We all know that junk food is bad for you. Even in moderation, it’s bad for you. Whatever you do, you’d be better off not eating junk food at all.
Some of us will therefore prioritize health and avoid it.
Some will indulge it from time to time, the same way we indulge alcohol or trash television.
But some of us end up consuming junk food very often, possibly for every meal, even between meals, even getting up at night to eat some.
And there is a reason for that.
It’s not just because we crave carbs, fats, sugars and salts. If that were the case, then why wouldn’t we see people eating buttered potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes the same way they do hamburgers? There are a few key differences.
The first is that fast food is fast. You can go outside right now and within 30 minutes you could be eating junk food.
Next, fast food is tasty. Junk food is carefully balanced to have the right combination of textures and flavours to keep us coming back for more.
It is also a shared cultural experience. You bond with people over food and junk food and takeout is a cultural theme.
It is everywhere. Not only is it fast, you’re very unlikely to be more than a few hours away from your closest junk food restaurant.
And finally, it’s simple. You just take the food and eat it whilst watching TV or sitting on a park bench.
Now, think about this for a moment, how often do you see these scenes in everyday life?
Parents and children silently staring at a TV as they eat pizza.
Kids going to get chips and dips together as an outing.
Families buying take-away food on a car journey.
Couples splitting a ready meal or take-away every night.
This all happens for the same reason: junk food is treated as a source of entertainment, rather than as sustenance. We don’t eat junk food to stay alive, we eat it for fun.
And when you don’t have the money, education or connections to enjoy yourself another way, is it any surprise that for many people junk food becomes just another thing to do, a source of entertainment to keep you busy until the next show is on?
TTFN and Happy Hunting.