Junk food is a staple of most Americans’ diets. Americans love their chips and dips, sodas and soft drinks, pizza and wings almost as much as they love cake, ice-cream, cookies, and candy. It is impossible to pass through life as an American without having at least one junk food overload. Overloads happen when we are vulnerable, distracted, or when our inhibitions and better judgment are suppressed. The point is that junk food overloads happen, and with them comes discomfort self-recriminations, guilt, and cravings for more junk food.
Before we examine the dangers of the junk food overload, it is important to understand how it occurs. One of the three main causes of overeating bad food is distraction. Imagine yourself sitting at a desk studying late into the night or watching a football game that goes into overtime. Now put a pizza, a six pack of soda, a bag of potato chips, and bag of M&M’S® in arms reach. In no time at all you can easily consume that food just because you are not aware that you are eating. A second cause is vulnerability. Everyone knows that a pint of Ben and Jerry’s won’t cure a broken heart, but it will numb the pain. Finally, overindulgence is most often accompanied by a lapse in judgment or control. Perhaps your crush keeps passing you the bowl or perhaps you are overtired from studying all night. In any case, when you feel out of control, it is easy to eat out of control. Understanding the causes of the junk food overload cannot prevent ‘the morning after.’
When a junk food overload happens, the first consequence is physical. Nausea is quite common, and vomiting and diarrhea may follow. This is the classic Halloween reaction after gorging on candy of all kinds. Other adults may feel tired or sluggish after eating too much junk, specifically sugar. It is also well known that eating sugar leads to craving more sugar, so another physical consequence is dealing with undesirable urges. In addition to stomach distress, cravings, and fatigue, many people also suffer emotional and psychological consequences. Many people will feel fatter after a single binge, lowering their sense of self-esteem and possibly even causing depression. In addition, people will often suffer guilt and self-loathing for what they consider a lapse in control or judgment. The psychological effects of a binge are probably even more devastating than the physical effects.
In conclusion, Junk food is by nature attractive, delicious and begging to be overly consumed. Unfortunately, over consumption leads to physical and psychological complications that are unpleasant at best. Still, if we are alert to the causes of junk food binging, we may be more aware of when we are inclined to overeat, and we might be able to avoid indulging when we feel distracted, out of control, or vulnerable. So enjoy some bad food, but only a little at a time, once in while.
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