Sardar Patel Medical College, India
Title: Regular fast food /junk food consumption: Relationship with early weight gain and other possible nutritional disorders
Kiran V. Barar is Senior Professor & Head at the Department of Pharmacology, S.P.Medical College (SPMC), Bikaner, Rajasthan, India, also serving as Honorary Professor at “Albert Schiwtzer International University” (ASIU), Geneva, Switzerland since the year 2000. Dr.Kiran is Coordinator, Medical-Education-Unit (MEU), Convener, Anti-Ragging Committee (ARC) and Chairperson, Working-Women-Harassment-Cell at SPMC. She is MCI-Inspector/Assessor for MD (Pharmacology), Inspector for Pharmacy-Colleges through RUHS-Jaipur and Member in various Councils/Committees/Board viz. Institutional Research Board (IRB), Standing Disciplinary Committee (SDC), Hospital Acquired Infection Control Committee, Academic-Council and Scrutiny-Committee for Inspected Colleges for Affiliation to RUHS. Dr.Kiran is also Secretary, Pharmacovigilance-Committee (PVC), Chairperson, Prescription-Audit for Generic Medicine (PAGM) and Member in Drugs and Therapeutics Committee (DTC) of SPMC. She has Published ‘61’ papers and has been an Editor, Reviewer and Writer/Columnist. Dr.Kiran has been a Meritorious (Gold Medalist) throughout, Winner of various “Distinctions, Awards and Prizes” during her whole academic career and also has been Recipient of National Merit Scholarship for four years (1976- 1980). Dr.Kiran is Life-Member in IPS, SOPI and KSPOR (ISPOR), has remained an Active Member in the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) in the yr.1999. She is presently a Full Individual Member in Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW/ previously TWOWS) and Member in DIA-India. Dr.Kiran has acted as Nodal Officer and Mo/Ic of “Telemedicine-Centre for CME” at JLNMC-Ajmer. She has served as Resource-Person/Moderator in various teaching programs/CME/group-discussions and also Deliberated “Lead-Lectures ”in subjects like Neurodegenerative/Alzheimer’sDisease(s), Biopharmaceuticals / Biosimilars, Toxicogenomics/Proteomics, Fast food- Toxicology, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), Antiretroviral-Adherence, Role of Cinnamon in AIDS, Leprosy, Medical- Education, Telemedicine, Pharmacoeconomics/Health-Economics, Prescription-Auditing, Drug-Utilization-Studies (DUS), Pharmacovigilance/ARV-Vigilance, Dosing in Renal / Hepatic Impairment(s), Drug-Resistance, Drug-Abuse, Drug-Regulatory Affairs etc.
Fast foods/junk foods are typically produced in the form of packaged snacks requiring little or no preparation. They are “ready cooked food to go”, generally made in advance and delivered instantly after heating. Mostly these are deep-fried and unprocessed and contain lot of Trans fat and chemical additives. As such the fast/junk foods are of very low nutritional value with lots of empty-calories. Here we can recall the available fast-foods like, pizzas, patties, hamburgers, beef burgers, apple pies, hot dogs, French fries, fried chicken-nuggets, fish n chips, ragouts, chilled mashed potato, tacos, pitas, kebabs, sandwiches, meat-sausages and Indian fast-food like vada pav, papri chat, bhel puri, panipuri, dahivada, puri-kachori, etc. The obesigenic effects and nutritional disorders caused by regular fast food/junk food consumption are quite well documented. Along with childhood obesity, there is heightened risk for the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, liver and renal disease, reproductive dysfunction and pulmonary consequences, depression, etc. Fast food could also be a cause of asthma, eczema and rhino conjunctivitis in kids. The Trans-fats are the unsaturated fats, consisting of partially hydrogenated oils which are unhealthful to human body and are involved in most of the hidden risks of various fast-food diets. The chemical-entities like acryl amide, mono sodium glutamate, azodicarbonamide, fluorinated telomere, dimethyl polysiloxane, etc., present in fast food have been implicated to be involved in serious complications like cancer, chromosomal-sperm-damage and other fertility/reproductive harms. There have also been reports of fast food-addiction. The presence of sugar and fat in fast food may lead to stimulation of endogenous opioids (enkephalin) and/or other pleasure-chemicals in brain to cause habit-producing effects. Trans-fats content of these foods can further influence human body through ghrelin, leptin, and/or insulin. Insulin has role in CNS-regulation of energy-balance, while leptin is the hormone that sends messages to brain to say when can we stop eating , i.e., it calls halt to hunger pangs and gives “stop eating signals”. The very high levels of fat/triglycerides in blood are supposed to block the action of leptin. The role(s) of these hormones in fast-food’s obesigenic-effect is yet to be established. The risk of childhood obesity has now become a matter of serious concern for parents, because their child is getting increasingly fond of fast-food along with sugar-sweetened beverages. Children are well acquainted to consume these “high-fat high energy-meal” while playing at game-stations or watching television, etc., the habit of which is dangerously giving them overweight and widened waistlines. It is concluded that the excessive consumption of fast-foods (fast food habits), which are nutritionally-imbalanced, may thus adversely affect health, independently associated with weight-gain and enhance the vulnerability to degenerative and other diseases.