Junk Food: The Addiction Leading to Worldwide Obesity

Most of the “diet foods” appeal to women, but men need a little helping hand in that department. Junk food, or convenience foods, is the norm in such a crap food filled world. Society may tell us what to eat, that we should consume more protein than carbohydrates, but it’s not as easy to incorporate a good diet into a busy lifestyle, especially since many people are working all hours to pay the mortgage and bills. There are supermarkets and outlets selling the so-called healthier foods, but weight loss requires mental discipline and a solid plan to follow.

The Obesity Crisis

Compared to diets in the 1970s, we are consuming 500 more calories on average per day, while burning 100 fewer calories per day. 1lb of fat equals 3500 calories, so an additional 500 calories per day over a week would account for 1lb of weight gain. Lack of activity has caused a 13 percent increase in weight gain, while 87 percent of weight gain is down to diet. Convenience food is designed to taste good, and the manufacturers spent millions of dollars per year in advertising. Most people just don’t have the time to cook a healthy meal from scratch. However, convenience or junk food comes at a price, since they are loaded with some of the most addictive substances known to mankind; sugar, salt and fat. Junk food sends a chemical message to the brain to signal its satisfaction, similar to other addictions like alcohol, gambling and drugs.

Junk food creates a mild satisfaction, but then comes the guilt trip. When the body is gaining weight it can feel near impossible to want to lose the weight, so the urge is to eat more convenience foods to fill the void of unhappiness. Junk food is void of nutrition, so it can also lead to feelings of depression.

We have always found sweet foods nourishing, since fruit is naturally loaded with fructose and sustains healthy blood sugar levels, but soda, candy and other sweet treats bombard the brain with confusion, as these foods are designed to cause addiction, weight gain, put a hole in your pocket, whilst making food corporations very wealthy. Low calorie fruits and vegetables no longer appeal. And if you’re not buying organic fruit and vegetables, then there is another problem with the pesticides that are sprayed on everyday fruits and vegetables, as the body ingests these. A toxic overload can increase weight gain, as the liver struggles to remove the toxins.

The Addictive Substances

These additives cause a chemical reaction in the brain indicating satisfaction, and food corporations take advantage of this brain state by plying foods with sugar, salt and fat to encourage our behavior to change toward unhealthy foods. If it tastes good, therein lies the problem, since it can create addiction as the brain seeks pleasure.

24/7 Access to Junk Food

Huge food corporations like McDonald’s are now open 24/7. This is not only encouraging an increase of convenience foods, but it is creating behavioral changes in our eating habits, as these foods are very addictive. Fast food can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door, which creates a lazy society.

Living to Work

Many of us have near impossible time to make lunch, so it’s convenient to buy breakfast or lunch on the go, but this can lead to unhealthy food choices. A tall Starbucks latte packs 171 calories, while there is then a multitude of unhealthy foods to choose from, including cakes, pastries and muffins. A classic blueberry muffin by Starbucks packs an astonishing 475 calories, which is a quarter of your daily calorie quota already. Coffee shops and fast food restaurants appeal to our senses, so if they smell good the brain is already alert to taste the food to feel pleasure.

How To Lose Weight

It’s not impossible to lose weight in a society where we are taught to eat junk food on the go, but it does require mental discipline. You may have to get up earlier in the morning to make your lunch, but at least you will know exactly how much sugar, salt or fat (if any) is in your meal. Why not try making a huge pan of soup, enough to last the week, and then you will be saving money whilst also protecting your waistline. What you will notice when you make meals from scratch is the taste difference, since most of the time you will not need to add extra salt, sugar or fat to get a pleasure response from your brain. Healthy foods that do not require much planning include avocados, nuts, seeds and fruit.

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