Posted on August 02, 2019

The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has emphasised the importance of raising general awareness of the impact of fast food on the health of children and the need for creating healthy food habits in society.

Fast foods contain substances and chemicals that irritate the membranes of the digestive system weakening absorptive capacity and causing mental exhaustion and laziness among children. Fast foods are, therefore, addictive for children, the PHCC cautioned.

Mahmoud al Tukhi, a nutritionist at the Al Wakra Health Center, said fast food lacks nutritional value and contains high levels of fat, calories, salt and sugar, and most people don’t feel full when they eat, which makes them eat larger quantities. One of the most important dangers of junk food for children is obesity, because they contain a lot of fat, sugars and proteins. He pointed out that excessive eating of fast food also disturbs the blood sugar level in a child’s body, which then suffers from psychological diseases such as frustration and shyness and other undesirable behaviours, which leads to an increase in anger and violence, as well as depression and sadness without reason. 

Fast foods also have a negative effect on the fetus when pregnant women frequently eat it, as it affects fetal growth and formation, he said. Tukhi said fast food causes family and social dysfunction also due to lack of gathering within the family to eat together on time, and noted that some families are now allocating a monthly budget for fast food for their children. The most important steps to get rid of fast food includes its lack of availability at home, as well as involving institutions and individuals to raise awareness of the dangers of fast food and the importance of healthy food.