OPINION

Fast food creating nation of sick adults

One can more or less predict the future state of affairs in Greece from the eating habits of today’s adolescents. A recent study conducted by the Tzaneio Hospital’s diabetes center revealed that the overwhelming majority of Greek adolescents consume mostly fast food and soft drinks; indeed 20 percent of them do not eat any of their meals at home but gorge on snacks from fast-food outlets. This situation is disastrous, for many reasons. First of all, a diet that is so rich in fat, sugar and glycotoxins and so poor in calcium, iron and fiber builds a generation of adults with very bad health. The problem is not only that too much fat and sugar lead to excessive weight gain but that so-called convenience foods such as burgers, fries, potato chips and soft drinks also undermine the health of even children who are not overweight by enhancing their risk for arteriosclerosis, premature aging, kidney complaints and arthritis. Another study by Athens University’s medical school showed that glycotoxins – which only used to be found in the blood of diabetics – are also present in the blood of young and healthy people. This presence of glycotoxins has been linked to a «modern way of life» (fast food, little exercise, smoking) and can cause heart problems. It is also proven that fatty food that is lacking in vitamins has a negative impact on the psychology of adolescents and increases aggressiveness. Moreover, what Greek adolescents eat and drink should not only be of interest to their parents but also to the state in view of doctors’ warnings that current diets could lead to poorer health and lower fertility levels in successive generations.