By Nupur Dogra:
Food is a basic necessity of any living being on earth, but here I will restrict myself to humans. Food for us humans has become much more than a basic necessity or a source of survival. Today it has become more of a luxury than a source of nutrition and energy. There are two types of food: food for nutrition and food for fun, the latter can more appropriately be called junk food. Junk food as the name itself suggests food that is unnecessary, waste or not required by the body. But, then why do we readily spend large bucks of money on something which is harmful or useless to us? In this fast, practical, capitalist world which only looks forÂ profit, why do we end up investing in something which has nothing good to offer? The answer to this question is “taste”. For our transient pleasure we indulge into food that can have hazardous effects to our health.
According to a report of Times of India, 1 out of every 5 men and 1 out of every 6 women is overweight in India. More than 2 lakh people die of liver diseases every year in India. Overconsumption of junk food leads to obesity which in turn leads to countless diseases. Recently a huge brawl was created in news over the revelations of the junk factor of the packaged food. It is a well known fact that most of the buyers see the advertisement and buy the product thinking that advertisement has given them all the sufficient information and ignore the labeling which is already not clear. This is where these manufacturers start cashing on. It was reported that these snacks after being tested showed high level of Trans fats. Trans fats are used to increase shelf life of these products. Excess of trans fat in human body can cause clogging of the arteries, colon cancer, depression, heart diseases, and also infertility amongst women. Popular food chains have been found serving acrylimide containing fries which can cause cancer. when people see a 50 year old Akshay kumar jumping from 100 feats and landing scratch less on the ground and having gorgeous women in his arms just after drinking an aerated drink, people start mistaking this drink to be an energy drink or something like an elixir whereas, reality remains to be in a sharp contrast. These carbonated beverages consists synthetic sugar a single serving of which equals with our entire day’s quota of sugar. Junk food is not restricted only to packaged snacks and aerated drinks; it also includes the street food. The mouth watering chaats , golgappas, samosaas are equally harmful to our body. We need to understand that there is nothing national or international about junk food. Junk is junk irrespective of the origin of its recipe.
Imagining a life without these mouthwatering and soul satisfying foods is just next to impossible for me or anyone. But there has to be solution to this, if we cannot stop our consumption completely at least we can learn to limit ourselves. Also modification of these products in order to add some nutrition to the junk is very much possible, for e.g.: replacing refined flour with whole grain flour used to make the buns and breads of burgers and pizzas. Also government should ban products containing high level of trans fat and also start imposing high tax on such products. But in the end we ourselves are responsible for our health and its high time we start eating smartly. One should remember Junk food can become a part of our diet but not a diet in itself.