Long-term effects of eating junk food Eating a poor-quality diet high in junk food is linked to an increased risk of obesity, depression, digestive problems, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer and premature death. And as you might expect, frequency matters when it comes to the health impact of junk food. The problem is that diets high in sodium are known to increase blood pressure, which puts pressure on the cardiovascular system. Over time, high blood pressure can stiffen or narrow blood vessels, becoming a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
Eating an excessive amount of junk food can have a negative effect on your overall health and well-being and can also reduce your ability to stay active. Frequent consumption of junk food can also increase the risk of diseases such as hypertension and strokes. Every day, young people are bombarded with unhealthy junk food choices, and this can lead to lifelong eating habits that are difficult to undo. However, refined sugar, which is the type of sugar commonly found in junk food, causes blood sugar levels to drop rapidly because the body digests it quickly.
Junk food used to be just an occasional “treat”, but nowadays Australians eat more and more often. In the same way that people addicted to drugs or alcohol require a higher dose over time, you crave more junk food the more you eat it. Another study that examined YouTube videos popular with children revealed that 38% of all ads included food or drinks and 56% of those food ads were for junk food. Yes, according to Australian dietary guidelines, a small amount of junk or discretionary food can be included in a healthy, balanced diet.
The product can also contain salt or fat and can be high in kilojoules, so even sugar-free products can be junk food. Also keep in mind that products known as “health foods”, such as some fruit juices and muesli bars, can actually be junk food if they contain high levels of sugar, salt, or fat.