According to the recent research, consumption of junk food is one of the significant reasons for ill health. Junk food has become a common place and gained an air of unavoidance. Health education plays an important role in preventing unhealthy eating habits and improving the lifestyle of individuals. The intake of junk food is unhealthy for individuals because processing of food at extremely high temperatures destroys all the nutrients, thereby leaving no goodness in the food . The preservatives, additives and other chemicals added to the food further take away the nutrients from the food. A steady display of junk food ads containing thick, juicy burgers and long golden French fries rarely mentions what ingredients they contain. Therefore, health education plays an important role in determining an individual’s decision making ability about which foods to consume and which foods to avoid depending upon the nutrient value of the food .
In order to create awareness in the individuals about the consumption of healthy food and prevention of junk food, the promotion of health and nutrition education plays a major role. Health education is very much essential as it educates the individuals about the causes of ill health as well as actions and preventive measures, which help to improve health. It aims at making individuals aware of the negative effects of consuming junk food, which contains processed grains, salts and refined sugars that are highly dangerous to the health and even cause cancer . Due to lack of knowledge, hundreds of millions of people buy junk food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the harmful impact of their purchases. Therefore, health education enables people to form sound opinions and make good decisions about healthy eating as it focuses on various factors of behavior, such as social influence, lifestyle and the possibility of changing such behavior .
In order to promote a healthy living, health education programs based on gathering information about the specified populations, their opinions regarding health-related topics, constraints towards healthy lifestyles and notions concerning behavioral change are extremely necessary. Health education leads to a lesser consumption of junk food as it not only transmits knowledge to the less knowledgeable, but also involves information exchange and interaction, thereby enabling people to maintain a good health and living conditions . Health education, when supported by structural measures, which include environmental, legal and regulatory ones helps to deal with the health problems on a broader approach. Since most of the health problems occurring today are social problems rather than individual ones, it is important to merge healthy eating habits in the society and create an environment that supports people to lead an individually, socially as well as economically healthy and productive life .
Koelen, Maria A. and A. W. van den Ban. Health Education and Health Promotion. Amstelveen: Wageningen Academic Publications, 2004.
Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.