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Junk food can be appealing for a variety of reasons, including convenience, price and taste. For some, who does not always understand the health consequences of their eating habits, junk food may appear especially appetizing. However, regularly consuming fattening junk food can be addictive and can lead to complications like obesity, chronic illness, low self-esteem and even depression, as well as affecting how they perform in school and extracurricular activities.
A new UCLA psychology study provides evidence that being overweight makes people tired and sedentary — not the other way around.
Life scientists led by UCLA's Aaron Blaisdell placed 32 female rats on one of two diets for six months. The first, a standard rat's diet, consisted of relatively unprocessed foods like ground corn and fish meal. The ingredients in the second were highly processed, of lower quality and included substantially more sugar — a proxy for a junk food diet.
After just three months, the researchers observed a significant difference in the amount of weight the rats had gained, with the 16 on the junk food diet having become noticeably fatter.
“One diet led to obesity, the other didn't,” said Blaisdell, a professor of psychology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science and a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute.
The experiments the researchers performed, Blaisdell said, also suggest that …
Eating junk food can have a significant impact on one's health. Though many people enjoy eating junk food and think it tastes great, the health consequences can be serious, and can range from everything to low energy levels to weight gain and illness. The term “junk food” encompasses a fairly broad category of food, but it typically refers to foods that are relatively high in caloric content, but low in nutritional value.