It is said that the food we eat defines our appearance, mood, strength and agility. It is a must to eat healthy food in the time that we are in, where new diseases are emerging on a daily basis.

My grandmother always says, 'Adjust and compromise in everything, but not in food.' She has stood by her beliefs as her body and immunity are still robust like those of young people.

But this generation is overlooking the significance of nutritious food in our lives and seems to skip or exchange the routine meal with unhealthy foodstuffs.

The hectic schedule and busy lifestyle have resulted in overconsumption of unhealthy wrapped food. Consequently, the fast food business has been flourishing these days. From people holding jobs to school-going students, it would take quite some time to sit at a table and eat, so they warm their appetite by taking fast food, which is cost-friendly and less time-consuming.

In recent times, the consumption of junk food has been rising even in the countries of south Asia, including Nepal. Instant noodles, biscuits, chips and such other wrapped items are what Nepali kids want in their lunch-box when going to school.

While small kids like packed food, young people like to eat momos, chowmein, burgers, pizzas and such other refined flour-based food.

The first thing people opt on the menu of a restaurant is momos, followed by chowmein and burgers. This is why Nepali restaurants are seen focussing on fast food items. If restaurants were to stop making such items, people would hardly visit them, for which restaurants can't exclude them from their menu.

There are several reasons why we should cut off fast food from our regular diet. The regular consumption of fast food can lead to problems with obesity, causing problems in the cardiovascular and digestive systems. The additives and preservatives present in fast food are harmful to the overall human body.

Fast food is often served in small portions but can contain the same amount of calories as a large meal. Even though we've eaten a serving and reached our calorie intake, our body craves for more. This opens the door to overeating and other poor dieting habits. So, it's important to limit the intake of fast food.

To subdue the worst consequences of fast food, people should lessen their consumption and focus on local foods and products, such as wheat and maize.

Many delicious items can be made out of such cereals. Also, restaurants should promote healthy local items rather offering fast food items that contain high calories.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.