What are the long-term effects of unhealthy eating?


Quick Answer

The long-term effects of unhealthy eating include increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and breathing problems, according to WebMD. Other effects include more risks of gallstones, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and stroke.

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Full Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, unhealthy eating occurs when a person consumes a diet high in calories, extreme portions, sugary beverages and foods, while being deficient in fruits and vegetables. It also occurs for people with eating disorders such as anorexia. Unhealthy eating is one contributor to obesity, which occurs when a person has a body mass index of 30 or higher. Osteoporosis leads bones to become weak and easily breakable, most frequently in the wrist, hip and spine. It can be a long-term effect of unhealthy eating because less calcium is consumed, meaning less bone density, more bone loss and weaker bones. In cases such as anorexia in women, menstruation may cease, and that weakens bone.

People who are obese can work to cut their risks by beginning to eat better and lose weight. According to registered dietitian Barbie Cervoni for About.com, a focus on carbohydrate control can help reduce some of the long-term effects of unhealthy eating. Such control lowers the strain on the pancreas and helps normalize blood sugar levels.

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