Obesity: Is junk food really to blame?

Soda, candy, and fast food are often painted as the prime culprits in the national discussion of obesity in the United States. While a diet of chocolate bars and cheese burgers washed down with a Coke is inadvisable from a nutritional standpoint, these foods are not likely to be a leading cause of obesity in the United States according to a new Cornell University Food and Brand Lab study conducted by the Lab co-directors David Just, PhD, and Brian Wansink, PhD. The study, published in Obesity Science & Practice, finds that intake of these foods is not related to Body Mass Index in the average adult.

Don’t know man , there’s a general view in scientific circles that some people in the sciences tend to want to make a name for themselves by bucking the trend , going against the status quo , so they paint themselves as being insightful , unique , independent , nonconformist , a lone wolf , a polemic , it appeals to us. The obesity epedemic is driven by an overabundance of suger , refined carbs , saturated fat , little exercise , sedentary lifestyles. Its simple really


I am not sure about this one. Might it not depend on what gets classified as “junk food” ? I don’t eat many cheese burgers and chocolate bars but do eat a lot of ready meals and although I have cut down am partial to a takeaway. I drink about 3x2l of low calorie flavoured pop a week rather than Coke.
I am obese with a BMI in the early 30s.
I guess if you count takeaways always as junk food(though some more upmarket choices can be found on just eat) then I have eaten a fair amount of junk food.
I have found though that cutting down on them has only had a minor effect on weight loss and not the dramatic effect I expected.

Do you eat a lot of junk food and yet stay relatively slim and trim or are you careful with the junk food and yet still overweight? Does an active lifestyle/exercise really make much of a difference?

I’ve been more sedentary than most obese people have ever been and have been eating loads of sugar and saturated fats. Thing is I don’t eat as much as the obese people I know, who generally eat healthier food than me and are more active. And I have been very underweight, just recently got probably normal weight because of zyprexa. The point is you can eat healthy and exercise but if you keep eating more than you consume + build in muscle then you will get fatter anyway.

Of course it does.

When you exercize you’re not only using your muscles and burning fat but you’re also toning your bones and making them stronger. Weaker body with lower energy, more susceptible to get fat.

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I guess if I was more athletic/sporty/physically co -ordinated I would have done more exercise. As it is I have an exercise bike that I use infrequently. I find going on it for 30 minutes and finding I’ve only lost a 100 or so calories dispiriting . I get the argument that exercise tones you but I’ve yet to find a set of exercises geared to physically uncordinated people like myself.

It really does man , if your not exercising and just calorie counting , its going to be very frustrating for you…

Yes - I agree I think it does matter what gets classified as “junk” food. From my perspective “Processed Food” (i.e. ready to eat food - like canned or packaged dinners) is full of fat and added sugar and salt, etc. - all to make it taste good - but which isn’t healthy.

The best diet is full of lots of fresh vegetables, and some low sugar fruits like apples.

Simple carbs are also really bad - like pasta, bread, potatoes, and anything with sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it.

Maybe not. Though I found that merely cutting crisps and soda’s from my diet lost me 5 kgs in 5 weeks.

My problems stem from:

a) A lack of time to exercise. What small amount of time I have outside of a full-time job is consumed with volunteer work. I need to find an hour a day for my health, but I’ve been failing badly.

b) When you’re short of time you tend to buy/cook unhealthy things. Processed foods store easier and longer than having to shop for fresh stuff every second day or so.

Really need to work on this.


My main problems are the motivation to cook food from scratch which is usually more healthy, organising and planning a weekly/10 day online shop to buy and cook more than a couple of meals a week from scratch.
With me a meal has to be easy to prepare and cook and not require too many steps. Preferably something that can be cooked in one or two utensils be it casserole dish, frying pan, large saucepan or a microwavable container.

I think that we eat too many processed carbs here in the United States,this is why the majoriity of us are over weight.

Walk into any average Supermarket and you are bombarded with junk food of all kinds.

Too much junk food and not enough Movement.

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