FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, April 18: Who has the resistance to stop the temptation of jumping on a plate of fried rice, chowmein and other junk food? Perhaps, nobody can resist such mouth-watering food items. Nevertheless, the students are the most tempted ones. The flourish in the business of these hawkers does not nourish the consumers. Instead, it is harming them and students are the worst-sufferers in this regard. Internet sources enlighten us and state that the term junk food was recognized in a dictiory by Merriam-Webster in 1951.
It is indeed a borrowed concept from the United States and within years, it has spread its wings all over the world. Silchar town too has come under its sway as more and more people are consuming junk food. Maggi noodles used to be a favourite among the students. But, the lead fiasco affected its popularity tremendously and the sale decreased at an alarming rate. There are many altertive brands of noodles available in the market. Maggi is maggi, the only one of its kind.
“Though we are selling other brands, people, especially children have lost interest in them,” said Shankar, 60, an old shop owner who has been running this business for the last 25 years. The apathy that has developed towards other brands is not liked by the consumers. They have resorted to junk food which comprises deep fried savoury scks, puchka, momo, pizza, burgers, French fries, egg rolls, chicken lollipop and the likes. These foods are dangerous as it accumulates fats called trans-fats, which is one of the main reasons behind obesity.
It is to be avoided at any cost said Dr. Dilip Kumar Kar, attached to the Red Cross Society, Silchar. Trans fats are actually the byproduct of manufactured items. It has no nutritiol value and gaining trans-fats in the body does not help in any way. Students gathering around a fast food centre and waiting for their turn is a common sight in this town. Puchka vendors, momo centres or chat houses can be seen dotting every nook and corner of the town. Over the years, students have developed a very peculiar habit of skipping meals at homes.
Serving a plate of hot chowmein, Ajay, 30, a chat-house owner said, “The fatigued faces, tired body language of the students reflect their hunger. Sometimes it becomes difficult for me to serve them on time.” He has also kept an assistant and it clearly reflects how busy he remains. “The clock barely touches 6 pm when group of students come from nowhere and place order for varieties of items,” said Ajay. Students make a beeline for these junk food centres. The habit of skipping meals and thriving on junk foods have resulted in various diseases related to stomach, indigestion problems, gastric and acidity, added Dr. Kar.
Parents are concerned about their wards’ health. “When I was a student, I never ate junk food. These days they thrive on such stuffs,” said Ashim Paul, an employee, who was referring to his 18-year-old son. Momo centres are available everywhere in the town. As such is becomes easier for people to have a plate. Enlightening about the affects of momo, Dr. Kar added, “The chutney which is served with momos harms a lot since it is spicy which ultimately leads to stomach ulcer.”
If people continue eating such items, they will never be able to lead a healthy life and people also are uware about the number of calories they gain when they consume junk food, added Dr. Kar. Research papers have revealed eating fast food leads to various cardiovascular and digestive diseases. Obesity is a burning health issue. People are gaining weight instead of reducing it. Dr. Dilip Kumar Kar gave a cautiory note to say, “Overcoming these diseases is easy because everything depends upon people’s taste and preferences. People must know about the bad effects of consuming junk food.”