What is junk food?

The term “junk food” or “junk food” is used to refer to foods of low nutritional value, but with a high caloric intake. Many people try to avoid and limit the consumption of this type of food in their diet because it is considered unhealthy even harmful to health. Despite this, there is a wide variety of products in the food industry that can fall into this category. Nutritionists, doctors and in general any healthcare professional often try to educate people to avoid junk food in favor of a balanced and varied diet that contains a high proportion of healthy foods.

Origin and general characteristics

The term junk food (unhealthy food) was adopted in 1972 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest with the intention of drawing public attention to foods high in calories but low in nutrients (low nutritional value). – high caloric intake). For the food industry, selling this type of food is very profitable because they are usually made with low-cost products and often with a long shelf life, which facilitates supply and storage.

The food and foods that fit this description are very varied. For example, snack foods like potato chips, candy, jelly beans and the like are universally considered junk food. Also Junk food is often associated with fast food. such as hamburgers, pizzas or fried foods. Take-out food based on traditional recipes like Indian curries, Mexican tacos, Anglo-Saxon fish and chips, etc. Classification as junk food of some of these dishes can be considered an offense as they have been prepared and consumed for centuries, although this does not mean that they are healthy and some of them can actually be healthy, but in the fast food version they can be prepared or accompanied with sauces and other foods that provide a lot of calories with no nutritional value.

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If you look at food safety, these foods are considered safe for consumption and the health effect depends on the frequency of consumption and the rest of the diet and eating habits. It’s okay to eat a hamburger with fries from time to time, but a diet based mainly on these foods can cause serious health problems, mainly due to the deficiency of some vitamins and minerals.

In some areas of the world, junk food advertising is closely controlled and monitored by public bodies, as it is often directed at minors. In addition, any advertising of possible nutritional benefits of a product is rigorously evaluated to determine the veracity of the advertising content.

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