Junk Food Number 1 Source Of Obesity

1582 words - 6 pages

An alarming new study published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reveals that Americans are getting nearly 40% of their calories from junk food such as soft drinks, sweets, salty snacks, hamburgers, and other kinds of take out food (Contributing Factors). It is difficult for them to escape the temptation of consuming fast foods because they are constantly bombarded with advertising of mouthwatering hamburgers, desserts, and snacks, as well as, with opportunities to buy them. Junk food is everywhere. It is at the grocery store, at the gas station, in our schools, and on our college campuses. There are more than 300,000 fast food outlets in the U.S. alone (Junk Food in the 'Food Guide Pyramid'). To make matters worse, between school and work, Americans are too busy to cook proper meals. Since junk food tastes great, is fast, and is convenient, they have make it part of their busy lives without realizing how detrimental it is to their health. Americans are slowly setting themselves up for chronic diseases and medical conditions because of their addiction to junk foods.Junk food is the number one source of obesity. In the United States people are getting over one-third of their calories from junk food (Contributing Factors). Junk food is high in calories, fat, and sugar, but it is low in nutrition. Not only do the calories in this type of food add up fast causing weight gain, but also the fat and the sugar in it exacerbates the problem. One average junk food meal has more than 1000 calories. A Burger King Whopper with cheese has 800 calories and 49 grams of fat. Additionally, the drinks, the sweets, and all those things people love to munch on are doing them serious damage. They are overloaded with sugar. The general suggestion is that no more than 10% of our calories should come from sugars. By having a can of soda one has already used up most of the sugar allowance, because 12 oz of soda contain 140 calories from sugar. High sugar intake is also associated with obesity. To make matters worse, Junk food fills people up for a short period of time, but then, they begin to feel hungry again and go back for more junk food. This empty calorie effect along with the portion size increase has worsened the overweight condition among Americans. Most Americans cannot resist the temptation to get a bigger size just because is few cents more, without considering the nutritional cost of those bargains. Turning a burger into a value meal adds 1000 extra calories and 50 extra grams of fat (Fast Food Facts). Nutritional experts say that, on average, men need 2,700 calories a day to maintain a desirable weight, and women need approximately 1800 calories a day (Peek 163). This means that they are consuming almost all their daily calorie allowance in one unhealthy meal. Moreover, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, some foods are marked as fat-free or low fat but they contain more calories than the fatty foods they are supposed...

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