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Are you addicted to junk food? No? Let’s try a little experiment: double bacon cheeseburger … pepperoni pizza with extra cheese … doughnuts … ice cream …extra-large order of french fries … potato chips… soda…your favorite cookies… candy bars… If just reading that list of nutritionally deficient foods got your mouth watering and had you searching for your car keys to run out and grab a quick fix, you just might be addicted to junk food.
Defining Junk Food – What Is It?
Segen’s Medical Dictionary defines “junk food” as any food which is extremely low in essential nutrients, while also high in calories, sodium, salt, trans or saturated fats and/or carbohydrates. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary simply defines junk food as, “Any of various prepackaged snack foods high in calories but low in nutritional value.”
If your favorite foods go to work on your body in a negative manner, have very little to no redeeming nutritional value, and you simply cannot say no when the urge to consume them calls, you may have a junk food addiction problem.
Unfortunately, the consequences can negatively impact your life and your health as powerfully as drug and alcohol addiction.
One of the problems is that you are not alone in your craving. It has become socially acceptable in all of the modern societies around the world to overeat, and to overeat especially the wrong foods. HealthyAmericans.org reports that in the United States alone, 13 states could have an adult obesity rate above 60 percent by the year 2030, with all 50 states above a 44 percent obesity level.
Your Junk Food Addiction Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
Carrying around too much extra weight is not the only problem. Junk food addiction leads to higher insurance costs for everyone, and dramatically increased risks of contracting heart disease, stroke, hypertension, arthritis and deadly Type II Diabetes.
All this can happen because you just cannot say no to the fast food drive-through window or to candy bars and sweets that are beckoning to you in the checkout line.
One way to identify if you truly are addicted to junk food is to keep a food journal. Be extremely honest, and write down every calorie, carbohydrate, saturated fat level and all the other food label information on everything you consume.
When you see that your habits are driving you towards foods with very little nutritional value that are loaded with unhealthy and possibly even deadly ingredients, it is time to take a closer look at your relationship with food.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be holding a 7 Day Healthy Eating Challenge, and you will be invited. 7 days is very doable, so I’m hopeful it will give many of you a chance to spend a week eating more healthfully with the goal that it will become a habit!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Questions? Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line. Your question and its answer will be included in a future article
P.S. Check out all the free recipes for great tasting healthy eating in the Recipe Section at http://ThinStrongHealthy.com