Tips to Kick the Junk Food Addiction

We all know that obesity has become a health crisis in this country. But how do you beat the battle of the bulge when food itself acts like a drug?

Americans readily acknowledge that the country’s swelling waistline is disconcerting. obesity rates in AmericaIn fact, 75 percent of respondents in a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll said obesity represents an “extremely serious” problem. Even so, we don’t want to give up our freedom of choice. Only a third of the people surveyed said they thought the government should take measures to curb the obesity trend, like taxing sodas and junk food. Instead, most felt that individuals, rather than the government or the food industry, should take responsibility for reducing obesity.

Given how the obesity rate has ballooned in recent years – despite growing awareness of the condition and the dangers it poses – some might question whether people can actually manage their weight unaided. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that fast foods and other contributors to America’s obesity epidemic are actually addictive, making it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Fast Food Addiction
Studies show that junk food changes the brain’s wiring in the same way hard drugs do. One study found that the pleasure centers in rats’ brains were overstimulated from fast food in a way comparable to those of addicts on cocaine binges. The study’s author said, “These findings confirm what we and many others have suspected…that over-consumption of highly pleasurable food triggers addiction-like neuroadaptive responses in brain reward circuitries, driving the development of compulsive eating.”

Fast food, unlike hard drugs, is hard to avoid. Since the 1970s, the number of fast food restaurants in the United States has doubled. The demands of a busy schedule combined with the prevalence of drive-thrus can make it hard to dodge the nutrient-poor, fatty – but oh so tasty – offerings of popular fast food chains. Grab-and-go options at the grocery store, like chips, energy drinks and snack packs, are equally convenient, and pose similar health concerns.

Pouch Rules to Beat ObesitySteps to Success
Although junk food may be dangerously addictive and easy to purchase, we can still take responsibility for our weight and each do our part to address America’s obesity epidemic. Whether or not you have had weight loss surgery, the secret to achieving and maintaining a healthy body involves restraint, discipline and good sense. That means driving through the gauntlet of fast food joints that lines every American street and buying fresh fruits and veggies at the supermarket instead. It means taking a long walk through the neighborhood after dinner, taking the stairs at the office, and eating a healthy bowl of oatmeal at home instead of buying a Sausage McGriddle on your morning commute.

Living a healthy lifestyle requires you to take responsibility for your own actions and make informed choices about what you eat. This is especially true for people who have undergone weight loss surgery.

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