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The effect and risks of fast food on the general health of the body

 The effect and risks of fast food on the general health of the body

The effect and risks of fast food on the general health of the body

Fast food is one of the most popular types of meals. Many people have a bad habit of eating a bag of potato chips or other fast food when they feel hungry. As online food delivery services develop, eating fast food has become more popular. This has raised many questions about the effect of fast food on health.

This article discusses fast food and its effects on physical health in the short and long term. By studying the effects of fast food on health, we can understand fast food consumption on life expectancy. We can learn about our eating and health patterns and whether eating fast food should be prioritized over eating healthy foods.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, fast food is foods such as hamburgers that are cooked quickly or are already cooked and therefore served very quickly in a restaurant. Hamburgers, pizza, milkshakes, potato chips, and tacos are among the foods classified as "fast food."

Fast food beliefs

There are many beliefs about the benefits of fast food, but not all of them are true.

1.It is delicious and does not require much effort to cook. It is easy to obtain fast food, as it is available in restaurants and stores, and it contains a high percentage of calories, fats, and sugar that a person needs daily.

2. Fast food was thought to be much cheaper compared to fruits and vegetables. However, this is not always the case. Fast food prices can vary between cities and regions. One traveler's website states that fast food in the Philippines is usually 150 pesos (west). One price comparison site indicates that the price of a combined meal at a restaurant in Manila is around 206 pesos ( For example, using the same sites, the price of one kilogram of apples can range from 144 to 158 pesos. Between 206 pesos and 158 pesos, there is a difference of 48 pesos between the most expensive fast food and apples respectively.

3. Finally, fast food consumption is thought to be higher in urban environments than in rural environments. There is contradictory evidence for this belief. One study found that higher fast food density is associated with higher BMI (Erpecum, Zon, and Bultmann). However, another study found that the availability of fast food does not necessarily lead to fast food consumption, as rural and urban statistics were relatively similar (Richardson, Gunn and Popkin).

Fast food has many advantages, such as accessibility and effortlessness, but there is debate about whether it is cheaper than fruits and vegetables, or whether fast food is consumed more in urban areas.

The effect of fast food on short-term health

1. Fast food has worrying effects on physical health in the short term. Initially, it has an effect on blood pressure. Blood pressure is a measure of the force your heart uses to pump blood around your body (NHS). The body has a natural sodium balance that draws water into the bloodstream. The water in the bloodstream enables blood to flow easily into the blood vessels. As a preservative and flavor enhancer, sodium is a common ingredient in fast food. Additives and flavorings in fast food increase pressure on the walls of blood vessels. Symptoms include bloating and extreme thirst.

2. It increases blood sugar. Blood sugar is the body's primary source of energy (MedlinePlus). It circulates in the bloodstream, and the body produces insulin to transport sugar to the cells to produce energy. Fast food is high in sugar, just like salt. The body cannot produce enough insulin for all the sugar, so it stays in your bloodstream, unable to reach your cells. Symptoms include increased thirst, fatigue, acne, and weight gain .

3. Finally, it affects your daily nutrition. Vitamins and minerals are essential for body functions such as immunity, healing, and hormone regulation. Fast food contains a minimum of vitamins, minerals and fibre. It lacks essential vitamins needed for growth such as vitamins C and D, iron, fiber and potassium (Vivoclinic). Large amounts of fast food will not be able to meet the recommended daily nutritional needs without increasing calories.

4. In general, short-term consumption of fast food leads to excessive salt and sugar intake and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, resulting in common symptoms of fatigue and exhaustion.

The effect of fast food on long-term health

Fast food also has subsequent effects on your long-term physical health.

 1. First, with a long-term lack of appropriate vitamins and minerals, the body faces long-term problems with basic functions. Nutrient deficiencies change the body's functions at the basic cellular level (psota). This includes water processing, nerve signals, digestion, metabolism, and many other bodily processes. Long-term deficiency leads to numbness and/or cold fingers, fatigue, swelling of body parts, nausea, and loss of appetite.

2. Secondly, the body changes the digestion process when it does not get the right amount of fiber. Fiber attracts water in the intestines and slows digestion, preventing high blood sugar and reducing hunger after eating. Fatty meat in large quantities leads to a decrease in healthy bacteria in the intestines. It leads to constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, and multiple types of cancer. Symptoms include fatigue, a tendency to overeat, and high blood sugar.

3. Third: Excess or deficiency of elements leads to heart disease. Since blood pressure affects the rate at which blood moves through the body, changes in blood pressure can damage the arteries of the heart. A heart that beats faster than normal becomes vulnerable to heart disease and weakness. Average weekly consumption of 7.5, 13, and 18 servings increases cardiovascular disease by 8.1 percent, 12.2 percent, and 16.6 percent, respectively (Covari). There are many types of heart disease such as coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmia, and cardiomyopathy. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in the neck, jaw, chest or back, and numbness in the arms and legs.

Finally, fast food contributes greatly to obesity. Obesity is a problem that has gradually increased – from 20.2% in 1998 to 36.6% in 2019, and is expected to rise significantly in 2030 (UNICEF). With the above factors leading to less than optimal bodily functions, the body cannot process food. On average, women should consume 2,000 calories per day while men need 2,500 calories. A burger contains about 994 calories, pizza 600 calories, and sandwiches 500 calories per serving ( One serving meets a large portion of your daily calorie needs. People are not aware of the amount of calories they are eating, which leads to eating food that exceeds their recommended calorie requirements. Symptoms of obesity include insomnia, joint pain, inflammation, depression, and shortness of breath. Fast food can lead to lifelong illnesses and diseases and drastic physical changes that may lead to death.


In conclusion, there is no doubt that fast food is convenient in daily life, but its consequences on your health make you wonder whether it is worth it. Fast food contains an excessive or deficient amount of elements necessary for normal body functions. These elements can cause short-term and life-altering conditions and diseases. Eating large amounts of fast food can significantly shorten your life span. It is necessary to achieve a balance between fast and healthy foods.