Harmful Effects of Fast Food Consumption on Human Health

Fast or junk food is a diet which is prepared quickly and having poor nutritional quality.

This type of diet usually high in

  • Refined sugars
  • More in sodium
  • High percentage of cholesterol
  • High level of carbohydrate
  • Low in fiber
  • Less in vitamin
  • Low in minerals

This article mainly focuses on the harmful effects of fast food consumption on human health

Adverse Effects of Fast Food on Human Health

Consumption of poor diet is associated with many diseases like

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Depression
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Indigestion
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Dental problems

The data collected from previous studies on fast foods, it concluded that eating fast food more than once a week is associated with a elevated danger of obesity

Whereas, consumption of fast food more than twice a week is linked with a greater danger of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Various types of diseases due to unhealthy eating habit
diseases due to unhealthy eating habit (Source Pixabay)

1. Fast Food and Obesity

Most fast foods contain a large amount of sugar, trans and saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and smaller amounts of minerals and vitamins.

Unhealthy junk food ingredients have increased portion sizes that increase a person’s body weight.

Eating a lot of unhealthy calories in the form of fast diet leads to weight gain and eventually to obesity

unhealthy diet causes obesity
Unhealthy diet causes obesity (Source Pixabay)

2. High Probability of Type 2 Diabetes

Consuming fast food promotes insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes.

This type of diet contains a high amount of calories, few minerals and little fiber.

Too little fiber in the body can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Junk food is usually not filled and often comes in large quantities.

Both of these factors can lead to fast food overeating. This can have a negative impact on diabetes.

This type of diet causes type 2 diabetes
This type of diet causes type 2 diabetes (Source Pixabay)

3. High Blood Pressure

Fast food contains a large amount of sodium, which can raise blood pressure.

It is notorious for being unhealthy, which is mainly due to the large amount of fat, salt and calories contained in processed foods.

Over time, consuming this diet can contribute to high blood pressure.

Unhealthy eating causes high blood pressure
Unhealthy eating high blood pressure (Source Pixabay)

4. Higher Risk of Heart Disease

The danger of heart disease rises when a person’s weight and waist circumference increase.

Consuming excessive amount of salt exalts blood pressure that is an additional risk for heart disease.

Consumption of glut saturated fat on regular basis boosts blood cholesterol levels, which is a foremost threat factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

This type of diet increases the risk of heart problem
Poor diet higher risk of heart problem (Source Pixabay)

5. Dental Problems

Fast food contains a large amount of salt and sugar, when a person eats these supplements, the crumbs are more likely to stick to the teeth.

This diet debris then allows acids to form along the surface of your teeth. Over time, this leads to tooth decay.

The sugar in carbonated drinks breaks down the enamel in a person’s teeth. As a result, teeth are more prone to cavity development.

Unhealthy eating causes dental problem
Unhealthy eating more dental problem (Source Pixabay)

6. Depression and Fast Foods

This type of diet is loaded with high sugar and fats which can cause some chemical reactions in the brain and affect its functioning.

By consuming too much fat, the body loses essential nutrients and amino acids which may lead to stress and can causes depression.

It contains an imbalance of fatty acids which is the main cause of depression.

People who consume mostly fast diet are at a higher risk of depression.

Studies show that people who consume this type of diet are 51% more likely to develop depression compared to those who do not eat fast food.

Unhealthy diet increase depression
Unhealthy diet increase depression (Source Pixabay)

7. Loss of Memory and Learning Problem

A study show that people who ate fast food are poorly performed normal function.

It contain high amount of saturated fat which have negative impact on brain and memory.

Junk food causes a sudden inflammation in the hippocampus in the brain which is responsible for memory and recognition.

This type of diet increases memory loss
This type of diet increases memory loss (Source Pixabay)

8. Increase Risk of Digestive Disease

This type of diet is rich in energy and lack of vitamins, minerals and fiber

As well as, this kind of diet can increase disease related to digestive system, especially colorectal cancer and small bowel cancer.

It contain processed food and low fiber diet which lead to constipation and many other digestive issues.

Unhealthy diet more digestive problems
Unhealthy diet more digestive problems (Source Pixabay)

9. Fast Food and Inflammation

It contain high amount of sugar and processed food  which make your immune system more aggressive, raising the level of inflammatory chemicals in body. 

Some studies show that the body’s immune system response to junk food in a similar way as to a bacterial infection.

10. Fast Food and Bloating

Fast foods contain high amount of saturated fat which make the stomach uncomfortable.

Fat takes more time to digest than carbohydrate and protein, so fat keeps the stomach full.

Too much sodium can effect the body to retain water, which make a person bloated and puffy.

More unhealthy diet more bloating
More unhealthy diet more bloating (Source Pixabay)

11. Fast Food Affect on Energy Level

Fast food is energy dense and does not contain all the nutrients that the human body needs to be healthy.

As a result, a person will feel tired or tired after consuming fast food and lack energy for the needs of daily tasks.

Junk food does not contain the right amount of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins

Which is the reason, blood sugar levels drop sharply after meals, who feel thin, tired and craving for sugar.

12. Fast Food and Bone Health

Fast food are the main source of higher content of sodium, fat and sugar which are classified as bone robbers.

Carbonated beverages include significant quantity of phosphorus that is an acid forming mineral within the body.

Data obtained from previous studies shown that acid forming phosphorus can interact with skeleton, ultimately absorb calcium in the body.

It is proved from recent studies that teenage girls who drinks more carbonated drinks may increase the risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fracture.

Such type of carbonated drinks also rich source of refined sugars or sugar substitute, which further weaken the bones and encourages osteoporosis and rickets.

Poor diet poor bone health (Source Pixabay)


Fast food contain high amount of refined sugar, sodium, saturated fat and contain low amount of vitamin and minerals.

It has multiple harmful effects on human health which can cause many diseases like

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Memory loss and learning problem

Keeping in view the harmful effects of fast food consumption, it is advised to avoid that type of diet. Eat healthy, stay healthy.

Written by Hina Nauman (BSc Hons), Institute of food and nutritional sciences, PMAS- Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi




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