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Side Effects of Bad Nutrition

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Side Effects of Bad Nutrition
Poor nutrition plays havoc with your health. Photo Credit: harikarn/iStock/Getty Images

Side effects of bad nutrition don't happen overnight. They develop over time from eating a diet lacking in vital nutrients and making poor lifestyle choices. The good news is you can make changes before it's too late. Focusing on a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, fish, poultry and unsaturated fats, while eliminating processed and junk food, may help you avoid the side effects of bad nutrition.

Increased Risk for Cancer

Nutrition plays a major role in the development and treatment of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. An study published in "Nutrition and Cancer" in 1992 noted that studies which examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and certain cancers revealed strong evidence of a protective effect of fruit and vegetable consumption in cancers of the pancreas and stomach as well as breast cancer and cancers of the cervix, ovary and endometrium.

Hikes Up Blood Pressure

Abnormally high blood pressure, known as hypertension, is a serious condition that may result from poor nutrition. An article published in "Maternal and Child Nutrition" in 2005 noted that studies done in Brazil in regard to the country's double burden of obesity and poor nutrition suggest that chronic poor nutrition increases the risk not only of hypertension, but also of obesity in later life. The data reinforces the association between poor nutrition and hypertension from childhood through adulthood.

Contributes to Cognitive Loss

Because certain nutrients, such as vitamin B-12 and iron, are essential to proper brain function, a deficiency in those nutrients can result in memory and cognition problems that may affect the ability to use simple to complex information appropriately on a daily basis. An abstract published in "Clinical Interventions in Aging" in January 2014 noted that a study conducted to assess the interaction between cognitive impairment and nutritional state of the subjects clearly showed that malnutrition may play an important role in the progression of cognitive loss.

Promotes Obesity

Being significantly overweight is about more than appearance. Extra pounds can lead to challenging health issues. Consuming excess calories in sugary drinks as well as fried, refined and processed foods typically high in saturated fat can lead to weight gain. According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity contributes to problems such as hypertension, Type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and some types of cancer. Obesity can also raise risks for dyslipidemia, which is an elevation of lipids in the blood.

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