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Junk Food, Addictions & the Obesity Problem

Junk Food, Addictions & the Obesity Problem

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Published by: Vince Miguel Louis Santiago on Mar 16, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Junk Food, Addictions & the Obesity Problem The Pitfalls of Eating Junk Food We live in an addiction-prone society, but of all the addictions out there, one of the mostdeadly is one that is most often overlooked: junk food. The term “junk food” refers to anyfood that is high in calories, fat, salt, and sugar without bringing any nutritional value tothe table. Unfortunately, this food is usually convenient, tasty, and extremely addictive.Foods that are high in fat and sugar work on our brains like opiates – painkillers – and themore we eat, the more we want. This consequence is also increased by the “emptycalorie” effect of junk food. It fills us up for a short period of time, but then, like anyaddict, we begin to feel tired, depressed, and hungry all over again, and we keep coming back for more of the same.Junk food becomes a dangerous addiction because its effects are so subtle. When we eat achocolate bar, a bag of chips, or a meal of fast food, we don’t see our arteries cloggingwith plaque and fat deposits. We don’t feel ourselves gaining weight as our internalorgans become fatty and weak, and most of the time, we don’t associate tiredness,anxiety, depression, or skin problems with the junk food we consumed earlier in the day.Furthermore, because it seems like everybody does it, eating junk food doesn’t appear to be an addiction. Junk food attacks every age group. Children are addicted, seniors areaddicted, most people are addicted for their entire lives without ever knowing it, andwithout understanding the huge health-related repercussions that come along with thetreats and snacks that seem so harmless. How the heck does this guy drop below 4% body fat without drugs or supplements?Tom Venuto is a natural bodybuilder who regularly competes at 4% body fat. The fact is,there are probably very few people who truly understand fat loss better than Tom does,simply because he doesn't just research it or write about it - he lives it! (and has theripped abdominals to prove it!)What Tom reveals in his best-seller e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle, is essentialknowledge if you want to get really, really lean, and until you understand these principles, you can't even hope to get lean enough to see your abs - which is what we allwant right? Find out how it's done by visiting Tom's website at:
www.burnthefat.comThe only downside to this e-book is that it's chock full of useful info so it may take you afew days to get started. We begin our addiction to junk food at a young age. Children who become addicted to junk food actually stop eating the nutritious food they need to grow up healthy. And thecurrent epidemic of childhood obesity is only the tip of the iceberg. Kids that live on fatsand sugars have shorter attention spans, growth problems, and suffer from tooth decayand weak bone structure early in life.By the time we reach young adulthood, we are probably getting a majority of our dailycaloric intake from junk food. A Super Big Gulp from Seven Eleven and a large bag of chips round off most teenage lunch menus, which makes for a whopping 1500 emptycalories per meal.Even if a youthful metabolism is still keeping us from gaining weight, we are consuminghuge amounts of highly processed foods, which are not only devoid of nutrition, but arealso full of harsh dyes, chemicals, and preservatives that poison our bodies. Deep-fried potatoes have been shown to be highly carcinogenic. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)causes not just obesity but several forms of neurotoxicity. And the list goes on. Even if we’re not getting fat off junk food, we are getting sick.At this point, we have grown into full-fledged, adult junk food addicts. If we havesomehow managed to avoid the worst consequences of our addiction during our teenyears, they will now come out in force. Those who eat junk food on a regular basis are atrisk of contracting Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, hypertension, and amyriad of other illnesses that lead to heart attacks, strokes, organ failure, and death. Infact, almost twice as many people die each year of heart disease caused by diet-relatedobesity and cardiovascular problems, than die of cancer.Like any lifelong smoker or alcoholic, the ravages of junk food addiction becomeincreasingly apparent on and within our bodies as we age. While it is possible to break the addiction, the best solution is to avoid it to begin with. It is for this reason that junk food is getting kicked out of school cafeterias and vending machines all over the world.Ultimately, junk food is not only robbing us of the things we need to be healthy, it isactively poisoning our systems. The more we can stay away from processed, artificialfoods, and stick to eating whole, nutritious foods, the more likely we are to lead long,strong, healthy lives.
It is generally recognized that kids eat too much junk food.And experts warn that eating too much junk food is one of the factors that has contributed tothe current childhood obesityepidemic. But do you know how to recognize junk food?
Junk Food
What is junk food?Parents can usually recognize most junk food, such as candy, cookies, donuts, sugarybreakfast cereals, ice cream, soda, and fruit drinks, but they often overlook other junk foodthat kids eat every day.In addition to foods and drinks with a lot of added sugar, it is important to keep in mind that junk food can includefoods high in saltor any energy-dense (high calorie) food that doesn't also having some nutritional value (empty calories), such asfiber,vitamins and minerals, or protein.And remember that junk food can become energy-dense from either sugar or fat and so inaddition to donuts and candy, junk food can include many popularhigh-fat foods, includingpopular fast foods and snacks, such as:
Double meat hamburgers and cheeseburgers
Tacos (fast food)
Chicken fillet sandwiches
French fries
Milk shakes
Chicken pieces (fried nuggets or strips)
Cold cuts, submarine sandwich
Pretzels, potato chips, and other snacks
Pizza slice (can be high in salt, in addition to fat, especially when you start addingmeat toppings)
Junk food can include almost any high-fat or high-sugar food or drink and foodshigh in salt.
Recognizing Junk Food
Junk food is like many other things -- you often know it when you see it.It can be helpful to have a more objective measure of when something might be junk food,which you can spot by looking at a food label, including that it has little nutritional value and has:
more than 35% of calories from fat (except for low-fat milk)
more than 10% of calories from saturated fats

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