Posted in: Health Studies

Addictive Junk Food Becoming A Health Epidemic, Officials Warn

Addictive Junk Food Becoming A Health Epidemic, Officials Warn

Addictive junk food is leading a growing number of Americans into obesity and creating the next great health crisis, health officials are warning.

The true power of addictive junk food is starting to come to light as more and more studies focus on the detrimental effects of sugary, salty, and fatty foods. The health crisis created by junk food is also the subject of a new book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Set to be published later this month, the book looks at how officials within the food manufacturing world came to grips with the effects of junk food.

Officials warn that the growing obesity problem will lead to a generation of Americans beset with ailments like heart disease and diabetes, creating both a health and financial burden on the nation.

The New York Times reported on the new book, noting some staggering statistics:

“More than half of American adults were now considered overweight, with nearly one-quarter of the adult population — 40 million people — clinically defined as obese. Among children, the rates had more than doubled since 1980, and the number of kids considered obese had shot past 12 million. (This was still only 1999; the nation’s obesity rates would climb much higher.) Food manufacturers were now being blamed for the problem from all sides — academia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. The secretary of agriculture, over whom the industry had long held sway, had recently called obesity a “national epidemic.”

A study from late 2012 confirmed the health problems created by addictive junk food. In the study, rats given a diet of junk food were found to be anxious and depressed when switched back to a regular diet, Live Science reported.

The problem of addictive junk food has also become a matter of public debate, with some cities taking the step of limiting access to calorie-rich foods, especially near or within schools.

What do you think about the problem of addictive junk food? Is this something the government should be regulating, or is it up to each person to decide for themselves?

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10 Responses to “Addictive Junk Food Becoming A Health Epidemic, Officials Warn”

  1. Anonymous

    What we need isn't a big, cold government telling us what we can and cannot eat. What we need is for that big, cold government to make it possible for one parent to stay home in order to tend to the family, so that we have food readily available – GOOD food, like what Mom used to make. My dad worked, and my mom stayed home. We hardly ever stopped at McD's for food, because Mom had food there for us. It was good, wholesome food, and nobody in our home was obese or on meds for food related illnesses. We ate healthy, and it was always available, and she loved cooking for us. She had no outside pressure to be a lawyer or to chase after some unfulfilling career. I'd give anything to be able to do for my husband and children what she did for us, instead of having to endure the pressures of working on top of housework and stopping at McD's for a quick meal. Our society is a mess and with it goes our health.

  2. Jim Martinez

    I would add to calicopaige's comment by saying our schools need to go back to the type of physical education programs that were in place when we were kids. Instead we, because of problems created by governments imposed family disintegration, were forced to adapt in a way that has weakened our country as a whole. Why? profit!

  3. Cathy Chandanais-Williams

    I agree with calicopaige to a degree. It would be great if only one parent had to work in order to survive, but with the extraordinary cost of everything, it's nearly impossible. However, if parents decided they, and their kids, did not NEED every new gadget, etc, that came on the market, or the latest fashion, that would help. Also, since most families do need two incomes to survive, they should try cooking together on the weekends, then freezing the meals for use later in the week, thus eliminating the NEED to stop for fast food due to time constraints. We have lost the joy of cooking and preparing meals together. Healthy, nutritous food is not that expensive, especially if prepared at home, and leftovers are consumed, not thrown away. Unfortunately, many individuals in our society prefer to take the "path of least resistance", due to laziness, ignorance, or the false notion that whatever happens to them "it's not my fault," therefore the government needs to step in and regulate the food they consume in order to preserve their health, and more importantly, protect the rest of us from exorbitant health care costs.

  4. Vanessa Powers

    Ah, lets bring the government into this! Well then. I'd like to comment on what my government provided me for breakfast and lunch while attending school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Sugar laden juice, chocolate milk, pizza, various cakes, Popsicles, tater tots, cookies, and mostly food that was every shade of brown, grey, orange and yellow. Most of it was pure carbs and fat, and most of it was some version of bread and cheese. If there ever were any vegetables they were so watery, so rubbery and so overcooked, that there was no possible way I would have touched them-even now. Fruit was usually served in dense sugary syrup. Is this the same 'government' I want telling me what to eat? NO. The same government using the outdated food pyramid? NO! The same government that allows the FDA to put chemicals in my food, that many other countries penalize with jail time and fine-NO! Life has changed, and it's unfortunate. But people need to take responsibility for what they shove into their faces. If you are living your life ingesting this processed, fast food poison, your must accept the consequences that come with this. And no 'government' should be held responsible for your poor lifestyle choices, or lack of willpower. I used to live a very unhealthy lifestyle and used to eat all sorts of unhealthy crud. I was absolutely addicted to Cola, with horrible cravings and withdrawal. I slowly weaned myself off of this chemical cocktail of crap and slowly weaned myself off of the processed poison. No more. I cook 95% of my meals at home. 95% of my food is fresh and home cooked. I eat out maybe once to twice a month, and don't particularly enjoy it if/when I do. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR POOR LIFESTYLE CHOICES. No one would be saying this if this was a story about drugs or alcohol. This is another drug in a different form. Choose responsibly the next time you are at the supermarket. Those Pop Tarts, Fritos and Cherry Cola cases that you put into your cart WILL go into your mouth.

  5. Vicky Moore

    Chemicals in our foods, GMO's and Chemicals Modified foods (monsanto)…ENOUGH….you tell us we are obese but you help us get there by allowing these companies to add who knows what to what is no longer considered FOOD! our bodies are toxic wastelands because of the processed and fast foods we as a society eat…I should know I am (was) 100 lbs overweight….but I have found that what I eat needs to be "grown FROM a plant and not to come FROM a plant (a company processing plant)! I have been working hard on eating better and healthier for me and my family. I have also found a homopathic weighloss product that has helped me to lose 40 lbs since September of 2012 with only 50lbs more to go! The nutritionals are also homeopathic with no GMO's, chemicals or soy in them. I feel so much healthier and because I am eating better and taking awesome supplements I no longer am on my acid reflux medication, my arthritis medication or my cholesterol medications! I am so healthy now….my kids and grandkids are also benefiting as we all are eating healthier by MY EXAMPLE…..it starts at home – no more toxin feeding to my body! if you want more information on these awesome homeopathic products email me at pureandhealthy! juno.com