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Effect of Junk Food


Daily life









According to Magee E., "Junk food" generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories

but little nutritional value. Additional to this, in the study of Dr. Johnson, S., Ramakant, S., Saxena

P. (2012), it has said that Junk food term refers to fast foods which are easy to make and quick

to consume. They are zero in nutritional value and often high in fat, salt, sugar, and/or calories.

Junk food term also refers to fast goods which are easy to make and quick to consume.

Not only in the brain can the junk food affect us but also in our metabolism. Eating junk

food showed serious negative changes to human’s metabolism after just five days. After eating

the junk-food diet which was a study conducted by Dr. Mercola, the study participants (12 healthy

college-aged men) muscle’s lost the ability to oxidize glucose after a meal, which could lead to

insulin resistance down the road.

Common junk foods include salted snack foods, fried fast food, and carbonated drinks.

Junk Food has become a major problem and many countries are taking action – banning junk

food advertising in children’s programs, removing it from schools and even imposing a fat-tax.

Many junk foods also have trans-fats.

Moreover this junk foods has its detrimental effects not just physically but also mentally.

First, in the physical appearance, one of the most common negative effect that one can encounter

in eating junk food is obesity especially for the children by their age, junk foods are usually

consumed. Secondly is the mental health. People who consumed junk foods are 37% more likely

to become experience mental breakdown and depression. This depression might lead to a heart

disease, one example of this is myocardial infraction and some other chronic diseases and


A common junk food usually includes salted snack foods, fried fast food, and carbonated

drinks (Dr. Johnson, Sahu, and Sahena 2012). These foods are likely to be consumed by school-
aged children, especially those who are in public schools. One of the reasons why children prefer

eating and buying junk foods is because these type of foods are one of the cheapest.

Junk foods increase their popularity amongst children through the attractive

advertisements by using celebrities, which tempts children towards junk foods. As years pass,

junk foods specifically the fast foods have become a prominent feature of the diet of children.

Children eating a diet high in junk foods are more likely to be in the top 33% on the SDQ hyper-

activity sub-scale at the age of 7. This may have a long-term nutritional imbalance in the children’s


These dark sides of junk food is not an unknown fact. Several researches have already

presented that junk foods and other processed foods have increased children’s obesity, heart

disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. As the book of Andre F. Smith, Encyclopedia of

Junk Foods and Fast Food, he defined junk food as, “those commercial products including candy,

baking goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks, which have little to no nutritional value but

do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast

foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering.”

Therefore, the purpose of the study is to bring awareness to the school aged children in

the detrimental effects of eating junk food by having a recommendation about the correct eating

habits and good decision making in eating healthy foods. Also this study aims to know the

nutritional facts and effects of junk foods to school aged children.

Statement of the Problem

This study was conducted to determine evaluate the eating habits and nutritional status of

school aged children in selected public school in Cagayan de oro city. Furthermore, it answered

the following questions:

1. What is the eating habits of school aged children?

2. What is the nutritional status of Junk foods and soft drinks?

3. Is there a significant relationship b/w the eating habits and nutritional status of school

aged children?

4. What are the factors that contribute to the eating habits of school aged children?

5. What intervention program may be proposed based from the finding of the study?

Significance of the study

This section will provide brief description on the various significances of the study which

is Eating Habits and Nutritional Status of School-aged Children in Selected Public Schools in

Naga City.

School-aged children. The study serves the school-aged children as their guide or

reference in making a good decision in eating healthy foods rather than junk foods. It will also

help the students to increase their awareness in every food they eat and their eating habits as


Parents. The study will help the parents to bring awareness to their children and have

deeper understanding of what food their children must eat. Also, it will benefit the parents in

making the good choices of what food to eat and to avoid.

School Administrators. The study will help the school administrators to increase

awareness and more information about the said topic. It will be their means of bringing up to the

students on what a healthy life is.

Teachers. This study will allow the teachers to add up the information present in the study

to their lesson plans and strategies. This will serve as their guide to proper health education,

especially those teachers who are major in health education.

Senior High School Students. The study will help the researchers to have a deeper

understanding to the said study. By this study, researcher will come up with a recommendation if

what is the right food to eat and the correct eating habits.

To future researchers. The study will benefit and help the future researchers as their

guide. The study can also open in development of this study.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study will focus on the eating habits and the nutritional status of school aged children in

selected public elementary school in Naga City. This study will identify the eating habits of the

children like how often they eat junk foods in a day or too much eating of unhealthy snacks that

can affect their nutritional status that can cause to malnutrition or obesity. The overall focus of

this study is to know the effects of junk foods to the nutritional status of the school aged children.

Review of Related Literature and Studies

This section includes the review of foreign and local related literature and studies,

synthesis of the state of the art, theoretical framework, conceptual framework and definition of

Related Literature

According to NDTV food desk (2017), the dark side of junk foods is not an unknown fact.

Several research studies have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased

childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases. Recently, the Delhi

Government demanded a crackdown on junk food that is sold in schools and within 50 meters of

them. Not only do they add inches to your waistline, but scientists and researchers have also

indicated through various studies that junk food can actually cause serious damage to your brain.

The worrying bit is that it’s not just years of poor eating, but regular consumption of junk food even

for few days can lead to a mental meltdown.

According to Pan, A. Sugary drinks are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. The

term “soft drink” refers to any beverage with added sugar or other sweetener, and includes soda,

fruit punch, lemonade and other “ades,” sweetened powdered drinks, and sports and energy

drinks. People who drink sugary beverages do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same

calories from solid food, and studies show that people consuming sugary beverages don’t

compensate for their high caloric content by eating less food.

According to Sheroz M., Iabal W., Qureshi UF., Hayat Z., Afzal T. (2017) “Eating junk food

has a negative effect on mental health, making those who consume it regularly feel depressed,

“The news is based on a Spanish study that looked at how 9,000 people’s consumption of fast

food and baked goods, researchers found that people who consumed the most fast food and

baked goods were 37% more likely to become depressed over a six-year period than people with

the lowest consumption.2 In a cohort study of almost 9000 adults in Spain, those who consistently

consumed "fast food," such as hamburgers and pizza, were 40% more likely to develop

depression than the participants was consumed.

According to Di Noia J.(June 2014) A new study is ranking produce based on how nutrient-

dense each item is with watercress, cabbage and beet greens topping the list.That’s based on 17

critical nutrients our bodies need: fibre, potassium, protein, calcium folate, vitamin B12, vitamin

A, vitamin D among others. A powerhouse fruit or vegetable is a fruit or vegetable that’s packed

with nutrients that are beneficial in preventing chronic disease,” Of 47 foods studied, only six –

raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, onions and blueberries – didn’t satisfy the

powerhouse criterion. Watercress, Chinese cabbage, Chard, Beet greens, Spinach, Chicory, Leaf

lettuce, Parsley, Romaine lettuce, Collard green, Turnip green, Mustard green, Endive, Chive,

Kale, Dandelion green, Red pepper, Arugula, Broccoli, Pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, Scallions,

Kohlrabi, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrot, Tomato, Lemon, Iceberg lettuce, Strawberries, Radish,

Winter squash (all varieties), Orange, Lime, Grapefruit (pink and red), Rutabaga, Turnip,

Blackberries, Leeks, Sweet potato, Grapefruit (white) are nutrient-dense fruits and vegetable.

Boiling your vegetables can lose most of the nutrients.

According to Harvard T.H. Chan A., typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 to 18 teaspoons of

sugar and upwards of 240 calories. A 64-ounce fountain cola drink could have up to 700 calories.

According to Magee E. "Junk food" generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories

but little nutritional value. Of course, what's considered "junk food" depends on whom you ask.

Some might say pizza is junk food, for example. But I personally don't think so, since it contributes

real food with nutrients, like cheese and tomato sauce. Add whole-wheat or part whole-wheat

crust, plus veggies as a topping, and I'd say pizza completely exits the junk food category.

Related Studies

According to Wellard, L. and Watson, W. (2012), Healthy food choices are an essential

part of combating rising obesity levels. Currently, reliable nutrition information and ingredients lists
appear in fine print on the back or the side of food packages, while nutrition claims such as ‘97%

fat free’ and ‘no added sugar’ appear prominently on the front – grabbing consumers’ attention.

Fast food also has a big part to play in obesity, with research showing that we are increasingly

eating away from home and that eating fast foods regularly can lead to weight gain.

According to Datar, A. and Nicosia N. (2012), we find that junk food availability has small

positive associations with BMI and obesity in basic OLS models that only control for a limited set

of covariates, but those associations become insignificant when controls for BMI at school entry

and state fixed effects are added. Our IV models, which address potential bias in the OLS models,

generate somewhat larger, albeit less precise, point estimates that are also not statistically

significant. Even if the IV point estimates were statistically significant, they would still represent

only minor increases in BMI and obesity, generally one-third of one percent. Moreover, reduced

form estimates, which are more precisely estimated than IV estimates, provide further support

because combined school attendance has no significant effects on 5th graders’ BMI and obesity.

These results are robust to alternative measures of junk food availability and sample restrictions.

The models also produce the expected findings on various falsification tests.

According to Idahosa, S. (2012), American students consumed 400 billion calories of junk

food in schools only not counting food from home or from convenience stores. You may ask what

exactly junk food is. Well junk foods are foods with high calories and little or no nutrition for

examples foods you get at McDonalds or at a vending machine. Most teenagers and children like

junk food because of all the sugar and fat in it, giving junk food the satisfying taste and

addictiveness. There are many factors that cause students to eat junk food for example they may

skip breakfast or be lured by cheap prices lure them or just the convenience of junk food. When

students eat junk food; they end up having social and physical issue, poor nutrition, health

problems, and poor performances in school.

According to Datar, A. (2012), despite limited empirical evidence, there is growing concern

that junk food availability in schools has contributed to the childhood obesity epidemic. In this

paper, we estimate the effects of junk food availability on BMI, obesity, and related outcomes

among a national sample of fifth-graders. Unlike previous studies, we address the endogeneity of

the school food environment by controlling for children’s BMI at school entry and estimating

instrumental variables regressions that leverage variation in the school’s grade span. Our main

finding is that junk food availability does not significantly increase BMI or obesity among this fifth

grade cohort despite the increased likelihood of in-school junk food purchases. The results are

robust to alternate measures of junk food availability including school administrator reports of

sales during school hours, school administrator reports of competitive food outlets, and children’s

reports of junk food availability. Moreover, the absence of any effects on overall food consumption

and physical activity further support the null findings for BMI and obesity.

According to Arya, G., Mishra S. (2013), Junk foods are rich in calories, salt and fats.

Excess consumption of junk foods leads rise to wide variety of health disorders. School canteens

are offering foods high in fat and sugar which actually contributing to the youth weight gain along

with other problems like infections, food poisonings and dental diseases. Consuming junk foods

might stop the children from taking healthy meals either at school or at home. The practice of high

consumption of junk foods like maggi noodles, burgers, pao-bhaji, sandwiches, hot dogs, patties,

pastries, pop-corn, potato chips, carbonated drinks, biscuits, muffins, toast, kulcha-channa,

samosa, chocolates etc., have become common feature of adolescent’s diet throughout the

world.. They frequently over consume fast foods and under consume fruits, vegetables and dairy

products. According to WHO, in India, more than 3 per cent of the population is in the obese

category. Obesity is an emerging major public health problem throughout the world among

adolescents. It is one of the most effective tool of changing the food habits without affecting their

sentiments. Nutrition counseling regarding the importance of balanced diet, harmful effects of junk
foods will help to curb the junk food addiction and improving their nutritional status. Iit should be

suggested that there is a need to focus on nutrition counseling to facilitate the intake of healthy

junk foods like fermented foods, wheat noodles by adding lots of vegetables, sprouted pulses,

sprouted tikki, vegetable samosa & cutlets, wheat and multigrain bread.

According to Dr. Johnson, S., Ramakant, S., Saxena P. (2012), Junk food term refers to

fast foods which are easy to make and quick to consume. They are zero in nutritional value and

often high in fat, salt, sugar, and/or calories. Common junk foods include salted snack foods, fried

fast food, and carbonated drinks. Junk Food has become a major problem and many countries

are taking action – banning junk food advertising in children’s programmes, removing it from

schools and even imposing a fat-tax. Many junk foods also have trans-fat. Trans-fat behave like

saturated fats when they get in the body. They clog up the human arteries and cause plaque to

build up contributing to heart disease and stroke symptoms.

According to Public health law center Research shows that almost half of these calories

come from sugar sweetened beverages. As a result, these drinks, alone, may be responsible for

at least one-fifth of the weight gained in the past three decades. Consuming sugar sweetened

beverages is strongly associated with weight gain in all age groups. Drinking one additional

serving of a sugar sweetened beverage per day significantly increases the chance a child will be

obese. At the same time, reducing consumption of these drinks is linked to a reduction in body

weight, with heavier individuals experiencing a greater weight loss than those who weigh less.

According to Fleck A. the Women’s and Children’s Health Network said that diet has a

significant effect on children’s study habits. Junk food and foods with high sugar content deplete

energy levels and the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. Energy and focus are

especially crucial for school-age children. Children set the foundation for lifelong habits in their

youth, making junk food particularly hazardous to their well-rounded development. Physical

activity is also essential for children of all ages, and regularly eating junk food does not provide
the necessary nutrients children need for sufficient energy to engage in physical activity. A lack

of physical activity is harmful to physical and mental well-being and may also exclude a child from

critical social development.

According to Bansal V. (2012), Eating “junk” is one of the primary causes of heart disease

– Myocardial infraction being one example. This occurs when plaque is formed in the arteries that

are connected to the heart. These arteries have to work extra hard to pump blood downstream.

Which in turn creates circulation problems. Heart fatigue and heart attack can also often associate

with it.