WHAT IS JUNK FOOD? Junk food is defined in Elook.org as food that tastes good but is high in calories having little nutritional value. This definition paints junk food as something that has no importance to everyday lives. Some examples of junk food as cited in Answers.com are soft drinks, hamburgers, potato chips, and French fries. These foods are high on calories. But calories are not bad for the health according to an article reviewed by Dr. Mary L.
Gavin. She cites, for example, that our bodies need calories for energy. You will only gain weight when you do not burn enough calories. Therefore, high calorie content of junk food is not bad for the health. It is only when you do not exercise to burn these calories that you will be affected through weight gain (Answers.com).
Junk food is also portrayed as having little nutritional value. It is a fact that we should eat different types of food to sustain nutrition in our body.
As written in Coolnurse.com: Each nutrient has at least one specific job, and no other nutrient can cover for any of the others. Because you need many different nutrients to stay healthy, you have to eat a wide variety of foods in order to get all of them. (Coolnurse.com).
In America, a changing environment has broadened food options and eating habits. Grocery stores stock their shelves with a greater selection of products. Pre-packaged foods, fast food restaurants, and soft drinks are also more accessible. While such foods are fast and convenient they also tend to be high in fat, sugar, and calories.
... can cause other health problems too. Most junk foods are polar opposites of healthy foods. Junk foods are high in trans fats, sugar and sodium, which ... stroke. Health foods when consumed in their unadulterated forms provide nutrients that promote good health and vitality without the excess calories or unhealthy ...
Choosing many foods from these areas may contribute to an excessive calorie intake. Some foods are marketed as healthy, low fat, or fat-free, but may contain more calories than the fat containing food they are designed to replace. Obesity is certainly a problem that should be taken seriously. According to the Media Awareness Network, in the United States, obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of death. The explosion in obesity, especially in children, will likely cut life expectancy, reversing two centuries of uninterrupted progress. According to researchers who published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the excess weight problems and obesity now affecting almost two-thirds of Americans is increasing heart attack, cancer and diabetes risk (Media Awareness Network.
Food Facts) People may be eating more during a meal or snack because of larger portion sizes. This results in increased calorie consumption. For example, an average soft drink increased from 13 ounces and 144 calories to nearly 20 fluid ounces and 193 calories, while the average cheeseburger grew from 5.8 ounces and 397 calories to 7.3 ounces and 533 calories. Salty snacks grew from 1 ounce to 1.6 ounces, and calories from 132 to 225. If the body does not burn off the extra calories consumed from larger portions, fast food, or soft drinks, weight gain can occur (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, n.p).
In a 1998 article on the causes of obesity, an American nutrition expert squarely blamed the fast food industry for using advertising and promotion to constantly pressure us to eat (Brownell, n.p).
The combination of unprecedented access to a poor diet- to high-calorie foods that are widely available, low in cost, heavily promoted, and good-tasting- and a culture that discourages people from being physically active, has lead to the creation of a “toxic food environment” that’s hazardous to our health. In particular, he points the finger at strategies such as “super-sizing” servings as an example of how food marketing adversely affects our health (Brownell, n.p).
Many consumers are attracted to super-sized food because they believe they are getting better value for their money. Have you ever noticed how Starbucks’ smallest-size coffee is called “tall,” not “small?” Even when servings aren’t that large, they are labeled to make consumers feel that they’re getting added value. These super-sized foods only make people eat more than they usually need (Brownell, Kelly, 1998).
We have a major serious health problem. It’s called obesity. We need more fruits and vegetables. We need more proteins and vitamins, like vitamin D and C. There are evidence that say that fast food could be bad for our health. Everyone should think twice before deciding to eat fast food . when it comes to eating food that’s made within a matter of seconds. The food is not properly taken care ...
Researchers have found that when we order larger portions of food, we eat more than we’re actually hungry for. Super-sizing tempts the consumer to spend more money to buy extra calories he or she does not need.
These extra calories may make Americans feel like they are getting a bargain but are also contributing to the country’s 66 percent rate of adult obesity. Whether snacks, sandwiches or full restaurant meals, recent experiments have shown that we eat more when we are given more and that large portions may be contributing to the obesity epidemic. (McCrory, M.A 1999).
Hence, it is very possible to gain 10 pounds in a year by consuming only 100 additional calories a day. Controlling portion size is important to control weight, and the larger portions offered by fast food restaurants, which are often a better deal economically, may make people resistant to change (Brownell, Kelly, 1998).
Modernization, urbanization and changing occupational structures are creating societies in which physical activity is low and the availability of high fat, high sugar, energy-dense foods have increased.
Populations now live in environments that inadvertently promote sedentary lifestyles and over-consumption of energy dense foods. Maintaining a healthy weight and optimal fat stores requires considerable effort, which is difficult to maintain in an unsupportive environment. Action is urgently needed to first to halt and then reverse the increase in overweight and obesity. There is a need to prevent people from becoming obese and to manage those people who are already obese (Lin B.H, Frazao, E., Guthrie, J 1999).
Many personal, family, social and environmental factors influence food choice and eating habits (Maskill, et. al., p.
Why people do not stop eating junk food? ‘’Junk food A high-calorie food that is low in nutritional value.’’(Unknown). For better or for worse is now available all over the world. We see it almost everywhere, like when we go to the grocery, stores, Junk-Food restaurants, on television, etc. usually looking very tempting, appealing and desirable for people to buy it. According to Dupel Francine ( ...
Over the years, there has certainly been a substantial increase in the number of meals prepared and/or eaten outside the home, with an estimated one-third of calories and almost half of total food dollars being spent on food purchased from and/or eaten at restaurants and other food-service establishments. Further, it is difficult for consumers to limit their intake of junk food at restaurants, given the limited availability of nutrition information, as well as the popular practice by many restaurants of providing foods in larger-than-standard servings and super-sized portions. Studies show that people eat greater quantities of food when they are served more. Hence, it is highly crucial to tap the food industry in the prevention of obesity. The food industry certainly plays an immense role in preventing obesity because they influence food composition and marketing. Thus, they must be encouraged to support the consumption of healthy, low fat meals and snacks and work to remove fat and sugar.
By doing so, the way to obesity prevention is not as bumpy as it seems. Indeed, we always want to have our food taste good. Companies are trying to discover different ingredients so that our food will taste not just better but really good. Defining junk food as food that tastes good connotes that people enjoy eating this food. It is fair enough to conclude that junk food is just that: food that tastes good, high in calories, little nutritional value. No food is junk when eaten in the right amount.
It is our responsibility to discipline ourselves. The problem here is not the food but how much we eat. WORKS CITED Answers.com.. Junk Food. 1999-2005. http://www.answers.com/topic/junk-food Elook.org. Junk Food. Gavin, Mary L.
(Reviewer) Learning About Calories. Accessed 2 November 2005 at. Coolnurse. Com. Nutrition Know How. 2000-2005. http://www.coolnurse.com/nutrition.htm Brownell, Kelly.
The Pressure to Eat. July-August 1998. 2 November 2005. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Overweight and Obesity: Contributing Factors. 29 April 2005.
2 November 2005. Lin B-H, Frazao, E., Guthrie, J.(Jan. 1999.) Away from home foods increasingly important to Americans. Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 749 Maskill, C., Jones, S., Wyllie, A., and Casswell, S. Influences on the Eating Patterns and Food Choices of New Zealand Pakeha Adolescents: An overview. University of Auckland: Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit, 1996. McCrory, M.A., Fuss, P.J., Hays, N.P., Vinken, A.G., Greenberg, A.S., and Roberts, S.B. Overeating in America: association between restaurant food consumption and body fatness in healthy adult men and women ages 19 to 80.
Are we taking it too far by blaming fast food restaurant for obesity? Although throughout the years many people have claimed that obesity is a genetic disorder for the most part; results of recent studies strongly indicate that lifestyles rather than genetics are what are causing an obese society, because people choose to not exercise, not watch their diet, and eat fast food. For the past few ...
Obesity Research 7: 564-571 (1999).
Media Awareness Network. Food Facts. 2005. 2 November 2005. North American Association for the Study of Obesity.
1999. 3 November 2005. ..