Why Do We Eat Junk Food?
Think of all the people you know… Do any of them not like food? Probably not, because food is wonderful. In fact, some of it tastes so wonderful, you can actually get addicted to it!
People have been eating food for ages! It’s been a necessary part of the survival of all living things since the beginning of time. But most of us, when we eat, aren’t doing it only because we have to stay alive. We also eat because it makes us feel good; it’s a way to connect with other people; and there are so many delicious types of food from which to choose.
Of course, when it comes to choosing what to eat, there are good choices and not so good choices. When we eat out, we often have to choose whether we’ll take a side dish1 of French fries or a salad, pancakes with ice cream or a fruit bowl, a bottle of water, or a soda.
Everyone knows that eating too many unhealthy foods can make you gain weight over time, but did you know that bad food choices have an impact2 on your brain as well? Eating too much junk food can have an immediate effect on your mind by giving you a sugar rush – a powerful burst of energy that comes on quickly, but leaves you feeling more tired than you were before you ate that sugary thing. The effects of junk food & on our brains can also be long lasting because some of the ingredients in processed3 foods are as addictive as drugs.
Junk food is designed by scientists, not by farmers or world class chefs. They create the food with just the right taste and ingredients so that when we eat it, something in our brains tells us that we’re happy and that we want more.
This is a clever strategy because junk food companies want us to buy their products, and we buy more when we find their foods too delicious to resist.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU WANT TO RELEASE YOUR BRAIN FROM ITS ADDICTION TO JUNK FOOD? HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
1. MAKE SLOW CHANGES rather than trying to stop eating all junk food altogether. Try replacing one junk food snack a day with a piece of fruit or a vegetable.
2. BUILD A SUPPORT GROUP of friends who also want to eat less junk food, or who will at least agree not to tempt4 you with unhealthy food choices.
3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER throughout the day, and don’t starve yourself. Cutting out sugar can make you feel tired at first because your body is used to the quick bursts of energy, so it’s important to stay fueled5 with small healthy snacks and water.
4. CARRY A WATER BOTTLE AND A HEALTHY SNACK with you not to be tempted to eat junk food just because you’re hungry when you’re out and about.
5. EACH DAY, TRY TO EAT A GOOD BALANCE OF FOODS from the main food groups that your body needs: protein, dairy6, grain, fruit, and vegetables.
6. WHEN SHOPPING AT THE GROCERY STORE, don’t be fooled into thinking that all the foods that come in fancy packages are any better for you than the other foods on offer. Be aware that some foods that are marked “low fat” usually have added sugar, which can be more harmful than natural fats.
Making a change to eat healthier can be really tough, but if you choose to start making healthier choices while you’re young, you can save yourself from a lot of health problems in the future. Good luck!
– MAKE A LIST:
Imagine you’re going to host an extravagant dinner party for your friends. You have to serve an appetizer7, entrée, and dessert. What would be on your menu for the event? Make a grocery shopping list.
– ADJECTIVE GAME TO PLAY WITH 3 OR 4 OTHERS:
Take three minutes to write a list of words to describe foods, the more words you can think of the better. Don’t show anyone your list of words. When the three minutes are over, one person reads their list – if they have a word on their list that is also on your list, then you both have to cross the word out. Each person reads their list in turn. Whoever has the most words not crossed out after everyone’s read their list wins the game.
– WRITE AN ACROSTIC POEM:
Write an acrostic poem about a favourite food. Use each letter of the food to start a word or phrase to describe that food.
Admirable food choice
Plenty to be found in Slovakia
Little bit sweet
Earth’s gift to us
– WRITE A LETTER:
Write a letter to persuade a friend or relative that they need to eat
less junk food and live a healthier life style.
– KEEP A FOOD DIARY:
For one day, keep a detailed journal of everything you eat and drink. Also, make notes between meals about how you feel. The next day, compare your food diary with that of a friend. Do you think the foods you ate influenced how you felt? Why or why not? Are there any foods that you would like to eat more of? Are there any foods that you should eat less of?
7:00 – I ate a piece of bread with chocolatehazelnut spread and coffee with milk.
7:30 – I was full of energy while walking to school.
9:00 – I almost fell asleep in class.
10:00 – I drank some water and ate a banana.
10:30 – I felt really happy while running around in gym class.
11:30 – I was very hungry for lunch!
Vocabulary: 1 príloha – příloha; 2 vplyv – vliv, dopad; 3 spracovaný – zpracovaný; 4 uvádzať do pokušenia – uvádět v pokušení; 5 zásobený; 6 [de∂ri] mliečne produkty – mléčné produkty; 7 aperitív, ale aj predkrm, chuťovka – aperitiv, ale také předkrm, chuťovka