awareness of health consequences of junk foods among medical students

Research Article
Thamarai R*, Sivakumar K and Kalavathy Ponniraivan
Globalization, Metabolic syndrome, Obesity, Overweight, Urbanization.

Junk food tastes good, but the effects on the health is detrimental. Junk foods have become a prominent feature of the diet of youngsters, especially in the developing country. The health problems that stem from overweight and obesity can shorten the life span. Future medical practitioners should know that these kinds of eating habits will create nutritional deficiencies along with weight gain which ultimately ends in metabolic syndrome. We planned to conduct a survey to determine the level of awareness regarding the commercially processed food and drinks among the medical students. This cross sectional observational study included the sample size of 300 medical students (mean age 21.5 ± 2.5 years). They were provided with a list of questions aimed at evaluating their knowledge, awareness of junk foods and its adverse effects. The analysis showed that 67 % of students were unaware of the fact that artificially added phosphate, in the form of a preservative, is routinely added in processed soft drinks. Among the surveyed population, 46.3% of students consumed 1-5 cans of soda drinks per week, 29.7% students reported the frequency of eating pizza per week may vary. 73 % prefer these kinds of foods for its taste and 50% choose the junk foods because of branded shops. Surprisingly only 12.3 % had the habit of seeing list of ingredients on the label. This study concludes that the medical students are partly aware of the lethal effects of excessive consumption of the junk foods and soft carbonated drinks; they are obsessed with the taste and habituated. This study highlights the need for educational program to raise the awareness of the health risks produced by intemperate consumption of junk foods.