According to Wikipedia, junk food is a term describing food that is perceived to be unhealthy or having poor nutritional value, according to Food Standards Agency. The term is believed to have been coined by Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in 1972. The term has since become common usage.
Junk Food includes those food items that do not add any value to a person’s diet. Here, value denotes essential nutrients, vitamins & minerals. Street food and fast food are also taken in the same context as junk.
When we speak of street food, the fact that it’s cooked in unhealthy conditions makes it more unhealthy than the same food made at home. Coming to the latter, fast food is the kind of food item which can be made & served quickly. According to Wikipedia, any meal with relatively low preparation time can be considered fast food. So, what exactly is junk food? Irrespective of where junk food is made, it is on the basis of how much value it contains in terms of nutrients that we get to decide what junk food is. More over, junk food, apart from adding up empty calories, also causes harm to the eater.
The biggest irony regarding junk food is the fact that it’s mostly prepared out of healthy food. In many items coming within the periphery of the term, vegetables are used as the main ingredients. Consider a pizza loaded with a thick vegetable topping. Who would refute the nutrients provided by the thick veggie topping? Now, the junk factor of pizza comes from the cheese sprinkled over the vegetables. Even though cheese is good for health, an excess of it is not recommended. And of course, the pizza base, made out of refined flour, does contain empty calories. Now, the burger, which is a favourite of a majority of junkies, contains a loaf of meat & vegetables like lettuce, cabbage & tomato, sandwiched between two buns. Although meat is known to be rich in protein, what makes the burger junk is the refined flour that’s used to make the buns, and the oodles of mayonnaise & butter added to the filling so that the 3 layers stick to one another, even while eating.