Did you know every time you indulge in junk food, your brain releases dopamine–the happy hormone. This triggers you to eat more. However addictive it may be, it is not good for your health and withdrawal can be very tough. What does actual studies have to say about it? And how can you curb this addiction in your kids?
Sometimes it is very difficult to stop at just one slice of a pizza. Or at just one muffin. The more often a person eats junk food, the more often do the cravings and intense desire to eat junk food kicks in. When we eat junk food our brain releases dopamine, the happy hormone. Dopamine creates feelings of pleasure and reward, which motivates an individual to repeat a specific behaviour.
This feeling of pleasure and reward encourages the individuals to eat more of these processed and unhealthy foods. Frequent consumption of junk food may also lead to dopamine tolerance. This means that a person will have to eat even more junk food to avoid going into withdrawal.
Junk Food, as the name suggests, is nothing but junk. Junk that is loaded with saturated fats, calories, and sugar. According to the data given in the Financial Express. In India around,
● 93 percent children enjoy eating packaged food more than once a week.
● 56 per cent children indulge in sweet food items such as ice cream and chocolates more than once a week.
● 59 per cent children aged between 14 to 17 years eat packaged food or beverages at least once a day.
● 83 per cent children drink milk and 69 per cent eat breakfast cereals such as cornflakes as their first meal of the day before heading to school.
● 91 per cent children carry lunch boxes from their homes but 40 per cent children consume packaged food at school almost daily.
A report by PRNewsWire on ‘Fast Food Market in India’ has also mentioned that the Indian Fast Food market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 18% by 2020 due to consumer changing behaviour and demography. Fast Food market in India is expected to be worth US$27.57 billion by 2020.
Here are a few ways you can reduce your child’s craving for junk food:
● The lesser junk food you eat, the lesser you want; so limit and monitor the amount of junk food being consumed by your child.
● Make children watch how junk food is actually made, children are visual learners.
● Train their tastebuds and introduce them to different healthy recipes from around the world. Play around with a variety of food flavours, tastes, and textures.
● Always make them have a complete and nutritious meal, so there’s no craving for something additional.
● Stock up healthy snacks like makhana, sweet and salty peanuts etc in your pantry.
● Be a role model yourself and set the right example for healthy eating.
For Healthy and guilt-free snacks option, check out our range of trail mixes and flavoured nuts.