Junk food and the Consumer Blame Game

Hello everyone,
For our project we chose the topic “Junk Food” as junk food has become a crucial part in daily life. We had a lot of questions about this topic. Firstly, what is junk food? Why is the junk food going popular these days?  What makes junk food different from regular food? Why consumption of junk food has become a hot topic these days? Should we totally avoid consumption of junk? Is it possible to live without junk food in 21st century? Can junk food be made healthy?

Zurich’s partner team contribution: “Junk Food in our daily life

Breakfast from Crowne Plaza, Rohini, Delhi

In our research we searched the web and had an interview with a Nutritionist, whom we met personally.

We interviewed Dr. R. Kocher, Dietician and Nutritionist on 4 January 2020. He seemed to be in his late 40s. A six feet tall man with a moustache. He has his own clinic and also works at Maharaja Agarsen Hospital, Delhi, India. He is a humble man who very patiently answered our queries and enlightened us.

Q.1. What is junk food?

Ans. Ideally, junk foods are defined as processed foods with negligible nutrient value and are often high in salt, sugar and fat. But we often confuse fast foods with junk foods.

Q.2. What makes junk food different from regular food?

Ans. Commercial products including but not limited to salted snack foods, gum, candy, sugary desserts, fried fast food, and sweetened carbonated beverages that have little or no nutritional value but are high in calories, salt, and fats may be considered junk foods. Though not all fast foods are junk foods, but a great number of them are.
For instance, a salad may be fast food, but is definitely not junk food. Some foods like burgers, pizzas, and tacos may alternate between junk and healthy categories depending on the ingredients, calories and process of manufacturing.

Q.3 Why it fast food so popular?

Ans. Fast food is popular because the food is inexpensive, convenient, and tastes good. However, fast food is often made with cheaper ingredients such as high fat meat, refined grains, and added sugar and fats, instead of nutritious ingredients such as lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Junk food Delhi 2
From the bakery, the Crowne Plaza, Rohini, Delhi

Q.4 How is junk food affecting our life?

Ans. Eating a poor quality diet high in junk food is linked to a higher risk of obesity, depression, digestive issues, heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and early death. And as you might expect, frequency matters when it comes to the impact of junk food on your health.

Q.5 Is it possible to live without junk food in this 21st century?

Ans. No, because junk food is found just about everywhere .It’s sold at supermarkets, convenience stores, workplaces, schools and in vending machines .The availability and convenience of junk food make it difficult to limit or avoid.

Q.6 Should we stop consuming junk food?

Ans. Eliminating junk food can significantly reduce the total number of calories we consume in a day, which leads to weight loss. Quitting junk food like potato chips and cheesy foods is a simple way of reducing calorie intake. By eliminating junk food, there is more room for nutrient-dense food.
You may have wondered whether you should steer clear of it at all cost or follow the mantra to enjoy everything in moderation. So, you should keep everything in moderation. That is the best way.

Junkfood Delhi 3
Local Junk Food from Kerala.

Q.7 Can junk food be made healthy? 

Ans. Junk food is fun. It’s easier to carry and eat, and saves time. Even junk can be made healthy, say food science students. Enhancing the fibre content and minimising processing, reducing chemicals, synthetic colours and flavours, and using locally available food material like millets, can make junk food guilt-free.

Experience

When we started our research all we knew was that junk food is bad for our health a simple statement known by everybody. But as we researched we got know so many things which are also practical in our daily life just related to the food we eat. The most important part of a human being is the being himself. If he/she will not eat properly survival would not be possible.

Reflection

By doing this project we learnt that it has a lot of effect in our daily life. We have already talked about how it affects us mentally and physically and in the context of the production and transportation our opinion is that transport of junk food should be less as it has no nutritional value even if it has some it is further reduced by the preservatives put.

We believe that a lot of energy is wasted in the transportation via water or air. There is mass production everywhere, but then people only like to eat of specific international food brands like Dominos (an American multinational pizza restaurant chain) or Mc Donald’s which  transport food from country to country. Mc Donald’s and Dominos have such large restaurant chains. They have outlets in almost every city  and what are they selling – junk food! We have personally witnessed that they have a different taste in small cities and towns compared to metropolitan cites; why do you think that is so?

We also had a lot of questions like: Does junk food make us happier? Do you think food should be transported? Do you think there should be a junk food tax to help pay for people who go to hospital with heart or weight problems? How can you change your lifestyle and thus also reduce the consumption of junk food?

Conclusion

Thus, through this project, we got to know how various things are important and unimportant to us. We got to know about junk food and its ill effects and will focus on not to eat them from now.

Authors: Wameca Kesar and Kinshuk Aggarwal

Reviewed by: Praveena Venugopalan

Zurich’s partner team contribution: “Junk Food in our daily life

On-topic posts on dontwastemy.energy
The Story of Chips
How much energy do I consume per day and how can I calculate it?

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

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