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Dangerous fast foods threat to our young.

Despite advice by medical experts, dieticians, elders and yoga gurus, present-day youngsters are becoming addicted to 'poisonous' fast foods and energy drinks.

I endorse the views expressed by James Butler in 'Fast food culture' (GDN, April 8). The deteriorating health of people of all ages and very particularly the young, can be attributed to chemicals, colours and injurious ingredients used in the preparation of fast foods and energy drinks.

Fast foods have practically replaced the age-old and time-honoured food items prepared at home using natural cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits and spices. Inviting chemical-based colours, strong tastes, laziness to prepare and ready availability have led to fast foods winning the race - defeating home-made, non-injurious, less costly and healthy items which have been the cause for excellent physical and mental health of our elders in the past.

Look at animals and birds, they have never changed their food habits. They eat what is suited to them naturally. That is the reason for their well-being even under changed environmental conditions. Today a tiger continues to be tiger with all its power and vigour, whereas humans have been damaging their health by eating and drinking fast foods. As a result we become sick often and resort to strong medication.

Certainly our body, which has been blessed with an astonishingly inbuilt mechanism of fighting against any thing that is not suited to it, cannot function beyond a certain limit. The amount of harmful chemicals we consume through fast foods and the environmental pollution will affect our body and mind.

Today's youth and children lack stamina and flexibility of the body due to wrong and harmful food habits, clubbed with lack of physical exercise. Fast food producers have done an irreparable damage to humanity as a whole because of their greed to amass wealth. It is a pity that we have become victims of these injurious foods, despite knowing its ill effects. Obesity has become the order of the day.

Over the years, strong awareness campaigns have led to fewer youngsters falling prey to tobacco. A similar campaign against consumption of fast foods and energy drinks is the need of the day. Enactment of laws to forbid the preparation, manufacture, marketing and consumption of fast foods and energy drinks must be made forthwith universally. The World Health Organisation will be failing in its duty, if it does not initiate the fight.

Will the people in power have the will to fight against the menace, as those who are running fast food business are the wealthiest tycoons in the world. But a much easy way to get rid of the problem will be for people to resolve to say no to fast foods.

Schools and public health institutions, including medical practitioners, can play a vital role by educating children.

Let us join hands in avoiding fast foods and energy drinks, which are slow and sure killers .

Chandra Madhavan

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 11, 2014
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