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Food For Thought

Dr. Bob Osgoodsby

A recent study revealed that Americans are eating 50% more junk food than they were 20 years ago. In fact, across all age groups, the consumption of snacks, soda and junk food is making our nation fatter and unhealthier than ever. Among people under 40 years of age, pizza and snack consumption has risen by up to 143% over the last 20 years! The most popular junk food items are desserts, salty snacks, candy, French fries, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and high fat dairy products.

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The conclusion of the study is startling. In 1981, the average person obtained 11.3% of their caloric intake from snacks. In 2001, the proportion rose to 17.7% and the numbers are not getting better. America is experiencing an obesity epidemic, not only adults, but children as well.

When compared to healthy meals and snacks, junk food provides children with less calcium, and less vitamins and minerals which are essential for health and development. There is a solution. Whenever possible, replace junk foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

Rapid increases over the last three decades in obesity has plagued Americans with a myriad of health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, strokes and heart attacks. A poor diet including increased snack and junk food consumption is the main culprit.

The following are statistics comparing snack consumption in 1981 vs. 2001. Today, in one year the average American consumes:

45 large bags of potato chips - up 78%

120 orders of French fries - up 130%

310 cans of soda - up 55%

190 candy bars - up 80%

120 pastries or desserts - up 95%

150 slices of pizza - up 143%

In today's fast paced world, many people make food choices that are fast and convenient, rather than healthy. Again, the solution to this problem is simple. Cut down on the junk food. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips or order of fries, replace it with a piece of fruit, serving of vegetables, or a garden salad.

About The Author:

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Dr. Osgoodby was a finalist in the "EAS Body for Life" Contest. Stop by his web page at bestbodyever.com to see his before and after pictures and subscribe to his monthly newsletter.

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