Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eat at your own risk


Issue: Apr 15, 2012
Junk food is bad for health. Its definition tells its inner story—food that is high on calories and saturated fat but low on nutrition. Junk food is all about pleasure and empty calories. So, the world is worried. It is now linked to the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases—the ‘fat’ problem. Every ailment from heart diseases to hypertension and diabetes is linked to how one eats and how one exercises. Junk food has become the world’s biggest health headache. And some governments are taking action—banning junk food advertising in children’s programmes, removing it from schools and even imposing a fat tax. Sugar, salt and fat are items that need to be regulated. This means governments have to step in to control the powerful processed food industry. But this is not happening in India. It believes food industry has full privilege to sell anything—and kill people slowly and sweetly. So, the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory of the Centre for Science and Environment, a non-profit in Delhi, decided to investigate the food people love to eat—everything from chips to bhujia and instant noodles to burgers. All the food that is sold to us through persuasive and glamorous advertisements; all the food that our film and cricket stars tell us to eat. The laboratory checked for fats, carbs, salt and trans fats. The results are deadly and damning. Eat at your own risk, is the message.
junk foodPhoto: Harsha K R
Fat of the matter
CHIPSIt has around 33% fats. This means if one munches a standard-sized packet of chips (65-75gm), he or she consumes about half of the daily fats quota. Unlike in a balanced diet, where a maximum of 30% of calories should come from fats, 50-60% of calories come from fats in chips
aloo bhujiaFats and carbohydrates combined, 100 gm of Kurkure has enough calories to satisfy one-fourth of one’s daily recommended quota. If you are fond of aloo bhujia with tea, you get high doses of salt and trans fats, along with a high amount of calories
Maggie NoodlesThe “tasty and healthy” meal comes with high salt, empty calories. A packet of noodle has around 3 gm of salt; recommended intake is 6 gm/day. Addition of vitamins, as claimed by Maggie Noodles, doesn’t make it a healthy food as it has negligible fibres; 70% of it is just carbohydrates
POTATO FRIESFries that one eats with burger and soft drink are laden with fats: 20% of its weight is fats, 1.6% of its weight is trans fats. By eating a large serving (220 gm), one exceeds the safe limit for trans fats. Additional trans fats come from accompanying burger too
BURGERKFC’s Chicken Zinger has 16.9% fats. McAloo has 8.3% fats. How unbalanced diets are they is gauged from the fact that 35% of calories in a veg burger come from fats. In non-veg burgers 47% calories are from fats
cold drinksThe 300 ml serving that one drinks with all kinds of junk food has enough sugar (over 40 gm) to exceed one’s daily sugar quota of 20 gm. After this, forget the cup of tea, one should not even eat fruits. Any additional sugar will make one fat
KFCRegular consumption of this product is likely to make one obese. A two-piece fried chicken of KFC (about 250gm) has nearly 60 gm of fats, which is recommended for the whole day
pizzaBy far, pizzas were found to be healthy compared to the other junk foods tested. They have low levels of salt and fats; levels of trans fats were also low. CSE tested only the basic pizza. Those with extra cheese are more popular and might not be very safe

cse lab report
Fatal combos

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