The Health Advocate

by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

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Hard Truths: The Consequences of Unhealthy Eating

By Hannah Whittenly

Eating unhealthy can negatively impact your overall well-being. You already know that consuming foods regularly that are high in fat, sugar and sodium can increase your weight and blood pressure, but there are other ways that unhealthy eating can harm your body. Here are some surprising effects of unhealthy eating that you might not know.

Poor Respiratory Health

The excessive weight gain caused by eating the wrong kinds of food can put extra pressure on your lungs and make it more difficult to breathe. This weight can also cause obstructive sleep apnea, which can increase blood pressure and may lead to sudden death. According to a study published by Thorax, children and adolescents, in particular, have an increased risk of developing severe asthma if they consume fast food more than three times per week.


Foods that have high sodium content can cause certain parts of the body to swell, and this condition is known as edema. Edema from unhealthy eating is the result of water retention that happens when the body does not get rid of water as a way to dilute excessive sodium. Swelling often occurs in the arms, legs and feet when sodium levels within the body are high due to poor diet.

Dental Problems

Sugar, acid and other corrosive substances that are found in many unhealthy foods can wreak havoc on your dental health. Cavities, gum disease and other dental problems can develop from making the wrong food choices. Poor diet also contributes to halitosis, or bad breath, and can negatively impact your social interactions. Fortunately, a dentist, such as one from Abbott Family Dentistry, LLC, can correct many of these problems and advise you on how to take better care of your teeth and gums.

Negative Effects on Mental Health

Making the wrong food choices can even have a negative effect on your mood and the way you think. Saturated fats, refined sugar and other hazardous food additives can actually raise your stress levels. Evidence suggests that unhealthy eating might worsen symptoms of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. The weight gain and other physical effects on your body from unhealthy eating can also cause you to feel depressed and anxious.

There are many ways that unhealthy eating can have negative effects on you. In addition to the health hazards that you already likely knew about, maintaining a poor diet can jeopardize your well-being in other less obvious ways and should be avoided if you want to live a better life.

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