restaurant gastronomy. This very fact directs consumers to fast food outlets like cattle to grass fields (pardon the expression). Facts are sacred, the comment is free!

Once we start gobbling these ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”finger licking goodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ stuff on long term basis, we tend to forget how much of damage we are going to impose on our human system.

ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s heartbreaking to watch how businessmen, in connivance with their advertising partners, exploit and condition the minds of young children, parents and adults alike, using the very children as baits on TV commercials to promote various kinds of unhealthy foods. Today in Sri Lanka a visit to fast food outlets to hold childrenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s birthday parties or during week-ends to eat out has transformed into a vogue and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”to be with itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ among many middle class families. It is when young children gobble up excessive quantities of fish and chips, chicken and chips, spare ribs, kebab, barbeques, various kinds of other meat products and a variety of ice creams and finally wash all down with 1.5 liter of fizzy drinks with full of sugar.

Avoid fast food

Why do we need to avoid consuming fast food? My friend Hector in London, (authority in Chemistry) who is obsessed with this subject writes and says fast food is full of calories loaded with refined sugar, fats (which are reheated repeatedly in an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”industrial fashionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢) for commercial frying. These will contain an excessive energy concentration which bamboozles brainpower.

Such excessive intake of fast food on a regular basis gives rise to cardio vascular diseases and diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Lack of exercise on the part of young especially with private tuition classes taking their time and stress factor on adults would result in heart disease at later stages in their life.

Hypertension or high blood pressure and obesity are directly related to fats, oils and salt found in fast food, especially in hotels, restaurants or even at homes.

School children in Western countries have got addicted to eating this type of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”junkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ food as a second nature.

Obesity in young children in schools have sent red alarms signals to education authorities in the UK that they have immediately taken remedial action by replacing fast food diets like chips, sausages and canned baked beans during midday school meal with salads and fruits to save the future generation becoming obese and a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”sickƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ society.

Recent scientific and medical research have highlighted how ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”high calorie foods rich in fats, refined sugar and salt could rearrange the hormone balance in the body which makes the person addictive to such food.

Simultaneously fast foods lack in dietary fibre and essential vitamins and minerals required for bodily functions.

Most of the fast foods have fats, oils, added sugars and salts which can contribute to producer excessive cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced naturally in our liver and other organs. We also absorb cholesterol from eating foods such as red meat, high fat cheese, butter, eggs and liver. Whether you eat these kinds of food out of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”take awayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ places or in your homes, you need to be watchful about the cholesterol and the salt content.

Our bodies need a certain amount of cholesterol to make cell membranes, insulate nerves and to produce hormones, but too much of cholesterol, however, can affect oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s health. When you eat red meat, eggs, cheese or butter, you need to be careful not to consume large quantities for your own sake. Some of us totally forget or neglect regular six monthly check-ups on blood pressure and cholesterol.

Chicken has become by all means a part of the staple diet today all over the world consumed in various forms of cooking.

Some eat as a replacement for red meat to avoid clogging of arteries. Others for religious reasons (who donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t eat beef) turn to chicken as a good substitute for meat. Imagine the fate of a one-day-old baby chicken injected with hormones (the current practice among meat sellers).

At the end of three-four weeks the tiny baby which had a featherweight grows into a fully-grown bird weighing three-four kilos and the result being when humans consume hormone-impregnated chicken gives the same affects on the human body, the result – obesity! No wonder why it has become a common sight everywhere, especially children transforming their figures into giant sizes and young girls attain their puberty at very early ages that makes our ancestors coil up in their graves!

Would you be tempted to over eat these fast foods? When you ponder on your health next time, do you ever think of the fats, oils, added sugars or cholesterols that you consume on a regular basis? How can you on the other hand point a finger at fast food bistros for adding too much fats, oils and sugars into their food when you make the decision to visit them and choose yourselves to be gluttons? I would not touch fast food with a barge pole, would you? Food for thought!

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