Food Addiction – Student Blog

 

Everyone in this world likes and dislikes some food. The most commonly liked food is processed foods. Well if you consume too much junk food then you could get bad diseases, as it contains a higher level of salt, sugar, and/or fats. But why do people get addicted to foods?

Well, people get addicted to foods by a chemical in your brain, called dopamine. When you eat food, your brain produces the excitatory neurotransmitter, dopamine.  So, if a food that you eat tastes good, your brain will produce dopamine telling your body that it wants more of it, which makes you addicted to that food. Serotonin is a type of inhibitory neurotransmitter, that lowers excitability within the neural network. Serotonin helps to bring balance to the excitement and helps control the appetite. But, why do people make foods that are so addicting but are not healthy for us to eat?

Companies and restaurants don’t care if we get sick eating these foods. All they want is the money that comes out of us buying the food.  So, if we keep going back to the stores and buying the processed/junk food repeatedly, then the companies making that food get the money. When we consume too much processed food, we end up getting diseases, like potassium deficiency, water retention, high blood pressure, and even congestive heart failure! So, if we keep buying these foods, we can get massively sick because processed foods are usually high in salt, sugar, and fat.

When we eat salt, our body gets rid of the excess salt by dumping it in the urine. But when we consume too much salt, then the kidneys can’t keep up with all the salt, so our body dumps it between our cells. Humans are normally supposed to consume 1.5 grams (1500 mgs) of salt, which is only ¾ of a teaspoon per day. But humans have started to consume way more than required in our meals because of the taste of the food.

Most people love to eat sweats and foods with lots of sugar. But do they know that consuming too much sugar can cause major issues with their heath? The most common disease that people get is diabetes. Diabetes occurs either when pancreas produces less insulin, or the body doesn’t respond to the insulin. Diabetes in turn causes several other diseases such as strokes, eye diseases, chronic kidney disease, and so on. Similarly, when consuming bad fats, the cholesterol gets stored in your blood vessels causing blockage of blood flow.

A good solution to this addiction issue of the over consumption of junk and processed foods is to be aware of what you are eating and to be cautions of what is in the foods. The benefit of eating less salt, sugar, and fatty foods are that you will not get so many bad diseases and will be healthy. So, have self-control over what you eat and stay healthy.

About The Author:

Amita Gowda, Grade 7, is curious to understand about Food Habits, Food Choices, and Healthy Living. She is a public speaker and an active volunteer of Green Kids Now, Inc., non-profit organization.