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Why Junk Food Is Addictive

Submitted by Loring A. Windblad on July 9, 2010

One day on your way back from work, you feel hungry and you simply grab a hot dog. The next day you do the same, and the trend continues. Well, this is a sign of addiction. A new and recent study shows that junk food is indeed addictive. In this study, for two months rats were fed with junk food and then the junk food was stopped.

The moment it was stopped, the rats got anxious and the result showed that they were addicted to the junk food, as their anxiety levels came down with the introduction of the junk food again.

This is precisely what happens to us. The craving for junk food overrides hunger pangs and hence, though we may not be hungry, we may still end up eating that hotdog. It becomes more of a psychological need than a physiological need.

Blaming junk food manufacturers is futile because if there was no demand for their products, they wouldn’t exist in the first place. If you find yourself bingeing on junk food, you have no one but yourself to blame. According to a recently conducted study, food that is high in sugar, salt, and fat content tends to give you a slight “high” says the result of a recently conducted study.

Junk food, unfortunately, is usually packed with all these ingredients.

Kicking the habit
Kicking the addiction for junk food may not be as difficult as say quitting smoking or giving up alcohol. All it requires is an awareness of the ill-effects that these foods can cause and a voluntary initiative and will-power to get rid of this habit. This can be easily accomplished by altering your lifestyle.

Eat only healthy food and exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, and this is a healthy replacement for the high that you get when you consume junk food.

Do not try to kick the habit overnight—do it gradually. If you feel like eating junk food, try to restrict yourself to just one bite. That one bite will satisfy your craving and will not do much harm to you either.
Sharing with your friends is also a good way to break this addiction. When you share, you end up eating little and this is enough to satisfy your emotional needs. Know what your body needs and eat accordingly, that’s the mantra that will help you go a long way as far as food and health is concerned.

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