In the past, food was grown on relatively unpolluted earth and was consumed directly. But as farming modernised, food industry also became more and more commercial. With modern technologies, reliance on additives and processing is increasing every day.
But the chemicals that are added; to improve shelf life, to improve flavour and to attract consumer for the food products; do not come without any harm. There are many studies which mention that additives added in processed food products for children are harmful to the health of the child.
Dr Jayant Nawrange, a senior paediatrician from Pune, said, “One should always avoid any toxin in food. Especially for children, it can affect their growth. Common additives like Sugar and Sweeteners can lead to obesity, dental cavities, diabetes and hypoglycemia, increased triglycerides. Hydrogenated fats can cause cardiovascular disease and obesity. Artificial food colours cause allergies, asthma and hyperactivity. Preservatives can have allergic reactions, hyperactivity and even possibly be cancer-causing.”
“Children have small body mass with higher nutritional requirement. These additives, if repeatedly taken by children are harmful to their growth. Monosodium glutamate, a common additive, excites and kills your brain cells and nervous system. The more of unnatural sugar we will consume, the more fat we will be. The homemade cooked food should be given for children,” said Dr Lalit Rawal, a senior paediatrician from Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune.
According to the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) there is a link between additives and hyperactivity, poor concentration and other behavioural problems in children. Canada has taken many steps like banning a list of additives in food that are consumed by children.
What you eat is what you become, is especially true in case of children. Experts suggest that children should always be given freshly cooked homemade food to make them strong for the future.