Food is fuel for your body. It has a direct impact on how you feel as well as on your overall health. Fast food isn’t necessarily bad, but in many cases it’s highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt (sodium).
These foods are often high in calories yet offer little or no nutritional value. When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition, poor health, and weight gain. Tests in lab animals have even shown a negative effect in short duration diets. Being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, most people underestimate the number of calories they’re eating in a fast-food restaurant. A 2013 study published in JAMA Pediatrics showed that children and adolescents take in more calories in fast food and other restaurants than at home. Eating at a restaurant added between 160 and 310 calories a day.