Junk Food Addiction

MD, DCH, Pediatrician

June 15, 2015

Junk food is bad for health and also is addictive to kids. This is big concern for children because an addiction forced on child’s early years could put the child at more serious risk for habitually unhealthy eating into adulthood. The best way to keep kids healthy, is to abolish the option to eat junk food all together.

Junk food can be tempting for a variety of reasons, including convenience, price and taste. For children, who do not always understand the health consequences of their eating habits, junk food may appear especially appetizing. However, regularly consuming fattening junk food can be addictive for children and would lead to complications like obesity, chronic illness, low self-esteem and even depression. It could negatively affect their performance in school and extracurricular activities.

Once children get accustomed to this kind of food, it becomes difficult for them to give up as adults. Craving will make them addictive.

Junk food contain high calories such as fat and sugar with little proteins, vitamins and minerals. Mostly the meat is fried with unhealthy saturated fat. The nutritional value remains very low. Large amount of calories are gifted by food joints with excess amount of salt.

Commonly available junk food: Candies, coloured juices, fizzy drinks, burgers, fried chicken, bakery food, ice creams, salty snacks, pizzas etc.

Side effects of junk food: Dental issues, obesity, hyperactivity, scholastic backwardness, gastroenteritis, malnutrition, irritable bowel syndrome, hepatitis, recurrent throat infection, rheumatic fever, renal stones etc.

Side effects will generally lead to kid’s absenteeism from school. Children would end up in being lacklustre towards schoolwork. Every Parents want their children to be healthy and energetic. However how many of them make conscious and constant effort to create a healthy environment for their children? This should serve as a wake-up call to Parents. It requires more commitment on part of Parents to say no to children. When they demand junk food, try to feed them with nutrient-rich meal that will help them to grow healthier.

Note: Dr Sudhakar Shetty, MD, DCH, is a specialist pediatrician at Al Jawdah Medical Centre in Sharjah and can be contacted on: 971-55-7202730 and by email: drsudhakarshetty@gmail.com

Dr Sudhakar Shetty
MBBS,MD(Pediatrics), DCH

Medical Director:
Baby Friend Clinic (Pune-India)
Kateel Mobile Pediatric Clinic

Specialist A Pediatrician: 
Al Jawdah Medical Centre(Sharjah-UAE)


By Dr Sudhakar Shetty
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Comment on this article

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Tue, Jun 23 2015

    Eating out is becoming convenience as both parent go to work & have no time to prepare food at home. The instant food packets over the counter also contain many ingredients to preserve the taste & consistency of them are harmful along with colors they use as well as additives.
    My family doctor always used to say eat on roadside or small hotels & be healthy if eating out is unavoidable as star hotels preserve food for many days which are reheated & served which cause diarrhea.
    Eat Healthy & Be Healthy, as you are what you eat.

  • Preethi Barettto, Bangalore

    Sat, Jun 20 2015

    Dr. Sudhakar thanks for a informative article.
    Parents need to be aware about the health of their children.What i come across is parents themselves are more of interested in Junk food and take their children along with them to eat.
    I am not denying that being parents one has desire to ear outside food but eating junk food continuously is not healthy.
    May be once in a month going out with family or friends and enjoying may not be a issue I think.

  • sunill, bengaluru

    Fri, Jun 19 2015


    you should understand the difference between junk food and western food.most of indian food are healthy even though they may not look presentable.

    excess oil or fat in any food is a strict no-no like punjabi food.european foods are healthy but the same cannot be told about amercican cuisine.junk foods has its origination from western countries though we can include some indian varities like chaats also into that variety.

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/B'lore

    Fri, Jun 19 2015



    Wed, Jun 17 2015

    very happy to know your knowledge. i agree ,i had made the article as simple as possible.thanks for your feed back.IT IS ACTUALLY A DESSERTATION/THESIS TOPIC FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS

  • L. Menezes, Shirva/ Dubai

    Tue, Jun 16 2015

    Dr. Shetty,

    what u have mentioned here is just the miniscule, please read this blog for the complete understanding:http://www.ajitvadakayil.blogspot.ae/2015/06/kidney-and-gallbladder-stones-capt-ajit.html


    Tue, Jun 16 2015

    in india the municipality and food authority mostly accept bribes and keep quiet.well all are not corrupt.Thats why maggie is facing problem.again it may be a political extortion


    Tue, Jun 16 2015

    yes i agree totally that all the stuff used in hotels are not standard.eateries and road side eating place definitely use substandard oil,meat and vegetables.

  • geoffrey, hat hill

    Tue, Jun 16 2015

    When the air that we breath and water that we drink (and unlike junk food, we have no choice but to inhale/drink them) junk food addiction toh bahut door ki baat hai!

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    Dear Dr.Shetty,

    thank you for your eye opening article.

    Assuming you are an Indian, have you spent time in researching the safety of ingredients used in hotels, restaurants, road side eateries, large and small scale food industries, home industries that churn out unhealthy food , beverages and medicines in India??

  • Shsm, Doha

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    Thank you sir for the information. I was reading one article where it mentioned that hot dogs, processed meat and bacon, doughnuts, french fries and chips, crackers and cookies are top 5 cancer causing foods due to refined sugars and grains, hydrogenated oils, and nitrates. Is it true?

  • sudhi, byndoor

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    The packaged foods and junk foods are normally tested and hence so much defects are found out. But no body questions or test the food prepared in our local hotels. Most of the hotels dont maintain minimum cleanliness eventhough they charge high. No food authorities visit the hotels for checking. If some one comes they will be properly treated and sent away. Insects, small stones, muds, small metals and glass pieces and half boiled chapathi and rice are common. Still nobody questions. This might be the reason some people prefer to go for fast food hotels if they maintain cleanliness.

  • k, Oldenburg/Germany

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    Can you state some examples please. Regards Kurt

  • kurt waschnig, Oldenburg/Germany

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    Sometimes I asked myself, is it healthy to eat fast food? There is always the same answer, no, of course. Many studies have shown, fast food is low in nutrition and high in trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories.Dr Sudhakar Shetty states some examples how dangerous fast food is and how it harms our boy. Many have difficulties to recognise that eating a lot of fast food can affect our health negatively. We do not feel immediately the side effects, that takes a long time.They are accumulative just like most other aspect of the choices we make.
    Parents are responsible for what their children eat and which lifestyle they lead. I know lots of young parents in my area in Oldenburg, Germany, who are heavily overweight and they go often with their children to Burger King and other fast food restaurants to eat fast food.
    Fast food is addictive to adults and to children. Health organisations, schools, authority have to educate the public how dangerous fast food is and how society is harmed.
    Physical exercise is free of charge and should be done daily. It keeps us fit and healthy, beside let us practice meditation and yoga, read a good book, meeting friends, go to church or to the temple. But let us say NO to fast food.
    Thank you Dr Sudhakar Shetty for this interesting article.

    Best regards

    Kurt Waschnig

    email: oldenburg1952@yahoo.de

  • Zeitgeist, Mangalore

    Mon, Jun 15 2015

    I cant understand why people always attack only western food as junk food. what about the food that we ourself prepare or eat outside. Many of Indian food are not that healthy.

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