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Unhealthy junk food outlets mushroom across capital‎


[Release date]2012-08-24[source]Pakistan Daily Times
[Core hints]Fast food business big source of income in twin citiesDemand highest among youngsters, students, office workersISLAMABAD

Fast food business big source of income in twin cities

Demand highest among youngsters, students, office workers

ISLAMABAD: A large number of fast food outlets in every nook and corner of the twin cities thrive with an increasing number of young customers coming for unhealthy food.

The growing trend of fast or junk food outlets has become a big source of income in the twin cities, but at the cost of the citizens' health.

Although unhealthy, the demand for junk food is on the rise. Retailers say that youngsters and office workers are their main customers.

Bilquees Kusar, a housewife, while talking to APP, complained, "My 18-year-old son Ali wastes a lot of money on junk food daily as he doesn't like vegetables and grains cooked at home. I can't always cook meat as we need a balanced diet for a healthy life."

According to the perturbed mother, since her son studied in a college, she could not keep a check on him but she tried her best to motivate him towards healthy and home-cooked food.

She said the ingredients in junk food were considered unhealthy when regularly eaten, and her son got ill whenever there was a sudden change in weather as his immunity system had become weak. However, Athar Abbas, a student who was eating a burger at a fast food outlet in the Super Market, was of the view that junk food was delicious and irresistible.

The “great taste” of burger and chicken roll influences thousands of other girls and boys like him who opt for such food. "It's not only me who is addicted to this sort of food but my family members also cannot resist eating it at various cafes," he said.

Shahzad Khan, a sales boy at a fast food chain in the Melody Food Park, said that a large number of costumers, with a majority of youngsters, visited the place from offices and educational institutions during lunch time. He said there were five to six other outlets as well and all of them were doing good business. "We clean all utensils properly and use good oil while preparing food," he claimed, but refused to name the oil they used.

According to various researches, processed and pre-prepared foods, which can be cooked fast and handed over to customers witin no time, eliminate hunger and taste great, but do not provide essential nutrients and eventually result in weaknessand fatigue.

An extravagant junk meal rich in oil also makes one start feeling drowsy and affects concentration. It is made with pasta, breadcrumbs, cornflour, processed potato, processed egg and milk products as well as hydrogenated vegetable oil, saturated fats, gums and sugar substitutes, and then made to taste good by the addition of herbs and spices, salt, monosodium glutamate and sugars. It also contains artificial colours and preservatives as well as some artificial flavouring just to complete the unhealthy package.

A doctor at the Polyclinic told APP that constant use of junk food resulted in drop in blood circulation due to fat accumulation. "It results in lack of vital oxygen, nutrients and proteins that can stale your grey (brain) cells temporarily leading to poor concentration. The impact on health from fast food is quite staggering when it is consumed on a regular basis. By replacing fresh wholesome food with processed additives-laden food, blood pressure rises, cholesterol level increases, metabolic rate retards and immunity system weakens," the doctor said.

 
 
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