Fast food facts and its effects on mental health

Fast food and mental health

Fast food is popular throughout the world, especially in first world countries. It is natural that people don’t get enough time between busy schedules, so it is the answer.

Fast food and mental health
Fast food and mental health

What is exactly fast-food?

Food items that can be prepared quickly and taste good are considered in quick foods. You can get it from roadside food shops or even at expensive restaurants.

People also confuse it with junk food items as both of them have some similarities. Junk food means the items that are extremely poor in nutritional value and high in elements that can harm our body like sugar, fat etc. Most of these items has the same criteria but there are also healthy options available in the market.

Why is fast food considered unhealthy ?

The amount of elements like sodium, saturated fat, sugar, trans fat, bad cholesterol, unhealthy carbs etc. are the reasons behind it. But again, not all of them are the same. It depends on how much it can affect your body. On the other hand, most of them lack essential nutrition like fruit nutrition, fiber etc. Despite these reasons, it is not possible to maintain these  all the time.

Fast foods are considered unhealthy
Fast foods are considered unhealthy

Fast food and mental health

Most people know that these types of food items have several negative effects on our body such as increased blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, weight put on etc. but not everyone is aware of its effects on mental health. Let’s go through the effects once.


Eating a lot of quick food items can increase your chance of being in depression. Depression is passively connected with our physical health. A healthy diet is always suggested for mental stability. The added sugar contents, saturated fat and other elements can affect your brain cells and you can get into depression if you are consuming too much of these food items. According to the previous studies, people who eat too much of these food items are 50%-52% more likely to have a depression. And the worst part is, the more you will get into depression, the more you’ll crave for these food items.

2. Anxiety booster

Previous studies have shown that quick food items are related to anxiety, especially fried one. Fried items like fish/chicken fried or French fries can worsen the situation. It can affect your heart health as well as your brain. Sugar is proven to increase mental health issues like insomnia, anxiety etc. These items have an excessive amount of that to make you anxious over days.

3. Hyperactivity

In simple words, Hyperactivity is a state where a human mind is being conscious about several topics at the same time. It can cause sensations in your body and brain. Besides that, it is one of the main reasons for insomnia, low power of concentration etc. This is because of the artificial ingredients used in these items such as colors, flavors etc.

4. Memory loss

Our memories are stored in our minds and it can hamper if our brains start producing insulin resistance. You’re right, again I’m about to talk about the excessive amount of sugar. The sugar content in these items can increase insulin production. As a reply, the brain also starts to produce a resistance and ends up washing all the memories. It can lead you to Dementia, Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues, especially in old age.

5. It can be addictive

Weird, but true. These can be addictive and the main reason behind it is also, the sugar. Fast food can cause dopamine secretion in the brain that is basically a feel good chemical. Having an impressive amount of fat, sugar and cholesterol in a short time span can make you dependent on it and If a person continues to intake something that causes this secretion, he/she will be addicted to it and after some times it may feel impossible to live without fast food.

Symptoms of fast food addiction

There are a few symptoms that will indicate you that you are growing any addiction to quick food items.

Quick food and depression
Quick food and depression
1. Intense craving

You will experience an intense craving for consuming that food item that you will not be able to eat anything else unless you have it. It can disturb your sleep and even you can experience uncontrollable behaviour in your body.

2. Body reaction

Usually, nothing happens more than intense craving but in some rare cases people can experience hot and cold flashes.

3. Change in attitude

You’ll get irritable unless you get the food item you are craving. You may also feel anxious and depressed during that time and your behaviour would change a bit. You will find yourself angry or sad for no exact reason.

4. Concentration break

When you try to read a book or do something else, an image of a juicy, crunchy burger can pass your mind by breaking your concentration. If it happens repeatedly, then it can be an indication.

5. You will be not able to stop even it you want

Even after knowing about the effects of quick foods on your body, you will not be able to quit it. If you are planning a diet, it may be tough for you.

How to overcome fast food addiction.
  1. Your will power is the key. Only a strong motivation and a wish to quit that addiction can save you.
  2. . Have a balanced diet that is full of nutrition so that your body doesn’t lack anything. This thing will help you to say no to quick foods.
  3. Exercise can really help. Fitness was always the sword to turndown addictions. You can have a fitness tracker so that you can check your fitness, sleep issues and other things that are needed.
Junk food addiction
Junk food addiction

So, if one should quit having fast-food items completely?

No. Though it has plenty of negative effects on our body, it is not recommended to leave it entirely. If you leave these food items completely, your body will get non-habituated digesting these type of rich food items. As a result, you can never be able to eat again and it may cause indigestion, nausea, vomit, headache etc. Being frank, sometimes, it is the need of time so better cut off the consumption instead of quitting it completely.  Having fast food for once in 10 to 15 days is recommended, you can have it once a week.

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