Who doesn’t love some delicious McNuggets or a yummy Domino’s Pizza every once in a while? It’s completely normal to crave fast foods once in a while. Many people only eat fast foods if they’re on a cheat day or if they’re not planning on eating healthy that day. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen to be the case for everyone. In the United States alone, 84.8 million people are addicted to fast food. This addiction has sadly grown in massive quantities throughout the years, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
This type of addiction usually starts off as a craving. It tastes so good, that you start ordering it every weekend, then you find yourself eating fast food on weekdays too until you can no longer escape the cravings and end up having fast food every single day of the week. It makes it even worse than at every corner you turn to, you can be sure to find a fast-food restaurant. Your favorite places like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more, have around 80,000 fast food stores worldwide. This has tremendously influenced the spread of this addiction, slowly turning billions of people in the world into fast food addicts.
What scientifically makes fast food addictive, is that when consuming it, junk food causes a release of dopamine in the brain. It gives you the sensation of fulfillment and pleasure. This makes people want to eat junk food even more. Fast food also contains an ingredient, called HFCS, which in a study conducted in 2013, has been proven to be just as addictive as drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is not the only substance that makes fast food so addictive. Sugar, salt, and fats are also factors that make junk foods so addictive and so delicious to eat. Combining all of these ingredients, fast food is a big threat to an unhealthy and addictive lifestyle.
Some people are fortunate enough to realize their addiction from an early point in their lives and have found ways to overcome it. Some helpful tips to get over this addiction is to substitute unhealthy fats with healthy fats, to plan your meals ahead, try eating fruits instead of sweets, eat enough protein to stay full throughout the day, focus on slowly adding healthier foods to your meals, and many other more things you can search up. However, this type of addiction is not only food-related. Think about why you’re eating so much junk food. Maybe try to work on managing stress or getting more sleep. If these tips weren’t of much use to you, visit online websites like Healthline.com, or talk to someone experienced in the field.
Hopefully, more people will start spreading awareness about this addiction that seems to go unnoticed by many people. Like many other addictions, you don’t really notice how far gone you are until it’s too late. If you believe you are in danger of addiction to fast foods, please seek help immediately. Already 678,000 deaths are caused by fast food each year. It may not seem like a lot, but just by speaking up about it, you are making a great difference in the world. And if you’re struggling, remember you are never alone.