Srinagar: As junk foods have become important feature of the eating menu round the world, Kashmiris too are substituting their traditional diet with items like snacks, chips, chocolates, sweets and cakes.
The trend has, over the years, picked up in the valley with people, children in particular showing a considerable liking for the junk foods.
The drift from customary diet to junk food has also brought with a degree of health hazards as young generation develop various ailments courtesy the usage of these items.
Health experts the ingredients heavy in fats, sugar and salts in these items can result in obesity, dental illness, ulcer, diabetes and other health problems.
“If you see ingredients contained in these junk foods like chips, snacks, chocolates, sweets and many other, these contain high fat, sugar and salt. Usage of these ingredients can cause so many health problems like obesity, ulcer, diabetes and other dental illness,” a local doctor told Agence India Press.
Off late, he said, children were giving up food high in fiber and were replacing it with the junk foods.
“I think there is a need of making parents aware about the health hazards of using junk foods and also these items should carry a statutory message as we see in cigarette packets,” he said adding parents endeavour to have their children healthy can be achieved by feeding them with balanced diet having a required percentage of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts.
School going children carrying chips or snack in their bags rather than rice and other traditional diets is a common feature with vendors and shops selling these items outside the schools a regular sight.
Some parents say the advertisement of these items by celebrities and a feel of western culture that the usage of junk food items give is responsible for the trend.
Others, however, feel the children of modern age were so habitual of consuming these items that it was difficult to make them to avoid these items.
“it is very difficult for parents to stop their children using junk foods as it has become an important part of their eating menu,” Mymoona, a mother of two said.
The habit has developed so deep in the contemporary generation that parents at times use this as form of bribery.
“If your son is reluctant to go to school, you give him a chocolate, snacks or a burger, it changes his mind and he is ready to go the school,” she said.
If trend of consuming junk foods continues, a time in Kashmir when rice and other traditional recipes will make a way for burgers, sweets and snacks on the dining table will not be that far.
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