Wednesday, July 20, 2011

National Junk Food Day

By Diane Forrest

Proper nutrition has been a very prevalent topic in the news lately.  Changes have been made to the food pyramid and the first lady, Mrs. Obama has made nutrition her top priority.  There have been changes made in school lunches as well as the removal of all snack machines in schools.  Better nutrition has been on a lot of minds lately.  Today however, you can forget about all that!  Today is National Junk Food Day, a day where you can eat whatever you want without feeling any guilt, as long as you return to a nutritious, healthy diet tomorrow.

What is Junk Food?   Junk food is a term that was coined in 1972 to describe food with empty calories, or no nutritional value.  People have different tastes when it comes to junk food.  Some like sweets, while others like salty.  Some like fried, some baked.  There was a study done that suggests that junk food alters the brain's activity.  To prove this they fed a diet of junk food to lab rats for many weeks, and then replaced the junk food with a healthy diet, and the rats starved for 2 weeks!!!

I don’t consider myself to be a junk food junkie, however one year while working on a portable health clinic I was invited to the annual conference in Tampa Florida.  It was a weeklong conference, and all the meals were provided.  The theme of the conference was healthy eating.  Well you can guess what the menu was like.  Needless to say my digestive system was all out of whack, and by Friday I was chowing down on some scrambled eggs, bacon, grits and biscuits, with a cream cheese Danish on the side!

So on Junk food day, throw caution to the wind and eat some of your favorite empty calorie, no nutrition foods and toss out the guilt, cause tomorrow it's back to healthy eating once again.

Did you know:
  • The average American eats about 24.5 pounds of candy per year, with 11.6 pounds being chocolate candy
  • There are 3,961 confectionery and nut stores in the U.S.
  • The top five ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan, strawberry and chocolate chip mint
  • More than 90% of households in the U.S. consume ice cream
  • Not into candy or desserts? The U.S. has 12,804 McDonald's restaurants

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